Do You Remember These 15 Discontinued Girl Scout Cookies?

Chloe Effron for mental_floss
Chloe Effron for mental_floss

It’s been over 100 years since the Girl Scouts sold their first cookies—which the troopers and their moms made from scratch in their kitchens and wrapped in wax paper—for 25 to 35 cents per dozen. And since then, the Girl Scouts have built a veritable cookie empire, populated with an assortment of delectable cookie varieties. Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, and Do-si-dos (to name a few) are a far cry from the simple vanilla shortbread cookies sold in the 1920s.

Unfortunately for some cookies, in with the new means out with the old. Through the years, we've also had to bid adieu to a long line of good cookies, including the Dulce de Leche and Thank You Berry Munch. Here are 15 Girl Scout Cookie varieties that live on only in our memories (and dreams—I’m lookin’ at you, Juliettes).

1. VAN'CHOS

Available from 1974 to 1983, these chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies—which came in an assorted box—were a throwback to Girl Scout Cookies’ early flavors. In the 1950s, only four types of cookies existed: the original shortbread, chocolate-filled cookie, vanilla-filled cookie, and the first iteration of the Thin Mint (then called Chocolate Mint).

2. KOOKABURRAS

Like the lovechild of a Rice Krispies treat and a Twix bar, the Kookaburras, fleetingly available in the early ‘80s, sounded like heaven. Rectangular cookies with crispy rice, caramel, and chocolate? Don’t mind if I do. One nostalgia-plagued baker concocted her own recipe for these delightful morsels.

3. GOLDEN YANGLES

Not really cookies at all, Golden Yangles (available in the 1980s and discontinued in 1992*) were cheddar cheese crackers. What can I say, the ‘80s were a weird time.

4. PRALINE ROYALES

In 1992, the Praline Royale—a soft vanilla cookie with praline filling, pecans, coconut, and chocolate drizzled on top—replaced the Golden Yangle. The packaging for both the Praline Royal and the Golden Yangle touted “Building Bridges: One of many Girl Scout experiences that helps girls create their own futures.”

5. GOLDEN NUT CLUSTERS

From 1991 to 1992, the Golden Nut Cluster—a pecan cookie covered in caramel—was found amongst the Girl Scout Cookies’ ranks.

6. JULIETTES

Named after Girl Scouts founder Juliette Low, the Juliette (available from 1984 to1985 and then resurrected from 1993 to 1996) was the Golden Nut Cluster 2.0. Also boasting caramel and pecans, this dreamy cookie was also covered in milk chocolate—like the Girl Scouts’ version of a chocolate turtle.

7. SNAPS

Available from 1993 to 1997, these iced oatmeal raisin cookies seemed straight from Grandma’s kitchen.

8. UPSIDE DOWNS

In 1999, the Girl Scouts took on Little Debbie with an oatmeal cookie sandwich of their own. But, unlike Little Debbie’s soft Oatmeal Creme Pies, Upside Downs were crunchy.

9. LE CHIPS

In the late ‘90s, the Girl Scouts introduced Le Chip, a chocolate-dipped, chocolate chip hazelnut cookie. Debuting before America got on the Nutella bandwagon, these cookies were short-lived.

10. ALOHA CHIPS

Around for a short time in the early 2000s, they were the gussied up version of everyone’s least favorite cafeteria cookie: white chocolate macadamia nut.

11. APPLE CINNAMONS

Available from 1997 to 2001, Apple Cinnamons were sugar cookies dusted with cinnamon sugar. The apple part? Their shape. In keeping with the diet trend du jour, they were reduced fat.

12. OLÉ OLÉS

Another reduced fat cookie from the early aughts, Olé Olés were powdered sugar cookies with pecans and coconut and were available from 2001 to 2003.

13. CINNA-SPINS

Hopping on the latest fitness fad, these crispy, cinnamon swirl cookies were sold in 100-calorie packs in 2008.

14. LEMON CHALET CREMES

The defining characteristic of these lemon sandwich cookies (with a touch of cinnamon-ginger) was the image of a Swiss Chalet imprinted on the front. The Chalet, which exists in real life, is the first World Center of WAGGGS, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

15. MANGO CREMES

These “healthy” treats debuted in 2013. The crispy vanilla and coconut sandwich cookie was filled with “a tangy mango flavored crème enhanced with the nutrients found in fruits.” Made by a company called Nutrifusion, the filling was made from rehydrated apples, oranges, cranberries, pomegranate, limes, strawberries, and—wait for it—shiitake mushrooms (for Vitamin D).

Illustrations by Chloe Effron for mental_floss.

10 Things You Might Not Know About Wine

iStock/MarkSwallow
iStock/MarkSwallow

Between the vine and the liquor store, plenty of secrets are submerged in your favorite bottle of wine. Here, Tilar J. Mazzeo, author of Back Lane Wineries of Sonoma, spills some of the best. Here are a few things you might not know about wine.

1. Digital eyes are everywhere in today's vineyards.

Certain premium estates in Bordeaux and Napa are beginning to look a little more like army bases—or an Amazon.com warehouse. They’re using drones, optical scanners, and heat-sensing satellites to keep a digital eye on things. Some airborne drones collect data that helps winemakers decide on the optimal time to harvest and evaluate where they can use less fertilizer. Others rove through the vineyard rows, where they may soon be able to take over pruning. Of course, these are major investments. 

2. Modern vineyards also bury a lot of cow skulls. 

They’re not everywhere, but biodynamic farming techniques are on the rise among vintners who don’t want to rely on chemicals, and this is one trick they’ve been known to use to combat plant diseases and improve soil PH. It’s called Preparation No. 505, and it involves taking a cow’s skull (or a sheep’s or a goat’s), stuffing it with finely ground oak chips, and burying it in a wet spot for a season or two before adding it to the vineyard compost.

3. Ferocious foliage is a vintner's secret weapon.

The mustard flowers blooming between vineyard rows aren’t just for romance. Glucosinolates in plants like radishes and mustard give them their spicy bite, and through the wonders of organic chemistry, those glucosinolates also double as powerful pesticides. Winemakers use them to combat nematodes—tiny worms that can destroy grape crops.

4. Roses in a vineyard are the wine country equivalent to the canary in the coal mine. 

Vintners plant roses among their vines because the flowers get sick before anything else in the field. If there’s mildew in the air, it will infect the roses first and give a winemaker a heads-up that it’s time to spray.

5. Birds of prey help protect the grapes.

Glasses of red wine and charcuterie
iStock/Natalia Van Doninck

Small birds like blackbirds and starlings can clear out 20 percent of a crop in no time. But you know what eats little birds? Big birds. Falconry programs are on the rise in vineyards from California to New Zealand. Researchers have found that raptors eat a bird or two a day (along with a proportion of field mice and other critters) and cost only about as much to maintain as your average house cat.

6. Small bugs become big problems in wine tasting rooms.

Winemakers are constantly seeking ways to manage the swarms of Drosophila melanogaster that routinely gather around the dump buckets in their swanky showrooms. You know these pests as fruit flies, and some vintners in California are exploring ways to use carnivorous plants to tackle the problem without pesticides. Butterworts, sundews, and pitcher plants all have sweet-sounding names, but the bug-eating predators are fruit fly assassins, and you’ll see them decorating tasting rooms across wine country.

7. Wine needs to be filtered. 

Winemaking produces hard-to-remove sediments. Filters can catch most of the debris, but winemakers must add “fining agents” to remove any suspended solids that sneak by. (Unwanted compounds in the wine bind with the fining agents so they can be filtered and removed.) Until it was banned in the 1990s, many European vintners used powdered ox blood to clean their wines. Today, they use diatomaceous earth (the fossilized remains of hard-shelled algae), Isinglass (a collagen made from fish swim bladders), and sometimes bentonite (volcanic clay). Irish moss and egg whites are also fine wine cleaners.

8. Wine is ever so slightly radioactive (that's a good thing).

About 5 percent of the premium wine sold for cellaring doesn’t contain what the label promises. So how do top-shelf buyers avoid plunking down serious cash on a bottle of something bunk? Most elite wine brokerages, auction houses, and collectors use atomic dating to detect fraud. By measuring trace radioactive carbon in the wine, most bottles can be dated to within a year or two of the vintage.

9. MRIs can determine the fine from the funk.

Even with atomic dating, there are certain perils involved in buying a $20,000 bottle of wine. Leaving a case in the hot trunk of your car is enough to ruin it, so imagine what can happen over a couple of decades if a wine isn’t kept in the proper conditions. Back in 2002, a chemistry professor at University of California at Davis patented a technique that uses MRI technology to diagnose the condition of vintage wines. This technique may soon be used at airport security, meaning you’ll be able to carry on your booze.

10. Wines can be aged instantly.

If you end up with a bottle of plonk, Chinese scientists have developed a handy solution. Zapping a young wine with electricity makes it taste like something you’ve cellar aged. Scientists aren’t quite sure how it happens yet, but it seems that running your wine for precisely three minutes through an electric field changes the esters, proteins, and aldehydes and can “age” a wine instantly.

Taco Bell is Opening a Taco-Themed Hotel in Palm Springs This Summer

Taco Bell Corp.
Taco Bell Corp.

For some, having a Taco Bell and its cheese-filled menu within driving distance is enough. For others, only a Taco Bell destination vacation will do. This August, the popular fast food chain is going to convert an existing Palm Springs, California, hotel into a burrito-filled Taco Bell getaway for a limited time.

The Bell Hotel will have all the usual amenities—rooms, food, gifts, and a salon—operating with a taco-themed cosmetic facelift. The nail salon, for example, will feature Taco Bell-inspired nail art. (Though we're not entirely sure what that consists of—possibly nails that resemble hot sauce packets.) The gift shop will feature Taco Bell apparel. Guests can also enjoy the standard variety of Taco Bell menu items. According to Thrillist, some new additions to their line-up are expected to be unveiled.

The as-yet-undisclosed hotel in Palm Springs will be operating as a Taco Bell partner for five nights total. As with pop-up stores and other publicity campaigns, the expectation is that guests will share their bizarre Taco Bell resort experience on social media and create some buzz around the brand. Taco Bell is no stranger to audacious marketing, as in the case of their Taco Bell Cantina in Las Vegas, which books weddings. Recently, the company also began making home deliveries via GrubHub.

The Bell Hotel website is now accepting sign-ups so fans can be notified when reservations open. The facility is expected to open August 9.

[h/t CNBC]

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