The newsroom weighs in: Traditional Oreos take the cake
A newsroom wide ballot put Oreo's novelty flavors to a taste test against the original. The results? Hardly surprising.
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Colby Bermel was a summer 2013 intern at The Christian Science Monitor, working in the op-ed and People Making a Difference departments. Born in Atlanta and raised in Boston, Colby is a sophomore at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, where he is double majoring in political science and mass communication. He is passionate about Twitter, music, and general shenanigans.
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The Neapolitan slightly departs from its Watermelon and Sherbet counterparts in appearance. Although it has vanilla wafers, it is actually what Oreo describes as a "triple double." It has three wafers and two cream layers, one chocolate and one strawberry. Ms. Nordin said that it "looks like a Big Mac" in terms of its layering, and social media coordinator Laura Edwins said "the double stack is cool."
Since the Neapolitan Oreo is physically larger than a regular-sized Oreo, there were fewer cookies in its sleeve than the number of Watermelon and Sherbet cookies. Thus, the Neapolitan ones ran out more quickly, so we didn't get a full range of opinions on them.
Nonetheless, those who did taste the Neapolitan had mixed reviews. Staffers discussing the three flavors amongst each other agreed that the Neapolitan was better than Watermelon and Sherbet, although all three of them tied in the votes. "At least the Neapolitans were decent," said Ms. Lee, who was never too keen on trying any of the three flavors. "The Neapolitans were stupid, but decent."
Despite some positivity – Ms. Edwins thought it actually tasted like ice cream – our tasters didn't let the Neapolitan get off easy. "The strawberry tastes like strawberry-flavored taffy," senior editor Clara Germani said. Ms. Velasco agreed, saying that "the chocolate doesn't taste like chocolate. It's not very tasty."
Oreo claims to be "America's favorite cookie." And the company makes an even more boastful statement when saying it's "milk's favorite cookie." Well, all of this seems to be true, at least in the Monitor newsroom.
"The original flavor is in our DNA," Mr. Murphy said. "How can you reject the original?" Mr. Kehe agrees, saying it's "the best cookie ever. They're tough to beat. These gimmicky pretenders don't come close."
Ms. Germani, always asking deeper questions in her job as editor for the magazine cover stories, asked what the choice of selling specialty flavors does for the Oreo brand. Ms. Velasco, drawing on her expert business reporting knowledge, made the following hypothesis: "It seems like they had a surplus of vanilla cookies and wanted to sell them. They're all the same wafer color; it's silly."
Speaking generally about the three flavors, international news intern Jeremy Ravinsky said "it's not that they're bad. They just taste like warm, dry ice cream."
Asia editor Jenna Fisher believes that "you have to pretend that they're not Oreos."
Mr. Frederick felt that "cream filling doesn't lend itself to fruit flavors." Mr. Averill showed more sympathy, saying that the cream is "all about 'mouth-feel'" and not necessarily taste.
What's the verdict? It seems as if we at The Christian Science Monitor are not particular fans of the Watermelon, Sherbet, or Neapolitan Oreos.
"Nothing's going to change our love of original Oreos," Ms. Douglass said.
Normally reserved copy editor Casey Fedde made a simple but profound statement regarding the specialty flavors that sums it up: "These are not milk's favorite cookies."
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