Something must’ve been floating in the air in 1912.
The Dixie cup was invented. The Girl Scouts were established. Frederick Law parachuted from the Statue of Liberty. And yet, even in the shadow of these noble, brazen, and/or semi-foolish ventures, Nabisco was able to hunker down and focus their energies on the subconscious needs of the people: cookie sandwiches.
Ever since then, the Oreo’s been dominating the sandwich cookie aisle like the reincarnation of Napoleon, and, by gum, Nabisco’s excited about it. So excited that they’ve taken their funfetti frosting celebration in the “original” Birthday Cake Oreo and extended it to its little brother: the golden cookie.
If you are new to planet Earth, welcome! This is an example of an Oreo, a dessert-like sandwich consisting of two wafer cookies dressed to the nines in sugar and smacked together with a sensible slab of frosting. In this case, it’s two “golden” (vanilla-flavored) cookies with a sprinkled white frosting.
Behold, the seal holding your golden gods, grasped in their file-cabinet-like tray.
Pre-opening, the package smells like package. Upon opening…
Holy Jupiter on a motorbike, the waft of Pillsbury cake mix eschewing from this bag could be condensed and sold as a car freshener. Gotta give it to them: they really nailed the aesthetics of boxed yellow cake mix and canned frosting. It smells a little like flour. A little like vanilla pudding. A little chemically. Mmmm. Smell the childhood…
Pre-tasting, I must say the aesthetics of this cookie broaden my horizons: the beige cookie makes me feel safe while the sprinkles in the frosting remind me that change is okay. It has the classic Oreo design, which, according to various internet musings, has Masonic-inspired meaning that could serve well in a Dan Brown novel. A hefty 1/3 of them is crème filling, which is a comfortable ratio. On my good days, I, too, am 1/3 crème filling.
The cookie tastes mainly of flour. There’s definitely a slight artificial hit of vanilla, something that hits between flowers, plastic, and kindergarten. Pleasant enough, but it didn’t quite live up to the smell. The crispity little speckles of multicolored sprinkles add a new textural crinkle and the frosting disc is sweet in that familiar, semi-threatening, “I’m gonna melt your molars! And your canines! And your other teeth!” kinda way, which adds a certain risk to the eating process, and what, oh daring venturer, is life without a little risk?
Very few foods have banked as much as Oreo on the specific techniques of consumption, which are varied as all the elephants on the Island of Misfit Toys. I go in the following order: eat top cookie, consume middle 1/3 of icing, break bottom cookie down the middle of “icing road,” smoosh bottom cookie icing remnants together (like a half sandwich cookie), eat Frankenstein half-cookie, consume beverage, repeat. As with the classic, the twist on these is, with the exception of one or two fuddle-duds, exceptional, each cookie leaving it’s own footprint behind for consumption. There’s a reason Oreo’s 100. This is one of them.
I suspect that, with each passing year we get one percent more awesome, which will make Oreo 101 percent awesome this March. I think this calls forth celebration. These may not be spectacular, but they are festive and ring in a small hoorah for the year passed. They remain true to the Oreo and, thus, the likelihood that they will suck is about as likely as being squashed by gigantic barrels of vinegar. It may not flip the sandwich cookie world on its head, but it’s pleasant with a glass of chocolate milk and there’s certainly nothing offensive about that.
(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 150 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 15 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugars, and less than one gram of protein.)
Item: Nabisco Birthday Cake Golden Oreo
Purchased Price: $3.25
Size: 15.25 oz. package
Purchased at: Harris Teeter
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Crispity sprinkles. Good ratio of crème. Nice twist. Parachuting from the Statue of Liberty. Dixie Cups. Elephants on the Island of Misfit Toys.
Cons: Doesn’t live up to the smell. Cookies underwhelming. Perhaps too sweet. Being squashed by barrels of vinegar.