Words cannot express how upset I am at the possibility that my beloved Twinkies may disappear into consumer product oblivion. I went into a panic this week and may or may not have spent almost $100 building up my stash. Everyone keeps saying some company is going to buy Hostess, but until that happens I’m going to stock pile.
While Hostess isn’t a Chicago brand, there are several really cool Windy City tie-ins. Here are a few fun facts about our favorite failed snack cake brand.
First, a little back story. The actual Hostess brand was created by Taggart Baking Company in Indianapolis in 1921. Wonder Bread was the company’s biggest brand, but it also created snack cakes. Taggart was purchased by a number of companies, including the Continental Baking Company and then by Interstate Bakeries.
You know that iconic Wonder Bread logo with the blue, yellow and red balloons? It was designed by commercial artist Drew Miller while he was on staff at a Chicago advertising agency.
Twinkies were invented in Schiller Park in 1930 by a baker for the Continental Baking Company. When strawberries were out of season, the machines used to make the cream-filled strawberry shortcakes sat idle. So, one of the bakers decided to create a snack cake filled with banana cream, which he decided to call the Twinkie. During World War II, bananas were rationed so the company switched to vanilla cream.
The Hostess plant stayed open in Schiller Park until the company’s unfortunate closing. The plant had the capacity to produce 106 million Twinkies a year.
I hope we haven’t seen the last of Hostess!
Filed under: Did You Know, Chicago?
Tags: Chicago, Chicago history, Chicago Quirk, Continental Baking Company, Hostess, Hostess Chicago, Hostess Chicago History, Hostess history, Interstate Bakeries, Quirk, Quirky, Taggart Baking Company, Twinkie, Twinkie Chicago, Twinkie invented in Chicago, Twinkie Schiller Park