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Twinkles take the cake.

On April 6, Interstate Bakeries Corp.'s Twinkles snack cake celebrated its 70th birthday with limited-edition packaging. It features Twinkle the kid, surrounded by birthday balloons and colorful confetti and lassoing lit candies, that illustrate the number 70.

Jimmy Dewar, manager of the Continental Baking Co. in Chicago, created the world's first Twinkle, with a banana-cream filling, in 1930. A billboard in St. Louis advertising "Twinkle Toe Shoes" sparked the idea to name the new treat "Twinkles."

Today, more than 500 million Twinkles are baked each year. It takes 10 minutes to bake a Twinkle, and each one weighs 1.5 ounces and contains 160 calories. And although we don't recommend you try this, a Twinkle takes 45 seconds to explode in the microwave.

Dewar once said, "Twinkle was the best darn tootin' idea I ever had." We concur. www.twinkies.com

Twinkle time line

1930--Twinkles are created and sell two for a nickel.

1940s--World War II creates a banana shortage. Consequently the classic banana-cream filling is replaced with vanilla cream.

1941--Lewis Browning, a mailman in Shelbyville, Ind., begins treating himself to a Twinkle a day. By 1997 the Twinkle King bad consumed 20,440 Twinkies.

1980--Twinkles turn 50. Continental Baking celebrates with a 10-foot-long Twinkle that weighs more than a ton and is the equivalent of 32,300 regular Twinkles. It takes five days and 100 hours to bake.

1999--The Twinkle is chosen to be included in the nation's millennium time capsule, representing "an object of enduring American symbolism."

2000--On April 6, Hostess throws a birthday party at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, and the world's tallest birthday cake is constructed.

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Publication:Food Processing
Date:Apr 1, 2000
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