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The Great Twinkie Experiment


It all started in the break room. Sometime during the summer of 2005, a batch of Twinkies reached their expiration date, and customer service manager Marti Dahlquist saw opportunity:

"Intrigued by the urban legend that Twinkies have a shelf life of 30 or 40 years and presented with an opportunity to (partially) test the theory when Dave put Twinkies in the break room on sale for $.10 last summer, I began my own version of myth busters. Not wanting to let an opportunity like this pass me by I put $.50 in the money box and secured 5 Twinkies. The stack of Twinkies was then put into the back of a desk drawer with a post it reminding me of the year I put it in the drawer and the date to take it out and test its eatableness — if that is even a word."

Year One (2006)

It looked like a Twinkie. It tasted like a Twinkie. But it sure didn't feel like a Twinkie. Webmaster Andy Kerr sampled the fare, and reported on his findings via e-mail:

2006 Twinkie

"I felt adventurous. If Jim can try haggis for breakfast, I can try a geriatric Twinkie. [Company founder and president Jim Eisenbraun was attending the International SBL in Edinburgh, and had related his own culinary adventures. —Ed.]

The texture and taste reminds me strongly of flat, cold cornbread with buttercream frosting, and the filling has assumed a faint, tangy, chemical flavor. The cream filling flavor lingers for quite some time.

I now feel a bit light-headed and a little unreal. It could be that I just need to go eat some real lunch.

There's plenty of Twinkie left if anyone wishes to confirm my findings."

Year Two (2007)

Andy again took the plunge:

2007 Twinkie

"I got out a knife, and tried to cut a piece off. It split like a graham cracker. It's crunchy and dry, a bit like a shortbread cookie, and only slightly sweet. Taste-wise, cornbread is the closest thing I can compare it to. The filling isn't terribly different from the, um, shell, but has a slightly silkier texture and a hint of flavor like buttercream frosting. There is a faint, but bitter metallic aftertaste."

We've really got to get a video of this next year...

Year Three (2008)

Petrified, but still edible... for varying definitions of "edible." The promised video:

Andy reported feeling "very strange and light-headed" for about half an hour afterwards, although eating an apple helped with this. James suggested that a new movie could be made — not The Sword in the Stone, but, rather, The Scissors in the Twinkie.

2008 Twinkie: Stick some scissors in it, it's done.

Twinkies #4 and 5

Although we now consider this myth throughly busted, the remaining two twinkies remain, lurking, in a desk drawer. We may pull them out yet. If the anticipation doesn't kill us, the Twinkies might.