Now that I've said it… What do you think about it?

A 40 year old Twinkie in Maine is taking on the fruit cake

This holiday season the immortal fruit cake is being given a run for her money!

Late this summer a 40-year-old Twinkie in Blue Hill, Maine, seems to have weathered the past few decades quite well. Perhaps a testament to the power of preservatives, the legendary Twinkie at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill remains, with the exception of some dust, remarkably intact.

 

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Photo Credit:Courtesy Libby Rosemeier

What began as an impromptu chemistry experiment in 1976 has left the small private school home to the world’s oldest Twinkie. Chemistry teacher Roger Bennatti, who has since retired from teaching, began the experiment during a lesson on food additives and shelf life when a student expressed curiosity about the lifespan of a Twinkie.

To answer, he gave his students a few bucks and sent them to a store. They returned with a package of Twinkies. After popping the first one in his mouth, he placed the second one on the blackboard. “Let’s see,” he said.

Forty years later, the Twinkie remains, though its exact location has since changed. After leaving George Stevens Academy in 2005, Bennatti passed the Twinkie down to Libby Rosemeier, who had been a student in that very chemistry class and now serves as the school’s Dean of Students. The Twinkie remains on display in a glass box in her office and has become, in many ways, the school’s claim to fame.

Rosemeier is still in awe at the amount of attention the Twinkie has garnered.

“It’s really funny that we’re this wonderful coastal community in Maine, and we have this school of 325 kids that is a gem and we’re doing great things and kids are going to great colleges, and the thing people know about us is this 40-year-old Twinkie,” Rosemeier told ABC News.

Nevertheless, she welcomes the Twinkie attention, if that’s what puts the school and all of its students’ accomplishments, including an impressive jazz band and sports teams with championship titles, on the map.

 

Bennatti, too, said he is surprised by the impact of his Twinkie experiment decades ago, though he refers to it as a “worthy science experiment.”

“When I retired I could have taken it with me, but I wanted it to stay with George Stevens,” he said, adding that in the future, he hopes it is kept on display and dedicated to all of the past, present and future science students of the high school.

“I’ve heard people suggest that the sports teams should be renamed the Fighting Twinkies,” Bennatti laughed, “but I’m not so sure they’ll go for that.”

As for the Twinkie’s future, Rosemeier, who tentatively plans to retire in the next five years, is still unsure of who will inherit the 40-year-old sugary treat.

“The Smithsonian hasn’t contacted me yet,” she joked.

 

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