Twinkies aren’t immortal, after all


Left to Right: Deceased – Dying – Want a bite?

Last week, craving sweets, Colin Purrington remembered the Twinkies.

He’d purchased them back in 2012 for sentimental reasons when he heard that Hostess Brands was going bankrupt and Twinkies might disappear forever…

Like many people, Purrington believed Twinkies are basically immortal, although the official shelf life is 45 days. He removed a Twinkie from the box, unwrapped it — it looked fine — and took a bite. Then he retched…

…Researchers immediately thought some kind of fungus was involved in attacking the 8-year-old Twinkies, because they’ve studied fungi that kill insects and dry them out in a similar way. Plus, the reddish blotch on one Twinkie seemed to have a growth pattern that’s typical of fungi.

They reached out to Purrington, who was only too happy to mail them the Twinkies immediately. “Science is a collaborative sport,” he says. “If someone can take this and figure out what was actually growing, I’m all in. I really want to know what species exactly was eating my Twinkies.”

A fun read, unless you’re a big shareholder in whoever owns Twinkies, nowadays. Another addition to the long list of reasons why I don’t eat anything in this category of food I didn’t prepare myself.

One thought on “Twinkies aren’t immortal, after all

  1. Ankh says:

    “What began as an impromptu chemistry experiment in 1976 has left the small private school home to the world’s oldest Twinkie.” (2016) https://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/twinkie-maine-40-years/story?id=40076223
    “In 1999, President Bill Clinton and the White House Millennium Council selected the Twinkie to be preserved in the nation’s millennium time capsule, calling it an enduring American icon.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/food/2005/04/13/twinkies-75-years-and-counting/017f0722-076e-4a90-82c0-572f6d5906b0/
    “Twinkie defense” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twinkie_defense

    A Twinkie that’s been on display at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry since the fall of 2009 (photo taken 10/10/19)

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EGX5r7IWwAMoZ49?format=jpg&name=small

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