Which Incredibly Shelf-Stable Food Was Once Quite Perishable?
Twinkies have quite the reputation as an indestructible treat where the expiration date is more of a legal necessity than any sort of actual caution against eating them. While that reputation might be well deserved, Twinkies do eventually go bad (officially, the shelf life of a Twinkie is about a month, but they remain safe to eat long after that). Historically, however, the first Twinkie recipe was quite delicate, and early Twinkies spoiled after only two days.
Introduced in 1930, the original Twinkie had a shelf life of only two days; salesman were continually dispatched to replenish the stock on local shelves. A shortage of ingredients, especially the bananas that made up the original cream filling, led to a restructuring of the recipe. In the process Hostess opted to make Twinkies more shelf stable to cut down on the expense of constantly restocking them.
Bonus Trivia: The whole reason we even have Twinkies is because a Hostess executive was looking for a way to use a machine that made cream-filled strawberry shortcakes during strawberry season, all year long.