Yesterday, we talked about noon, and lunch. Well, no self-respecting kid would consider lunch finished until they had at least a cookie, or two, or maybe a whole package. And, for most kids, that’s the Oreo. Not just in the US, but worldwide.
Two Oreo sandwich cookies (public domain, by Evan-Amos)
The Oreo sandwich cookie was created by the National Biscuit Company (i.e. Nabisco) in 1912 to compete against the Hydrox cookie, manufactured by Sunshine Biscuit. Like the Hydrox, it consisted of two chocolate cookies held together by a creme filling (until recently, the creme filling was made from sugar and lard; now it’s made with sugar and vegetable shortening). No doubt thanks to better marketing (“Hydrox” conjures up images of sodium hydroxide, i.e. lye), the Oreo soon became the more popular cookie, while Hydrox gradually lost shelf space in grocery stores. Eventually Sunshine Bakeries was split up and sold off, and the Hydrox disappeared entirely, although Leaf, who ended up with the brand, is trying to revive it.
After many years where the only Oreo available was the original, there is now a veritable plethora of Oreo sandwich cookies out there, including Golden Oreos (with a vanilla cookie instead of chocolate), Oreo Minis (a much smaller version of the cookie), Double Stuf Oreos (with twice as much creme filling as the original), chocolate Oreos (two vanilla cookies wrapped around a chocolate filling)… in all, 101 varieties of the Oreo, as seen here.
You also find Oreos crushed up and blended with ice cream, baked into cheesecake, and, I swear, I’ve had deep-fried Oreos, where the cookie is encased in dough, deep fried, and served with ice cream.
This commercial demonstrates the proper way to eat an Oreo.