The story about self-proclaimed 'science fan' Colin Purrington from NPR (adjusts monocle):
"When there's no desserts in the house, you get desperate," says Purrington, who went down to the basement and retrieved the old box of snack cakes, fully intending to enjoy several.
He busted out the Twinkies now, instead of waiting a couple more years, in part because he was "just so bored, with the pandemic," Purrington says. "It's terrible, but it just is mind-numbing after a while."
Like many people, Purrington believed Twinkies are basically immortal, although the official shelf life is 45 days. He removed a Twinkie from the box, unwrapped it — it looked fine — and took a bite. Then he retched.
"It tasted like old sock," Purrington says. "Not that I've ever eaten old sock."
That's when he examined the other Twinkies. Two looked weird. One had a dark-colored blemish the size of a quarter. The other Twinkie was completely transformed — it was gray, shrunken and wrinkly, like a dried morel mushroom.
He posted photos on Twitter, and they caught the attention of two scientists: Brian Lovett and Matt Kasson, who study fungi at West Virginia University in Morgantown.
That's because, in the past, their lab has tested how well molds grow in Peeps, the classic Easter treat. Fungi actually found it difficult to survive on Peeps, because of the food's low water content. "In a way, they are kind of like an extreme environment, right?" Kasson notes. "The food industry has crafted the ability to make foods that have a long shelf life."
The super-moldy Twinkie that looks like mummified Ramen Noodles made me throw up in my mouth a little bit, just as I did when I read that Purrington took a bite of one that looked yellow in the middle, but damnit, I love science people.
Though I've never had a knack for anything involving intellect, I truly admire those curious enough to go beyond the basic questioning of something & actually dive into it to get answers. In another life I think I'd love being a student at WVU's Fancy Fungus College (am sure that's what they call it & what's on their hoodies & stuff) and I can think of times in my own fridge where I should have done a little more research before plowing ahead in a 2am drunken stupor. (Pretty sure that General Tsos was at least 3 weeks old…).
If you feel like going down a rabbit hole today check out the 10 Foods That (Almost) Never Expire (spoiler alert, milk not on list), or wow that special someone today with 10 Fun Facts About Fungi. To go in a whole other direction check out the 10 Hottest MILFS of 2020. You're welcome.