Nabisco introduced two new flavors of Oreos in February, but time is running out for sampling Cookie Dough and Marshmallow Crispy. The special flavors will be offered only as long as supplies last, and will disappear from shelves in March.
The familiar sandwich cookie celebrated its 102nd birthday on March 6 this year, which is National Oreo Day. “Milk’s favorite cookie” is available in more than 100 countries, and is made at 21 bakeries around the world. Oreos are baked by Nabisco, which started out as the National Biscuit Company.
Manufacturers will not say where the cookie dough taste comes from, but they will say that it is made with brown sugar and dextrose, two sweeteners not usually found in Oreos. There are no eggs or flour in the filling, so there is no need to worry about salmonella, which is a concern when eating real cookie dough. Note that the label says cookie dough “flavor crème,” and “chocolaty chips.”
The Cookie Dough flavor has received mixed reactions. Some tasters found the flavor of the filling to be accurate, while others thought it had a filmy aftertaste and was too sweet. Some thought it tasted like coffee and chocolate, perhaps a mocha drink more than cookie dough.
The Marshmallow Crispy Oreo is likely crafted to taste like Rice Krispy Treats, except that Nabisco cannot say that because Rice Krispies come from General Mills. Hence the “Marshmallow Crispy” title. The filling is marshmallow cream with little bits of sweetened puffed rice cereal.
Tasters found that the marshmallow filling tasted a bit like the dehydrated marshmallows in Lucky Charms (also made by General Mills). It was described as tasting like cereal inside a cookie. Recipes are beginning to circulate for making marshmallow treats with the Marshmallow Crispy cookie.
With both new varieties, taste testers found the flavor strongest when the cookie was pulled apart and the filling eaten first. Company researchers say most people do that anyway.
The two new Oreo flavors are what is known as a limited time offer (LTO), but sometimes those LTOs become so popular that they come back permanently, even after time runs out on their initial introduction. Recent examples include Birthday Cake and Lemon.
Besides the two new LTOs there are currently nine flavors of Oreos: the chocolate varieties comprise original, chocolate, mint, birthday cake, berry, and peanut butter; the golden varieties consist of lemon, birthday cake, and chocolate.
Health experts say our sugar intake is too high. The World Health Organization says that sugar should make up no more than five percent of our total calories, or about six teaspoons of sugar for women, nine teaspoons for men. This is a mere six cookies per day. Unfortunately a serving size is only three cookies, which has 160 calories, seven grams of fat, and 14 grams of sugar.
It should be noted that the cookie has gotten healthier since 2006 when Nabisco replaced trans-fats with non-hydrogenated vegetable oil.
Sandwich cookie aficionados would probably agree that Oreos are addictive. Last year the faculty and staff at Connecticut College went some distance toward proving that with a study that found sandwich cookies were as addictive as cocaine to rats.
It may already be hard to find Nabisco’s two new Oreo flavors in stores, but time has not run out yet. Cookie lovers who really want to try them will probably be willing to search.
By Beth A. Balen