How A WWII Banana Shortage Changed The Course of Twinkie History



Is there something sweeter — actually or figuratively — than biting into the plastic-wrapped chemical compound of luxuriously spongey cake with vanilla cream that could be a Twinkie?

Maybe not. However the unique Hostess delicacy was as soon as one thing else totally. The preservative-filled dessert that many as soon as believed may face up to nuclear struggle received its begin as a banana cream shortcake, till World Conflict II modified every part.

In 1930, a baker named James Dewar started experimenting whereas serving as supervisor of Continental Baking Firm’s Chicago space plant in River Forest, based on the Chicago Tribune. He needed to show that shortbread may serve a objective outdoors strawberry shortcake.

“The economic system was getting tight, and the corporate wanted to come back out with one other low-priced merchandise,” he instructed the paper. “We have been already promoting these little finger truffles throughout the strawberry season for shortcake, however the pans we baked them in sat idle aside from that six-week season.”

Whereas in St. Louis on a piece journey, Dewar noticed a billboard for “Twinkle Toe Footwear,” and thus discovered the title for his compact confections.

However they weren’t full of a chemical vanilla-cream heart. Dewar’s desserts have been made with actual bananas and cream — no preservatives or synthetic flavors.

Bombing throughout World Conflict II made the transport of bananas and oranges throughout oceans notably treacherous. Consequently, Dewar was compelled to change his recipe from banana to the way more accessible vanilla.

As time went on, the commercialization of packaged desserts proliferated, and Twinkies turned much more standard however a lot much less… home made. And although bananas turned broadly obtainable once more after the struggle, Dewar’s delicacies didn’t deviate from the vanilla cream taste that has turn out to be so well-loved by the zeitgeist.

In 2007, Hostess briefly reintroduced the banana Twinkie, however the novel treats had a brief run — one which actually didn‘t stand the take a look at of time… or a nuclear holocaust.


Initially printed on Navy Instances, our sister publication.

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