It seems like many longstanding companies don’t know quite how to feel about their own longevity.Â Staying in business for a long time is, of course, something to celebrate — the company I work for recently hit a major milestone and celebrated with both a family picnic and a black-tie dinner, which was cool.Â But a lot of companies seem to want to downplay their past in an effort to appear cutting-edge and in touch with today’s consumers.Â You understandably see it a lot with tech companies, but also in some industries you wouldn’t expect.Â DC Comics has the richest history of any comic company on Earth, but when it comes to their original characters from the 1940s, the powers that be generally alternate between killing them off, writing them out of stories, and pretending they don’t exist.Â (Because characters created in the ’50s and ’60s are so much more relevant, presumably.)
The food industry seems to play both sides of the fence.Â You’ll see plenty of brands where the companies seem to constantly try new flavors or fillings or variations on the original — coat it in chocolate, fill it with berries, age it ten years and throw some parsley on top — but at the same time, there are a number of products that have really stood the test of time, and their makers rarely miss an opportunity to point that out.Â The fact that they often do so while simultaneously introducing the “new and improved version!” of the product that’s lasted forever in its original form is an irony not lost on me, and Nabisco provides us with a fantastic example of what we’re talking about.Â As you probably know, Oreos are celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2012, and I’ll bet you cash money Nabisco has rolled out more variants on the Oreo in the past ten years than they did in the ninety preceding it — Double Stufs, Triple Doubles, Neapolitan flavor, Berry Burst, Strawberry Milkshake Creme, Cakesters… the list is endless.Â Celebrate the past, just so long as no one thinks you’re afraid to make changes to keep with the times appears to be the credo.
Be that as it may, part of any good birthday celebration is ice cream, so Nabisco has teamed up with Breyer’s to bring us… almost ice cream.Â “Frozen dairy dessert,” if you want to get technical.Â I don’t tend to notice the difference until it’s pointed out to me, but I know some of you (like my wife) do, and once she mentioned it, I definitely could detect the slight aftertaste that smacks of “almost but not quite ice cream.”Â Like blinking your eyes or breathing, it’s the sort of thing you don’t consciously think about, but then once it’s brought to your attention, you can’t stop noticing it.Â It didn’t totally ruin my enjoyment, but it definitely diminished it slightly; naturally, your mileage may vary.
Oreos, of course, have a proud tradition of partnering with ice cream as the classic cookies n’ cream flavor, or the slightly less classic “creme (with cookie chunks)” by stores afraid of violating copyright laws.Â By appearances, the anniversary ice cream looked to be exactly that, just with rainbow sprinkles added, so that’s what I was expecting.Â It’s also basically what I got, so here’s to judging a book by its cover!Â But I was pleasantly surprised to note that along with the rainbow sprinkles came a bit of cake batter flavor too.Â It’s not overwhelming, but it pairs with the Oreo cookie chunks pretty well.Â The dessert is fairly creamy — not Ben & Jerry’s quality, but still, not bad.
Overall, you pretty much know what to expect from this frozen dairy dessert if you’ve had cookies n’ cream before, as that’s the dominant base.Â I’d love to tell you it’s more exciting than that, but this is just a decent but not outstanding flavor that loses a point or two for the aftertaste.Â It’s not bad by any stretch, but it doesn’t really live up to the monumental milestone it was designed to commemorate either.Â As it stands, I don’t think you’d find anyone arguing Oreo Birthday Blast was worth waiting 100 years for.
(Nutrition Facts — 1/2 cup — 130 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of total fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: Breyers Blasts! Limited Edition Oreo Birthday Blast!
Size: 1.5 quarts
Purchased at: Giant
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Visually appealing rainbow sprinkles.Â Most Oreos don’t look a day over 70.Â Tasty cookie chunks.Â Hard to be TOO disappointed with what is, essentially, cookies n’ cream.Â Certainly not healthy, but could be a lot worse.Â If you make a wish before digging in your spoon, it stands as good a chance of coming true as if you were wishing on a candle.
Cons: Can’t un-notice the aftertaste after it’s been pointed out to you.Â (Sorry.)Â Not real ice cream.Â Companies that want to celebrate their longevity when convenient while ignoring it the other 99% of the time.Â Not exactly overflowing in creativity.Â Could be slightly creamier.