This morning, our director of creative services here at Coastal mentioned to me that today is National Oreo Cookie Day. He alerted me about the holiday to be funny because he knows my harsh opinion on gimmicky “national” days. However, no matter how much I say I hate the concept of a National Pancake Day or National Peanut Butter Lovers Day, I do admit that I have stooped to creative lows by using these occasions as blog material.
Today I want to pay the ultimate homage to the Oreo cookie by dusting off a blog post I wrote four years ago. Specifically titled Premium vs. Generic: Make The Right Decision, I wrote about a handful of products that can be substituted for a generic brand with no big taste/performance difference. Evening out the post, I also listed a second handful of products that, in my opinion, should never be substituted with a knockoff brand. At the very top of the list was the Oreo cookie.
There is simply no replacing an Oreo. It is one of a kind. While we can all pay a dollar or two less and buy an imitator chocolate cookie sandwich, it falls so short of the Oreo standard that it isn’t even funny. It just takes one nibble to figure out the truth. An Oreo will perfectly crumble and send a wave of freshness and chocolatey delight through the taste buds the moment the teeth make impact with it. The white filling of an Oreo is fluffy and delicious to eat by itself. An Oreo dipped in milk absorbs it in a way that achieves the desired sogginess yet doesn’t lose the hallmark flavor.
On the other hand, a knockoff cookie sandwich is bland and contains no special crunch. The filling is thin and tastes/looks artificial. Milk simply seems to run off the cookie wafers, failing to retain the beverage and produce a softened and refreshing version. There is no comparison at all.
The Oreo cookie stands by itself and it just isn’t the taste. The smell is distinctive. I could have my frozen yogurt topped with “Oreos” at an ice cream parlor and I would immediately know with a quick flex of my nostrils whether the place actually put on crushed Oreos or a knockoff. I could pick up an Oreo package at the supermarket and feel the distinctive texture of the cookies inside and contrast that with a generic package. I could look at a plate with two cookies on it, an Oreo and an imitator, and laugh at how superior the real thing looked to the wannabe.
The Oreo just carries with it a different standard, one that extends to the entire family of flavors. Just like with Pop-Tarts and potato chips, the Oreo cookie has gone through a major flavor expansion throughout the years. You can now purchase cinnamon roll Oreos, red velvet Oreos, mint Oreos, cake batter Oreos, etc. But it doesn’t matter if you are eating an Oreo cookie with golden wafers or an Oreo cookie with cookie dough filling, the freshness and quality is still there. The formula that Nabisco has for its most popular snack is in the same league as the formula that KFC has for its fried chicken.
Although I hate to say it, let me wish you a happy National Oreo Cookie Day! Although this type of recognition probably isn’t necessary, an Oreo cookie is pretty special. Don’t Blink.