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Time ticking for Twinkies?

November 15, 2012|By Mick Swasko, @mickswasko | RedEye

Someday, you might be explaining what a Twinkie was to your grandkids.

Hostess, maker of the iconic crème filled golden cake, has sought court permission to go out of business after failing to get wage and benefit cuts from thousands of its striking bakery workers, according to Reuters. What does that mean? Twinkies, Ho Ho’s, Sno-Balls, Donettes and every other sugar packed confection that stuffed childhood school lunches as a dessert will be gone.

Forever.

Maybe.

The Twinkie got its start in the Chicago-area – Schiller Park to be exact – in 1930. James Alexander Dewar, a baker for the Continental Baking Company, created and named the spongy cake, which was originally filled with banana crème. How will Chicagoans survive without the little yellow cake that got it’s humble beginnings just a few miles north west? There might be some hope yet.

For one, Chicago’s Angel Food Bakery in Ravenswood has conjured up their own, homemade Twinkie, dubbed the “airstream.” They’ve also cook up the “RV,” which is similar to Hostess’ Tiger Tails, which are no longer available.

And while retail Twinkies may no longer be an unlimited supply, anyone with an oven and sense of culinary adventure are still in luck. Sites like topsecretrecipes.com publish formulas that claim to be clones of brand-name favorites. Both the Twinkie and its filling, the site claims, can be duplicated with store bought ingredients.

Due to the strike, availability of Twinkies in the area is hit-and-miss. A call to Cosco in Lincoln Park said the location doesn’t sell the cakes in bulk, and Sam’s Club in Evanston said they have no Twinkies or Hostess products due to the strike. A Hostess Wonder Bread outlet in River Grove employee said Twinkies are currently selling $6 for 3-boxes of 10. A quick check of inventory revealed there were currently 18-boxes as the location.

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