Well, I never thought the day would come, but lo and behold it has.
No, not that glorious day when the Buffalo Bills finally win the Super Bowl or me winning the Powerball jackpot with the numbers from the TV show Lost. I’m talking about the death of creative product development from the Nabisco research team.
What else can explain their new Limited Edition Banana Split Oreo, which seems like a rehashing of 2008’s Limited Edition Banana Split Creme Oreo? I mean after the debut of Watermelon Oreo I was fully expecting a Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto Oreo or something, not an iconic American dessert that’s been tried before (and did so-so).
To be fair, the 2013 Banana Split Oreo cookies aren’t an exact clone of their 2008 predecessor. Unlike the previous version, which featured a drink-more-water pee yellow creme between two chocolate wafers, this year’s Banana Split Oreo cookies are pretty ambitious.
You’ve got your chocolate wafer as an homage to chocolate ice cream, of course, but also a vanilla wafer ice cream shoutout in addition to strawberry and banana creme fillings. Too bad they couldn’t make it a Triple Double Oreo with a top peanut butter creme layer, because that would’ve just put the icing on the cake sundae in Oreo decadence.
Generally speaking, there are two schools of thoughts when it comes to banana-flavored foods. There are the products made with real banana puree — like yogurts, smoothies, and other viscous treats — which make me say, “Well, screw evolution because I’m loving these bananas like a monkey!” And there’s also the dreaded Runt Syndrome. We’ve all been there, tearing through a bag of Runts one minute thinking, “Why don’t I buy these more?” only to come to the end of the bag, staring at the strongly artificial tasting dextrose banana pieces and remembering, “Oh yeah, that’s why.”
Unfortunately, these Oreo cookies smell very similar to those notoriously lambasted candies, and when eaten alone, the banana creme doesn’t do a whole lot to discourage the artificial banana flavor stereotype. It’s one-note and cloying, with an almost metallic faux-fruit taste that does a disservice to the actual fruit.
Worse yet, it tends to cover more surface area of the wafer than the strawberry creme filling, which isn’t bad, but isn’t as pleasant or strawberry-ey as the strawberry creme found in Limited Edition Strawberries ‘n Creme Oreo. Clearly, this is not a cookie for the kind of Oreo top twister who normally revels at the sweet vanilla creme that fills a standard Oreo.
I had higher hopes for eating the cookie in one complete bite, and to a certain degree, I think they’re better that way. The addition of a mild cocoa-flavored wafer, as well as the Golden Oreo, meld with the artificial banana flavor in such a way that your last taste isn’t the equivalent of a creamy banana runt. The problem is that the taste is not really a banana split flavor.
I realize packing the flavors of such an ambitious dessert into cookie form is one step below Willy Wonka-type food magic, but that doesn’t change the fact that Limited Edition Banana Split Oreo cookies aren’t that good. And while I’m tempted to go with the old “less is more” expression when it comes to Oreo cookies, there is still a part of me which wonders if the distinct flavors of whipped cream, peanuts, and yes, even that laboratory-red maraschino cherry wouldn’t have brought a more authentic flavor to the party. I guess we’ll never know.
(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 150 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 3 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 25 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)
Other Nabisco Limited Edition Banana Split Oreo reviews:
Junk Food Guy
Item: Nabisco Limited Edition Banana Split Oreo
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 15.25 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Perhaps the most ambitious Oreo flavor yet. Tasting distinct flavors. Has a little something for everyone. Probably healthier than eating an actual banana split sundae.
Cons: Missing the best flavor elements of an actual banana split, not to mention an authentic banana flavor. Makes you think too much about the flavor while chewing. No fun for twisters. Smells like banana runts.