Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why? And 100 Years of Oreos

I confess that as a sucker for the words "Limited Edition," especially when trolling the aisles of the supermarket, I am compelled to at least inspect products tagged with this classic retail sales pitch. Although it is rare that such products are all that limited, or even any good, I continue to buy them, looking for that uncommon confluence. The biggest downside is that when it does occur you can get hooked on something that disappears. For example, the Snickers Adventure Bar, sold as a tie-in to the last Indiana Jones movie in 2008, added coconut and spices to the dependable formula and came up aces. Unlike the movie. Now it's gone forever, while the Spielberg/Lucas dud continues to fill DVD discount dumps around the world.

Food Review, LTD. is here to make sure you don't miss the next winner. I'll buy'em, taste 'em, figure out what makes them special (or not), and try to get the straight dope from corporate on how long you can find them.

First up: Nabisco 100th Anniversary Birthday Cake Oreo
The slick packaging, not to mention the huge dump just inside the Stop & Shop doors, caught my eye immediately. While it was obvious from the picture that they had added some colorful flecks to the creme filling, a cursory inspection did not reveal whether they had added any new flavors. Even though Nabisco has added extended the Oreo product line impressively in recent years, I was somewhat skeptical that they would mess with the basic flavor, even to celebrate a centenary. 

As soon as I opened the package, however, there was no doubt. An unmistakable aroma of birthday cake hit my olfactory system and triggered a Pavlovian reaction of happiness and anticipation. With one bite, I fell in love. This is how Oreos should always taste, the dark chocolate of the cookie now complemented with a much more dimensional creme redolent of vanilla and candy. Frankly, I've grown tired of the basic Oreo, only enjoying them crumbled on ice cream or cupcakes, but this has rekindled our formerly torrid affair. 

A cursory look at the nutrition information gives some clues as to why they're so good. First of all, each cookie is heavier, leading to a suggested serving of two as opposed to the three of the straight-up Oreo. The Birthday Cake Oreo is also higher in calories and calories from fat, as well as sugar. The list of ingredients is slightly longer and surprisingly no longer includes vanillin. The most obvious additions are natural and artificial flavors, artificial color, corn dextrin, confectioner's glaze and carnuba wax - all common ingredients in candy, especially rainbow sprinkles. Yet, somehow the creme remains creamy and the flavor is greater than the sum of its parts (I usually hate rainbow sprinkles). So dispense with the candles and singing and break open a package!

It's a shame that Nabisco will only be selling them for six or eight weeks - get them while you can.

Feel free to alert me to any new limited edition eats and drinks and let me know what you think - of the cookies and the blog.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, great post, Jeremy. What fun! I hope to see more like this. Bon appetit!