Trivia

Hard

Which Incredibly Shelf-Stable Food Was Once Quite Perishable?

Bacon Bits
Baked Beans
Spam
Twinkies
A Twinkie snack cake, with one end open to reveal the cream filling.
Hostess Brands, Inc.

Answer: Twinkies

Twinkies have quite the reputation as an indestructible treat where the expiration date is more of a legal necessity than any sort of actual caution against eating them. While that reputation might be well deserved, Twinkies do eventually go bad (officially, the shelf life of a Twinkie is 45 days). Historically, however, the first Twinkie recipe was quite delicate, and early Twinkies spoiled after mere days.

Introduced in 1930, the original Twinkie had a shelf life of only two days because of the eggs, milk, and butter used. Salesman were continually dispatched to replenish the stock on local shelves. A shortage of ingredients, especially the bananas that made up the original cream filling, led to a restructuring of the recipe. In the process, Hostess opted to make Twinkies more shelf stable to cut down on the expense of constantly restocking them.

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