Cookies and Cream

So I have a question for you to ponder on this Wednesday night: What comes to your mind when you think of the flavor cookies and cream?

For me, the answer is easy. I immediately think of cookies and cream ice cream. My mind zeroes in on chunks of Oreo cookies lodged into fresh vanilla ice cream. Growing up, cookies and cream was the one non-neapolitan flavor of ice cream that you could sometimes find in our freezer. Besides the ice cream flavor, the only other cookies and cream product I remember from early childhood was the cookies and cream Twix. But you can’t find that anymore.

Cookies and cream ice cream that Sid and I ate at Sub Zero Ice Cream in Charleston

Thus, my mental construct of the cookies and cream flavor basically boiled down to Oreo cookies mixed with vanilla. Cookies and cream was synonymous with Oreos or at least some type of chocolate sandwich cookies.

The other day I purchased a 4-pack of cookies and cream protein shakes. Before opening the first shake, I had in my mind that the first sip would taste similar to an Oreo cookie. Did it? Heck no. It would be generous to say that it even resembled the taste of chocolate milk.

The Premier Protein cookies and cream shake had the imagery I would expect out of a cookies and cream product but not the taste.

The cookies and cream flavor is thrust upon everything these days. From froyo to candle scents to Pop-Tarts, there is seemingly no product that doesn’t have a version of it. But if my expectation of what the cookies and cream flavor should taste like (Oreos) isn’t the standard of everyone else, then what is it? Well, judging from the myriad of cookies and cream foods that I have tasted, the standard is all across the board.

Although I didn’t do much research before this post, my guess is that the cookies and cream flavor did in fact originate with ice cream. Marketers then took the pleasant memories that many of us hold of cookies and cream ice cream and applied it to other flavors, taking broad creative/taste liberties along the way.

Thankfully, the cookies and cream name still gives people at least a general idea of what the flavor should taste like, unlike something as mysterious and undescriptive as Tigers Blood (which I have written about before). But to say that cookies and cream is synonymous with an Oreo cookie is simply no longer the case. Don’t Blink.

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