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 Pickle Facts to Savor (in Honor of National Pickle Day)

iStock
iStock

In honor of one of the year's most important food-focused holidays—yes, we're talking about National Pickle Day—learn more about the snack that's so much more than just a sidekick to your sandwich.

1. PICKLING IS THOUSANDS OF YEARS OLD.

Cucumbers, native to the Tigris Valley in India, were first pickled way back in 2030 B.C., although preserving food in a vinegar or brine solution may stretch back even further with the Mesopotamians.

2. AMERICA GOT ITS NAME FROM A PICKLE MERCHANT.

Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci was once a ship chandler, supplying merchants and sailors with supplies for their voyages, including preserved meats and vegetables. His nickname, the pickle merchant, likely arose from his former trade, although writer Ralph Waldo Emerson derisively referred to Vespucci as a “pickle-dealer” in his book English Traits.

3. THE WORD "PICKLE" COMES FROM THE NETHERLANDS.

In Dutch, to salt or brine something is called pekel. The word may also come from the German pökel or pökeln.

4. WE EAT A LOT OF PICKLES.

Americans consume about 9 pounds of pickles per person every year. The most popular type remains kosher dill, thanks to the large numbers of Eastern European Jews who emigrated to the United States and New York City in the late 19th century.

5. CLEOPATRA USED THEM TO PRESERVE HER GOOD LOOKS …

Cleopatra was supposedly a pickle devotee. She ate them regularly, believing that they helped keep her gorgeous.

6. … WHILE CAESAR AND NAPOLEON THOUGHT THEY COULD BUILD MUSCLE.

Julius Caesar and other Roman emperors had soldiers eat the crispy preserves because they were thought to provide strength. Napoleon Bonaparte, like Caesar, valued his troops’ health, and offered 12,000 francs to anyone who could safely preserve food for his soldiers.

7. SHAKESPEARE COINED THE PHRASE, "IN A PICKLE."

Shakespeare used it to refer to finding oneself in a difficult position in The Tempest. In the 1611 play, Alonso asks Trinculo, “How camest thou in this pickle?” to which Trinculo responds, “I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last that, I fear me, will never out of my bones: I shall not fear fly-blowing.”

8. PICKLES ARE CURED IN OPEN, OUTDOOR VATS.

Companies that produce pickles on a mass scale ferment their cucumbers in giant outdoor pots in a salt brine. Yes, that means anything can get in there, including bird droppings and bugs, but the sun’s UV and infrared rays help prevent yeast and mold growth.

9. THE U.S. RATIONED PICKLES DURING WWII.

Forty percent of all pickles produced in America were set aside for the Armed Forces and soldiers’ ration kits.

10. THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES USED PICKLE JUICE TO BEAT THE COWBOYS.

During a hot September 3, 2000, game in Irving, Texas, when temperatures on the field of Texas Stadium reached 109 degrees, Philadelphia players chugged pickle juice and credited the briny solution for their 41-14 win. The Eagles outgained Dallas 425-167, and defensive end Hugh Douglass said, “I may start drinking pickle juice when I’m home chilling.”

A BYU study later confirmed that drinking pickle juice can help relieve a cramp 37 percent faster than drinking water.

9 Vintage Thanksgiving Side Dishes We Shouldn’t Bring Back

We all have that aunt—the one who’s been bringing her Miracle-Whip-bound pimiento-pea salad to Thanksgiving dinner since time immemorial. Although you may swear she got her recipe straight from the devil, it turns out that cheese-and-lime-Jell-O salads and their ilk were all the rage in her day. So it’s not (totally) her fault! To cut her a little slack, here are some examples of vintage Thanksgiving-themed recipes that will make her salad look like a perfectly golden-brown turkey.

1. CRANBERRY CANDLE SALAD

Best Foods Mayonnaise Ad 1960s with Jello Molds

Nothing complements the tart, refreshing flavor of cranberry sauce like some gelatin and salty, eggy mayonnaise. If that weren’t weird enough, this recipe also tells you to shove a real candle in there and then light it. Ostensibly, you’re supposed to eat around the melted wax, but we can’t be sure—maybe it’s considered a condiment.

2. CANDIED SWEET POTATOES WITH ANGOSTURA BITTERS

This recipe for candied sweet potatoes, which involves baking them in a mixture of butter, sugar, and angostura bitters, is probably either really good or really bad. It sort of makes sense, adding bitters to cut down on the sugar factor. Alternatively, you could just not make a candied version of something that already has the word sweet in its name.

3. CREAMED ONIONS

This once-popular Thanksgiving mainstay has been neglected over the last century, for perhaps obvious reasons. In some households, the idea was to pour creamed onions over the turkey, like gravy, to add a little moisture. Or possibly because eating a chunky mouthful of pearl onions and cream sauce by itself is gross.

4. TURKEY AND STUFFING ON JELL-O

Thanksgiving Jello Ad

There’s not much to this one, is there? It’s a pile of turkey and stuffing dumped on top of a cranberry orange Jell-O ring—sounds delicious!

5. WINTER CORN

This mixture of corn, sour cream, and bacon is sometimes found on Midwestern Thanksgiving tables. It’s mostly off-putting because its main ingredient is creamed corn. That said, creamed corn really needs all the help it can get, so adding bacon can only improve it.

6. SWEET AND SOUR TANG POPCORN (A.K.A. ASTRONAUT POPCORN)

Reportedly, this was a popular Thanksgiving dessert in the ’70s. The idea seems to be an offshoot of caramel corn, but … with Tang powder.

7. HOT DR. PEPPER

You gotta give the good folks at Dr. Pepper a few points for at least trying here. They noticed that soda was not often considered a cozy, comforting holiday drink, and they stepped up to the bat undaunted. Bold move.

8. FROZEN JELLIED TURKEY-VEGETABLE SALAD

There’s only one way to improve a dish as alluring as Jellied Turkey-Vegetable Salad, and that’s to stick it in the freezer. From the sound of the recipe—which combines cream of celery soup, salad dressing, diced turkey, vegetables, and gelatin—this is basically the inside of a turkey pot pie if it was served frozen. And also if it was square.

9. JELL-O FRUIT CORNUCOPIA

Sure, cornucopias were for holding food in olden times, but don’t you wish you could eat one? Well, guess what—your years of longing are finally over, because someone has made a Jell-O version of one with fruit trapped in it. You don’t even have to take the fruit out of the cornucopia this time—you can just pop the whole thing in your mouth. Dreams do come true.

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