The 110th Anniversary Of The Oreo Cookie

by Kevin Burton

   The legendary American treat Oreo cookie has its 110th birthday Monday.

   I don’t mean our personal Burton-owned Oreo cookies.  They are not that old but they have been in the pantry for a while.

   On the previous granddaughter visit we attempted but did not complete, creation of an altogether new desert sensation centered on the Oreo cookie and chocolate and/or vanilla ice cream.

  I had imagined a variety using coffee ice cream.

   Somehow granddaughter went back home without collecting the Oreos. My wife and I like but do not love them so they are in danger of aging in place in the pantry.

   The Oreo was trademarked on March 14, 1912 by the National Biscuit Company, now known as Nabisco.  The street where they were first produced in the Chelsea section of New York City, is now called “Oreo Way.”

   I’ve always regarded Oreo as an OK cookie, not to die for but not to turn down either.  For research purposes I just consumed three of the Oreos that didn’t go home with our granddaughter.

   Now I learn from Wikipedia that Oreo is much more popular than I thought.

   “Oreo is the best-selling cookie brand in the United States, and in the 21st century it became the number one selling cookie globally, bringing in more than 500 billion (in) sales,” Wikipedia writes. So when the packaging reads “America’s Favorite Cookie,” it’s not just marketing hype.

   The word oreo was used to describe racial awareness when we were kids. It was either a black kid with white sensibilities (black on the outside, white on the inside) or three people sitting on a bench, a black, then a white, then a black. 

   We used to laugh, “Hey, we have an oreo!”

   There were commercials about eating the cream inside of the cookie first and eating the hard chocolate part last.  In 1974 Nabisco began producing a double-stuffed cookie, with twice as much cream.

   There is also a variety with chocolate filling, for a straight chocolate treat. 

   “In some countries, Oreos come in a variety of flavors that are not familiar to the U.S. market,” according to Wikipedia. “For example, Green Tea Oreos are only available in China and Japan, while Lemon Ice Oreos were only ever introduced in Japan.”

   “Blueberry Ice Cream Oreos are available in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. Additionally, there are alfajor Oreo cookies available in Argentina, composed of three Oreo cookies with vanilla filling between each, and covered in chocolate.”

   My childhood memories of Oreos are of cookies packed into a lunchbox alongside a bologna sandwich and maybe some chips or grapes.

   Now I am all grown up and have somehow misplaced my lunchbox.  I see on Wikipedia that the Oreo and Nabisco are the focus of not one but two boycotts. 

   In June 2012 Nabisco produced an advertisement (but not an actual cookie) with rainbow-colored cream to celebrate LGBT pride month.  In 2015 some of the Oreo production was moved from American factories to Mexico. 

  Both moves produced a backlash and boycotts.  So the legacy of the Oreo is not all sweetness and milk.

   Of course the 110th birthday observances point that way, complete with the introduction of a limited-edition cookie.

   “OREO 110th Birthday Chocolate Confetti Cake Chocolate Sandwich Cookies are a delicious celebration of America’s favorite cookie and a wish for you to never stop wishing!” shouts

    “These chocolate cookies are the classic OREO snack cookies you’ve always loved with an unforgettable twist. These sandwich cookies are filled with a chocolate confetti cake flavored crème with rainbow sprinkles on top and inside the crème filling.”

   Here is a review of the product from “The Impulsive Buy” blog on WordPress, which covers junk food in all its glory.

   “The cookie contains two crème layers: standard chocolate and a buttercream-flavored white crème with confetti mixed in. They’re sandwiched between classic chocolate Oreo wafers sprinkled with even more confetti.”

   “The confetti is eye-catching and stands out from the dark cookie. The buttercream filling has a creamier flavor than the standard white crème, though it’s also a little artificial tasting,” The Impulsive Buy writes.

   “However, the chocolate crème and cookies manage to overpower that defect. The result is a creamy chocolate cake flavor that evokes a real cake. They’re maybe even better with milk than regular Oreo.”

   Use your own judgment on the responsible enjoyment of Oreos on their 110th birthday. They do not contain any vitamins, but as of the 1990s they are no longer made with lard.

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