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:
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:
"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.
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.