Oreo oreo oreo

This evening I was feeling depressed and so I went out and bought myself a box of a dozen Nabisco Oreos. And ate them all. I feel much better now.

Let me say, at the outset, that I am sure that Oreo cookies are stunningly bad for you. Sugar, high fructose corn syrup, more sugar … you know the drill. The odd thing is that they are also pure vegan (at least in the U.S.). So you have the comfort of knowing that while you might be gradually killing yourself, at least you are not taking anyone else down with you.



Clearly we are not talking here about health food. While I doubt that your life will be shortened very much by eating a box of Oreo cookies, I somehow also doubt that it will be lengthened by the experience. On the other hand, Oreos are no ordinary cookies.

That’s the beauty of Oreos. Every Oreo that you hold in your hand is a choice, the cusp of a decision. There are multiple time streams flowing from that cookie, each a doorway to a different future.

You can, for example, just pop an Oreo in your mouth, treating it as a mere cookie. And while that is a valid choice – indeed, far be it for me to deny the essential cookieness of the humble Oreo – it is only one path among many.

No, the really interesting decisions always begin when you open your Oreo cookie, the moment when you delicately pry apart the two chocolate wafers with your fingers. And there before you lies the snowy cream.


Now please don’t get me wrong. We speak here not of mere geometric form. Otherwise, we might as well be holding a Sunshine Hydrox cookie, the bane of my childhood. I learned about these when I was a kid, when my mom tried to buy them instead of Oreos, before my brother and I set her straight about our essential needs. Sunshine Hydrox seems to be some sort of cargo cult Oreo, the form without the essence, a thing of plaster and sawdust.

I think of Hydrox as the gollum of cookies. It may walk among cookies, assuming their form, and yet still it tastes of the clay and mud from which it was formed. If ever you should find one in your hand, it is best to remain calm. Put it down slowly and back away. Somebody will likely be along shortly to dispose of it, and to alert the authorities.

No, we are talking here about the true Oreo. Where were we? Oh, yes – we were just now examining the snowy cream filling. At this point two choices lie before you. You can be impetuous, and pop the cream covered wafer in your mouth first. Or you can first go to the dark side, forgoing the snowy white pleasures of the cream covered half until the very end.

And yet still you have have not exhausted the possibilities. You can scrape the cream off with your teeth, leaving but two dark chocolate wafers to decide between. They are ostensibly the same, like identical twin gunfighters facing off in a gothic Western, distinguished only by their storied pasts. And this of course poses yet another choice – which to eat first.

One box of cookies, so many decisions. So many paths to take or to forego, each one a conduit to another future. And when at last the box is empty, there is one last choice you can make, my friend, a choice which may truly set you apart.

You can decide to buy another box.

7 Responses to “Oreo oreo oreo”

  1. manooh says:

    I’m glad they helped :-)

  2. Lisa says:

    You could also choose the mini-oreos. Tiny little cookies that melt in your mouth. You can even can eat them without ever having a bit of biscuit touch your teeth (which I like ’cause I don’t like black teeth, you see).

    After 13 years in the UK, Oreos have just started to make inroads. I love them, but the locals aren’t quite so impressed. What do they know, hey?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7376123.stm

  3. Zabador says:

    The European Oreos and the US ones are not the same …. And the US ones are my favorite US cookies 😉

  4. ulmedas says:

    The US Oreos are better because they are vegan, which, incidentally, makes them good for you in addition to making them taste better.

  5. Lisa Reynolds says:

    At my children’s request I have been purchasing Oreos recently (and clearly taking advantage of the situation by partaking of them myself) and have seen yet another path to their enjoyment. I’ve seen an increase in the number of “backwards” oreos where one or both of the cookies were assembled with the logo stamp on the inside. When you carefully unscrew the cookies you can see the imprint of the logo in the filling. Would you consider this a quality assurance problem or serendipity?

  6. sharon says:

    Apparently today (March 6, 2012) is the 100th birthday of the Oreo:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/business/media/the-oreo-turns-100-with-a-nod-to-the-past-advertising.html?_r=2

    I just thought we should acknowledge that here.

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