Oreo, the world’s favorite cookie, is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary tomorrow. The delicious combination of two decoratively embossed chocolate biscuits filled with a delicious cream center has come a long way since its creation on March 6, 1912 in Hoboken, NJ. In honor of the cookie’s latest milestone, we’ve compiled some fun facts and history about this delectable little dessert.
Since the day Nabisco came up with the cookie sandwich, the Oreo has not changed much in design but has been offered in a wide variety of flavors. In 1975, Nabisco released the Double Stuf Oreo, adding an extra dose of creamy icing in the cookie’s center. Several holiday-themed Oreos have been created over the years including yummy Christmas and Halloween cookies. The fudge covered Oreo was released in 1987 and cool mint flavored Oreos have also been released. Other varieties include wafer stix, sugar free, and mini Oreos.
So how did the Oreo get it’s peculiar name? The people at Nabisco said they aren’t really sure but there are several theories are swirling around about the famous cookie’s name. Some believe the Oreo derived its name from the French word for gold, the main color on the cookie’s old package. Others think the name comes from a combination of the words “cream” and “chocolate.” No matter how this tasty cookie got its name, it is famous worldwide and over 491 billion Oreos have been sold since its creation.
According to the Oreo marketing campaign, kids will “eat the middle of an Oreo and save the outside chocolate cookies for last,” but this hypothesis is a myth! After testing a pool of 85 kindergartners, first graders, and second graders, the “Project Oreo” survey revealed that most kids will eat the entire cookie by chomping on all three layers at once. Oreos can be enjoyed in thousands of different ways, whether blended into an ice cream shake or baked into pie crusts. Top them with peanut butter or crush them over frozen yogurt, there’s countless ways to indulge your Oreo craving.
In order to celebrate the Oreo’s 100th birthday, countries around the world will be throwing parties to honor the famous biscuit. China will be setting off fireworks for cookie fans at the famous Shanghai Bund with the famous Oriental Pearl tower shining Oreo blue. A celebration bus tour will stop in 100 cities and towns, bringing games and activities such as a jungle gym, trampoline and “Bungie Dunking.” In the United States, Oreo will surprise fans with “flash birthday parties” and in Venezuela cookie lovers will get to smash dozens of piñatas to commemorate the cookie.
Oreos have been prevalent in popular culture since their creation in 1912. Justin Timberlake told people magazine he likes to dip Oreo cookies in milk for exactly seven seconds. In the movie the “Parent Trap” the twins played by Lindsay Lohan snack on Oreos and peanut butter during their isolation cabin at camp. In Nabisco’s new ad campaign, they will incoporate the Oreo cookie into a number of classic movies including “Jaws” and the tasty cookie has over 23 million “Likes” on Facebook.
Although Oreos are clearly the most well-known cookie of its kind, it was not the first. In 1908, the Sunshine company manufactured Hydrox cookies, named after the atomic elements that make up water: hydrogen and oxygen. The chocolate and cream filled cookie sandwhich very closely resemebles the Oreo and has suffered from the impression of being a knockoff cookie even though it was created before the Oreo. Compared to the Oreo, Hydrox cookies are a tangy, less-sweet filling and stand up milk but are not nearly as popular.
With 7.5 billion Oreos eaten worldwide each year, this classic cookie will definitely stick around for years to come. Happy birthday to the Oreo cookie!