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Penkava: Golden delicious rocks the world again

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Did you know that on July 15, 2013, 49 earthquakes took place around the world? Most were insignificant, like the 3.9 quake near Cape Yakataga, Alaska. Or the 4.5 one in the vicinity of Lambasa, Fiji. Not to mention the 4.4 shaker just southeast of Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland.

But on this past July 15, there was another earthshaking event, but this incident had nothing to do with tectonic plates or seismometers or Richter scales. Nope, this momentous occurrence involved yellow sponge cake, cream filling and polysorbate 60.

Yep, I am talking about the resurrection of the renowned Twinkie. After about eight months of life without the Hostess icon, suddenly the world is spinning sweetly on its axis again. Sure, we survived without it, but, you must admit, with the Twinkie Kid back in business, life seems a bit more creamier and golden delicious.

Sure, there are some negatives that may pop up. For example, the stock market has experienced what financial experts call the “Twinkie Effect” as rival snack companies brace themselves for losses, but it’s their own fault for trying to duplicate classic creamy perfection. Then again, the sorbic acid and sodium stearoyl lactylate folks are drooling over their sweetened revenue growth rates.

Another possible downside of the revival of the Twinkie is that it seems they are a bit smaller than their monoglyceride and diglyceride ancestors. Reports indicate the new Twinkie has slimmed down 4 grams and has lost 15 calories. But rather than be a drawback, this just goes to show that the new Hostess is right in step with our health-conscious society. This actually gives hope to those of us on diets. After all, if a Twinkie can lose weight, anyone can, right?

Oh, there’s another plus to the redesigned Twinkie. It appears there’s been some secret ingredient or process added to actually prolong their shelf life. The old yellow cake lasted only 26 days. But there’s no need to quickly scarf down these beauties anymore because we now have 45 … that’s an extra 19 cream-filled days of appetizing anticipation. But, I ask you, how can one even put an expiration date on that rich, velvety essence?

The price of Twinkies remains the same at $3.99 for a box of 10. That’s a lot better than after the Twinkiepocolapse last November when eBay’s starting bid price was $500 for an unopened box. Of course, if you were around in 1933 when they were first introduced, you could nab a package of two for only a nickel.

Speaking of 1933, the appearance of Twinkies coincided exactly with the beginning of the recovery from the Great Depression. Thus, we have positive proof that Twinkies not only taste good, but they can also save the economy. Who knows, generations from now historians could be writing about the “unexplainable long-term effects of the reintroduction of Twinkies upon traditional 21st-century societal institutions.” Maybe there will even be a link between the second coming of the Twinkie and the end of the Great Depression for Cubs fans. I can hear their manager now … ”I think the big difference was effective relief pitching, timely hitting and cream filling.”

Last July 15, you didn’t have to be walking near Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland, to experience an earthshaking event. All you had to do was stop by your favorite food store and head down to the corner of Welcome Back and We Missed You. There you could find a boxful of mouthwatering miracles that would set your taste buds a-quaking.

So, good to see you again, my little golden friend. Hostess calls it, “The sweetest comeback in the history of ever.” I call it a 9.5 on the Fructose scale, baby.

• Michael Penkava is a retired teacher who taught for 35 years at West Elementary School in Crystal Lake. He said he felt the earth move when he bought his box of new Twinkies, but it was just an elderly woman rear-ending him with her shopping cart. He can be reached at mikepenkava@comcast.net.

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