A Twinkie unwrapped during a 1976 chemistry lesson has remained on display at a Maine school for 40 years. Screenshot: CBS Los Angeles
BLUE HILL, Maine, June 27 (UPI) -- A Maine school is celebrating the 40th anniversary of a Twinkie snack cake that was originally part of a science lesson and remains to this day.
Libby Rosemeier, dean of students at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, said the Twinkie on display in a glass case in her office started out as an impromptu chemistry lesson when she was a student in former teacher Roger Bennatti's class.
Bennatti had students buy a package of Twinkies from a nearby store during a 1976 lesson on food additives and shelf life. He placed the Twinkie on the blackboard for the class to observe, and there it remained until Bennatti retired in 2004 and passed custody of the aging snack cake to Rosemeier, who placed it in a case in her office.
"When I retired I could have taken it with me, but I wanted it to stay with George Stevens," Bennatti told ABC News.
"I've heard people suggest that the sports teams should be renamed the Fighting Twinkies," Bennatti joked, "but I'm not so sure they'll go for that."
Rosemeier said she is constantly surprised at the attention the Twinkie -- unofficially known as the "World's Oldest Twinkie" -- brings to the school.
"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 said.
She said the Twinkie appears intact, but it will likely remain forever unknown whether it is still edible.
"Kids have said 'Can I take a bite?'" Rosemeier told the Bangor Daily News. "The most remarkable thing to me is that this is a piece food that is 40 years old and the shape is basically unchanged. Preservatives work, I guess, to some extent. I think it is dusty more than anything."