How Twinkies Work

Twinkies in Pop Culture

A worker in Schiller Park, Ill., prepares Twinkies for packaging.
A worker in Schiller Park, Ill., prepares Twinkies for packaging.
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

The Twinkie has become much more than a snack cake. It has become a pop-culture icon. It is often regarded as the epitome of junk food and used to symbolize an unhealthy diet. Twinkies have even turned up in the courtroom. In 1985, a man who was running for Minneapolis city council was indicted for bribery after serving Twinkies to constituents. Although the charges were dropped, the case led to the term "Twinkiegate" and a campaign finance law known as "The Twinkie Law" [source: Washington Post].

Not satisfied with political work, Twinkies have also been implicated in a famous murder case. In 1979, Dan White, an accused murderer in San Francisco, claimed the act was brought on by severe depression -- evidence of this depression was provided by White's uncharacteristic consumption of junk food, including Twinkies. The "Twinkie Defense" became famous nationwide [source: Washington Post].

In 2005, the American Society of Media Photographers devoted its annual Object Show to Twinkies. The artistic photos included Twinkies growing on trees, models using Twinkies as beauty products and Jesus Christ with a Twinkie for a head [source: Pittsburgh Live].

Twinkies are idolized and dissected on the Internet. The T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. Project is a lighthearted Web site that subjects Twinkies to a battery of scientific tests to determine their properties. The tests have examined the electrical resistance of Twinkies, their solubility in water and whether or not they are sentient [source: T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. Project].

The Versatile Twinkie

If a plain Twinkie isn't decadent enough for you, there are other ways to enjoy one. How about deep fried? The owners of a restaurant in ­Brooklyn, N.Y., invented this concoction (reportedly very tasty, though the author of this article has not tried one), and it became popular across the United States after appearing at country fairs [source: CNN].

You could display your devotion to Twinkies (and your spouse) with a Twinkie­ wedding cake, as several couples have done. Hostess even offers instructions on preparing one [source: Hostess]. Twinkie pie, Twinkie tiramisu and even Twinkie ­sushi are all possible with this versatile snack [source: Recipezaar].

For more information about all things Twinkie, check out the links below.

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More Great Links


  • Calorie King. "Calories, Fat & Carbohydrates in Desserts: Twinkies."
  • "New junk food fad: Deep-fried Twinkies." Sept. 18, 2002.
  • Ettlinger, Steve. "Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated Into What America Eats." Hudson Street Press; 1 edition, 2007.
  • Hostess. "About Us."
  • Hostess. "A Twinkie take on a wedding cake."
  • International herald Tribune. "Banana-flavored Twinkies make a comeback." June 13, 2007.
  • Recipe Zaar. "Twinkie Novelty: 12 Recipes."
  • Sagon, Candy. "Twinkies, 75 Years And Counting." Washington Post, April 13, 2005.
  • Shaw, Kurt. "Photographers sink teeth into snack cakes." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 27, 2005.
  • "Forever Twinkies."
  • ­ USA Today. "30-year-old Twinkie soon to become teacher's legacy." August 13, 2004.