When I first laid my eyes on Limited Edition Watermelon Oreo, I thought someone lost a bet at Nabisco.
Because, in my experience, the two most polarizing candy flavors in America seem to be strawberry and watermelon. People either like it or hate it, but I believe it’s even more prevalent with watermelon. I understand because the watermelon flavor has this overly sweet and slightly floral, if not perfumey, bouquet. I equate it to the way the too flowery Bombay Sapphire gin tastes…if that makes any sense. As you can tell, I fall on the side of disliking the flavor of watermelon candy. In any case, it’s definitely not mild in flavor and makes its presence known immediately.
To be honest, I bought these on a lark and to scratch my curiosity itch when I saw these sitting next to other Oreos. I had to do a double take when I saw these because it felt like I was in Japan with their Wonka-like snacks that Pocky only skims the surface of. I should also note that these are exclusive to Target, whose cool commercials have given exposure to countless indy bands. Thank you for making me look cool when I play my iTunes library.
The most obvious thing you will notice is the color of creamy jade colliding with an obnoxious fuschia-muppet pink. It’s supposed to remind you of a watermelon, but it looks like ghastly cheap icing on Walmart cupcakes or, at the very least, created by a pastry chef who has given up on life. It reminds me if Empire of the Sun redid the yin and yang symbol. By the way, their new album Ice on the Dune is better than their first one, trust me.
The creme is sandwiched between two vanilla Golden Oreo wafers which I love more than the original chocolate cookie. That probably puts me in the minority, which I don’t mind since I’m an actual minority. I’m guessing this watermelon flavor would not taste great with the slight bitterness of the chocolate cookie.
Upon ripping open that handy “Lift” tab, all I could smell was the rich scent of fresh vanilla baked cookies, which was pleasant. Before opening it, I was worried I would be hit by the cloying sugary wafts of fake watermelon, not unlike what cotton-candy machines spews out.
I ate the green/pink creme alone and it tasted close to the familiar watermelon flavored bubblegum. Fruity at first, then mellows out into a flowery sweetness. But here’s the surprise, the creme was not that sweet. That was a good thing because watermelon can overpower a great deal of things and the creme, dare I say, was actually a bit sophisticated.
Don’t get me wrong, you won’t be serving these to your rich, snobby aunt anytime soon but you won’t feel bad giving one to that anime-hipster you’ve been secretly pining for. The one with the vintage frames and short hair, and annoyingly holds two fingers up in every damn picture.
So I hesitated before taking a bite because the creme (not cream) was scary. However, I’m glad I did. The vanilla cookie not only muted the watermelon flavor, it actually brought out the deeper berry-like tones of the watermelon. The buttery vanilla enveloped itself around the fruit’s floral character and created a rich texture. The cookie does end with an exclamation of watermelon but that’s all right because the buttery vanilla lingers around to keep it at bay.
It’s akin to that sweet and salty thing but I wouldn’t go as far and say Nabisco created an umami Oreo. I am in disbelief because this Oreo succeeded when it shouldn’t. The cookie is actually refreshing and you feel deceptively light eating a few. However, you shouldn’t eat many because just two cookies have 150 calories and seven grams of fat.
Oh, and on that note, you’re going to want to eat a few at a time because the one negative I found is that the heavy sweetness stacks up in your mouth and basically neutralizes that subtle complexity after a while. My mouth has this syrupy coating on my tongue as I write this.
I won’t lie to you and say the Oreo has changed my mind on watermelon candies or that I would buy these again. However, this Oreo is like a Terrence Malick film. You have to experience that brilliance at least once but you can do without the repeat viewings.
(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 150 calories, 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, 80 milligrams of sodium, 15 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein.)
Item: Nabisco Limited Edition Watermelon Oreo
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 15.23 oz. package
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: The cookie has an actually complex fruity flavor. The buttery richness of the vanilla cookie. The sweetness is well controlled. Empire of the Sun (the movie and the band). It actually refreshes the palette in a weird way. Nabisco having fun with these varieties. Tanqueray No. 10, it makes love to that dry vermouth.
Cons: The sugary taste gets heavy if you eat too many. Only available at Target (for the 12 of you that don’t live near one). Baked goods from Walmart. I’ll never get Blueberry Oreos. Bombay Sapphire, it will kill your martini.