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Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
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Monday, November 19, 2012

What’s In A Twinkie?

Author Steve Ettlinger stands at the entry of the mine shaft in Wyoming, where the rock used to make baking soda and baking powder comes from. He went 1,600 feet below ground and then drove in a Jeep for 30 minutes to reach the site. (TwinkieDeconstructed.com)

All the talk about the possible loss of the Twinkie got us thinking about our 2007 interview with Steve Ettlinger the author of “Twinkie, Deconstructed.”

Prompted by a question from one of his children – “Daddy, what’s polysorbate 60?” – Steve set out on a quest to learn about the contents of the yellow snack food.

Steve discovered an array of unfamiliar ingredients that he explores in his book.

We revisit that conversation which also featured Huda Ahmed, a reporter from Iraq, who at the time was one of our interns.

Huda had never tasted a Twinkie before, but was willing to try one as part of her American experience, as she told Here & Now’s Robin Young, “I’ve eaten everything in Iraq so it won’t harm me to eat something here.”


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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