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Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017

The most famous resident of Blue Hill, Maine, is not be a person at all. For years, a high school in the small town has continued to garner attention for a Twinkie, initially intended as an impromptu science experiment, which, as of 2016 has remained uneaten for 40 years.

The famed Twinkie, billed by ABC News as “the world’s oldest,” comes from humble beginnings. In 1976, Roger Bannatti was having a discussion with his chemistry class at George Stevens Academy about food additives and shelf life when a student inevitably brought up Twinkies – a food that folklore has anointed the “indestructible.” Bannatti had his students bring a pack back from the store: He ate the first one and plopped the second one on the blackboard. “Let see,” he purportedly quipped.

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Now 40 years later, that Twinkie is on display in a glass box in the office of the Dean of Students, Libby Rosemeier – a George Stevens alumnus who was in Bannatti’s class when the whole experiment started. The chemistry teacher passed the Twinkie on to her when he left the academy in 2005. “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 was quoted as saying. Maybe people like the Twinkie because it doesn’t spend so much time bragging!

As for the Twinkie itself, though it’s no longer in mint condition and covered in dust, it still looks very much like a Twinkie, holding its shape and most of its color, never succumbing to the greenness of mold except maybe for a bit on the bottom. “I'm not sure I'd try to eat it right now,” Bennatti said in a 2005 interview. “I don't think I'd want to risk it.”

At the time, the former teacher suggested drying out may have helped the Twinkie avoid mold, possibly with the help of added preservatives. We don’t know if that’s true, but we still salute you, world’s oldest Twinkie!

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