Twinkies Used To Taste A Lot Different

Hostess Twinkies are an iconic American snack. They have been around since 1930, when Illinois-based bakery manager Jimmy Dewer first devised the idea for the airy, cream-filled cake, per Today. But the original Twinkies recipe would probably come as a surprise to the modern snack cake consumer. The reason? When the sweet sponge cakes first hit the shelves in the 1930s, they were actually made with real bananas and real cream filling, according to CBS News

Twinkies were originally created using inexpensive ingredients as a way to manufacture a delicious yet cost-effective treat that customers could still enjoy during the Great Depression (via Fox News). Unfortunately, Dewer's original idea had to change when World War II rolled around, and Americans were forced to start rationing products. One of the food items that was subject to rationing in the 1940s was bananas, which meant that not only did individuals have to eat less of them, but companies that used bananas in their products had to improvise as well.

Hostess has added new Twinkie flavors in recent years

The Continental Baking Company — the business that manufactured Twinkies before it was acquired by Hostess — decided to swap out the banana filling for vanilla cream filling, which was more readily available at the time. Apparently, consumers must have liked it, because the company never reverted back to the original banana flavor, even once the rationing on bananas was lifted after the war.

However, that doesn't mean that Twinkies completely stopped innovating. In 2007, the brand re-released the vintage banana flavored Twinkie as part of their regular product offerings, according to The New York Times. In more recent years, Hostess has also expanded their offerings to include a wider variety of flavors than the classic vanilla cream; Twinkies aficionados can now purchase the snack cake in mixed berry, cotton candy, lemonade stand, and chocolate cake flavors, as well as the original, per Hostess. They also have been known to release seasonal or promotional Twinkie flavors for a limited time, such as the pumpkin spice or the peppermint Twinkie. Although it may not taste exactly like a ripe banana anymore, this creamy golden sponge cake still has plenty of delicious flavors to offer fans of the iconic snack.