Snack Cake, Near Death at 81

After a little more than 80 years, a staple of far too many junk food enthusiasts has gone to meet its maker. Or rather, its maker is heading to the great beyond. Hostess Brands is filing for bankruptcy.

Shelf life notwithstanding, after experiencing a short illness (last year, sales declined 2% from the previous year), Twinkies will indeed disappear from grocery stores. This is contrary to the popular opinion (or urban legend, actually) that the concoction is indestructible and lives on forever.

Twinkies faced an earlier challenge to its health when Hostess declared bankruptcy once before but it managed to hang in. This time, they are definitely headed for the junk food graveyard.

The fluff came to life in 1930, when a baker injected crème into sponge cake. Over its lifetime, Twinkies were reported to contain several controversial items in its many ingredients, which include: high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin, polysorbate 60, dextrin, calcium caseinate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, wheat gluten, calcium sulphate, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, yellow dye #5, and red dye #40. At one time the New York Times referred to its middle as “creamy white vegetable shortening.”

Some say Twinkies were the result of a lab experiment gone terribly wrong. Not everyone is mourning its passing, however. Healthy eaters who got the message about junk food swore off these little devils long ago.

At the moment, survivors include Hostess cupcakes, Ring Dings, Snoballs, Wonder Bread, and many more. RIP.