Is The Myth True: Will Twinkies Outlive Us All?

Are the tales really true? Urban legends dictate when the apocalypse hits only two things will survive: cockroaches and twinkies. According to the myth, Hostess Twinkies are made only from preservatives and artificial ingredients, making the snack cakes indestructible to anything from surviving a chemical warfare to a nuclear holocaust. Here's the real truth.

Do Twinkies Expire?

Contrary to popular belief, Twinkies do expire. In fact, according to Twinkie, Deconstructed, the snack food only has a shelf life of 26 days. Any longer than that the sponge cake turns as hard as a rock. The truth seems pretty measly compared to the myth, however, it's considered quite long compared to other baked good products.

The movie, Zombieland starring Woody Harrelson, makes fun of the fact that Twinkies are some of the only food available.

It's no surprise the Twinkie is a highly processed food. It has over 36 different ingredients with the highest percentage being flour and sugar. However, unlike cakes you bake at home, Twinkies doesn't contain any butter, eggs or milk. Instead, Hostess Brands rely on diacetyl (the same thing found in buttered microwave popcorn), monoglycerides and diglycerides, emulsifiers, and polysorbate 60 as a stand-in for eggs.

How Old is The Oldest Twinkie?

Currently, the oldest Twinkie in the world is 43 years old, and it's still going strong. It began as a fun chemistry experiment in 1976, at in Roger Bennatti class at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, Maine to demonstrate food additives. Now the old Twinkie sits in a glass case in the office of one of Mr.Bennatti's past students. The vanilla cream has since vanished, leaving a hard cake brick.

Unfortunately, Twinkies won't be the first things aliens discover when they take over the planet, but that shouldn't stop us from eating up this American classic. Eat it straight from the packaging or take its health-factor one step further and deep-fry it. Enjoy it any way you like; just make sure to check the expiration date first.