15 Cream-Filled Facts About Oreos

Everyone’s favorite treat with the 71 percent to 29 percent cookie-to-cream-ratio has more layers than you might think. Here are just a few of the things you probably didn’t know about “Oh-Oh! Oreo," in celebration of National Oreo Day.

1. HYDROX WAS THE ORIGINAL.

Hydrox might seem like an Oreo knock-off, but these cookies actually came first, debuting in 1908—four years before the Oreo.

2. DOUBLE-STUF MIGHT BE A MISNOMER.

They’re actually only 1.86 times bigger than regular Oreos. You can thank a high school math class in upstate New York for the detective work—though following the revelation, a spokesperson for the cookie insisted they do in fact contain “double the stuff.”

3. OREO O'S CEREAL WAS A THING.

The cereal was launched in 1998 and discontinued in 2007. It’s not totally extinct, though: It's still being produced in South Korea. If so inclined, lend your voice to the ever-growing groundswell of support to bring Oreo O’s back through this Facebook group.

4. THERE'S A TOOL FOR EASY DIPPING.

Those who love to enjoy Oreos dunked in milk should invest in The Dipr. The hook-like (or reaper-like) utensil is perfectly designed to snugly cup an Oreo cookie, allowing for easy dunking—and ensuring that none of the cookie gets lost in the liquid. There’s even a shallow, color-coordinated dish to combat the classic problem of not being able to fit your hand in a slim glass of milk.

5. PIGS HATE OREOS.

We have the folks over at Ben & Jerry’s to thank for this discovery. When the company started giving its milky water waste to a local pig farmer in 1985, the farmer reported that his hogs loved every flavor except for Mint with Oreo Cookies. Guess every man (and hog) has his limits.

6. THEY'RE DIFFERENT IN CHINA.

While beloved in the United States, Oreos didn’t do so well when they were introduced in China in 1996. They were almost pulled from the market, but then Kraft decided to ask Chinese consumers for their input. As a result of that research, the company tinkered with the cookie's original recipe, introduced new flavors and shapes, created new ads, and eventually created an Oreo that looks nothing like the one we know: It's essentially a tube-shaped treat with four layers of crispy wafer and vanilla or chocolate cream filling.

The wafer became the best-selling biscuit in China in 2006, and Kraft expanded the treat in Asia, Australia, and Canada. In the years since, Oreo sales there have dipped, but the vast array of Chinese Oreo products begs the question: Why not bring those delicious concoctions back to the cookie’s motherland? I have a feeling there’d be buyers.

7. OREO CREAM MAKES FOR GREAT ART.

Artist Tisha Cherry makes incredible tiny pieces of artwork on the canvas of Golden Oreos, using novelty Oreo cookies from over the years for color and a toothpick as her tool. Her Instagram has everything from Oreo-d Frida Kahlo to American Gothic and lots of other food art in between.

8. THE NAME IS A MYSTERY.

Oreo has gone through a few name changes over the years, initially going by “Oreo Biscuits,” then “Oreo Sandwich,” “Oreo Crème Sandwich,” and “Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookie” in the 1970s. Oddly, the core name remains a total mystery. The origin of the word “Oreo” might be from the French word for gold (or) because the packaging in the beginning was gold, but no one knows for sure.

9. THEY'RE THE WORLD'S BEST-SELLING COOKIE.

More than 450 billion Oreo cookies have been sold since their debut in 1912.

10. THEY'RE AVAILABLE IN MORE THAN 100 COUNTRIES.

Flavors around the world include Green Tea Ice Cream (Japan), Dulce de Leche (Argentina), Blueberry Ice Cream (Indonesia), Raspberry/Blueberry (China), and Orange/Mango (China).

11. ONE OF THE ORIGINAL FLAVORS WAS LEMON MERINGUE.

The flavor was discontinued in the 1920s. Since then, Oreo has branched out to a world of other flavors including Creamsicle, Banana Split Cream, Neapolitan, Triple Double, Candy Corn, Coconut Fudge, Gingerbread, Candy Cane, White Fudge Covered, Cookies n’ Creme, Root Beer Float, Watermelon, Marshmallow Crispy, Caramel Apple, Limeade, Pumpkin Spice, Cookie Dough, Red Velvet, Cotton Candy, S’mores, and so many more.     

12. THEY HAVE A BUILT-IN PERSONALITY TEST.

The way that you eat an Oreo might say something about your personality. In 2004, Kraft Foods surveyed 2000 Oreo eaters and found that dunkers tend to be energetic, adventurous, and social; twisters are sensitive, emotional, artistic, and trendy; and biters are easy-going, self-confident, and optimistic. They also found that more women dunk, while more men bite. And Republicans tend to dunk, while Democrats are twisters.

13. THEY MEET CERTAIN DIETARY STANDARDS.

While no one would recommend Oreos as a diet food, they are considered accidentally vegan (though there is some cross contact with milk during production, so buyer beware). And while the original recipe called for pig lard, Oreos officially became kosher in 1997.

14. OREO KNOWS HOW TO CELEBRATE ITS BIRTHDAY.

For its 100th birthday, Oreo rolled out a limited-edition Birthday Cake cookie with cake-flavored filling and sprinkles, along with a massive marketing campaign—just like your friend who insists on a birthday month.

15. THERE WAS ONCE A COOKIE NAMED BIG STUF.

In 1984, Big Stuf Oreos landed on the scene and the world was never the same. Big Stufs were about 10 times larger than a regular Oreo. They were discontinued in 1991; the mourning continues to this day. Perhaps more important than the cookie was the advertising campaign—I implore you to watch this video. Do it for Oreos, and for yourself.

20 Attempts to Describe the Taste of Durian, the World’s Smelliest Fruit

iStock.com/Worradirek
iStock.com/Worradirek

The durian is a beloved delicacy in Malaysia, Singapore, and other parts of Southeast Asia. Its taste and smell, however, take some getting used to. The creamy fruit is notoriously potent—in fact, it’s so smelly that Singapore’s public transit systems tell passengers not to bring them onto subways or buses. And yet, despite its stinky reputation, it can be found practically everywhere: In curries, cakes, and even ice cream. For visitors, biting into the fruit can be an utterly confusing and contradictory experience. Here are some outsider opinions from the past 400 years.

1. “The flesh is as white as snow, exceeds in delicacy of taste of all our best European fruits, and none of ours can approach it.” —Jacques de Bourges, 17th Century Missionary

2. “Comparisons have been made with the civet cat, sewage, stale vomit, onions, and cheese; while one disaffected visitor to Indonesia declared that the eating of the flesh was not much different from having to consume used surgical swabs.” —The Oxford Companion to Food

3. “Tastes lightly sweet and deeply musky.” —Frommer’s Guide to Malaysia

4. “[I]ts odor is best described as pig-sh*t, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away.” —Richard Sterling, food writer

5. "To eat it seems to be the sacrifice of self-respect.” —Bayard Taylor, 19th-century Journalist

6. “To anyone who doesn’t like durian it smells like a bunch of dead cats. But as you get to appreciate durian, the smell is not offensive at all. It’s attractive. It makes you drool like a mastiff.” —Bob Halliday, Bangkok-based food writer

7. “Vomit-flavoured custard.” —The Rough Guide to Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei

8. “The smell of rotten eggs is so overwhelming. I suppress a gag reaction as I take a bite.” —Robb Walsh, food writer

9. “Like all the good things in Nature … durian is indescribable. It is meat and drink and an unrivalled delicacy besides, and you may gorge to repletion and never have cause for penitence. It is the one case where Nature has tried her hand at the culinary art and beaten all the CORDON BLEUE out of heaven and earth.” —a "good friend" of Edmund J. Banfield, Australian Naturalist, as quoted in Banfield's 1911 book My Tropic Isle

10. “[Has a] sewer-gas overtone.” —Maxine E. McBrinn, Anthropologist

11. “Like pungent, runny French cheese … Your breath will smell as if you’d been French kissing your dead grandmother.” —Anthony Bourdain, Chef and Host of Parts Unknown

12. “On first tasting it, I thought it like the flesh of some animal in a state of putrefaction, but after four or five trials I found the aroma exquisite.” —Henri Mouhot, French Naturalist, in Travels in the Central Parts of Indo-China: Siam, Cambodia, and Laos, During the Years 1858, 1859, and 1860

13. “[Like] eating ice cream in an outhouse.” —As reported in Jerry Hopkins's Strange Foods

14. “I must say that I have never tasted anything more delicious. But not everyone can enjoy or appreciate this strange fruit for the disgusting smell that distinguishes it and that is apt to cause nausea to a weak stomach. Imagine to have under your nose a heap of rotten onion and you will still have but a faint idea of the insupportable odour which emanates from these trees and when its fruit is opened the offensive smell becomes even stronger.” —Giovanni Battista Cerruti, Italian Explorer, in 1908's My Friends the Savages

15. “It tastes like completely rotten mushy onions.” —Andrew Zimmern, Host of Bizarre Foods

16. “Like eating raspberry blancmange in the lavatory.” —Anthony Burgess, Novelist

17. “A rich custard highly flavored with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but there are occasional wafts of flavor that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, sherry-wine, and other incongruous dishes." —Alfred Russel Wallace, 19th-century British Naturalist

18. “You will either be overcome, seduced by its powerful, declarative presence, or reject it outright. And run screaming." —Monica Tan, The Guardian Journalist

19. “Carrion in custard.” —A “Governor of the Straits” quoted in 1903's Hobson-Jobson: A glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, etymological, historical, geographical and discursive

20. “Yes, I freely admit that when ripe it can smell like a dead animal. Yes, the fruit is difficult to handle, bearing likeness to a medieval weapon. But get down to the pale yellow, creamy flesh, and you’ll experience overtones of hazelnut, apricot, caramelized banana and egg custard. That’s my attempt at describing durian. But words fail; there is no other fruit like it.” —Thomas Fuller, New York Times Journalist

What Is Nougat?

iStock.com/InaTs
iStock.com/InaTs

If you've ever had a Snickers, Three Musketeers, or Milky Way bar, you know what nougat tastes like. The sweet, creamy concoction can range in texture from chewy to fluffy, and it is the star ingredient in many popular candy bars. But aside from being delicious, what is nougat exactly?

In its simplest form, nougat is made of two basic ingredients: egg whites and a sweetener, traditionally sugar or honey. The signature texture comes from how it's prepared. Like a meringue, eggs and sugar are whipped together quickly until the mixture is aerated and stiff.

Nougat predates mass-produced candy bars, with the confection originating in the Middle East around the 8th century. It spread to southern Europe and gained widespread popularity in 17th-century France. Nougat is still a common component in many Middle Eastern desserts today, and torrone, a type of nougat containing nuts like almonds and pistachios, is enjoyed in Italy around Christmastime.

As more large candy companies have embraced nougat, its quality has suffered over the years, with corn syrup often standing in for the sweetener. But you don't need to head to the candy aisle of your local supermarket to get your nougat fix. If you have eggs and honey in your kitchen, you can make nougat at home today.

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