The world-famous, beloved, and OMG sooo delicious Oreo cookie celebrated its 100th birthday last year -on my birthday, March 6th! Coincidence? No food in the universe has given me the amount of joy and pleasure during my lifetime as Oreos and milk.
Oreos are the best-selling cookies in the world. They were the best-selling cookies of the 20th century, and this honor has carried on strong into the 21st century.
In 1912, consumers wanted an English-style biscuit (cookies are called "biscuits" in England) and the Oreo cookie was created to meet this demand. The "Oreo Biscuit" was first developed by the National Biscuit Company, today known as Nabisco. The Oreo was originally created and launched as an imitation of the Hydrox cookie manufactured by the Sunshine company in 1908.
The first Oreos were manufactured at the company's Chelsea factory in New York City, located on 9th Avenue, between 15th and 16th Street. Today, this 9th Avenue block is known as "Oreo Way."
In the early years, Oreo buyers had the choice of vanilla cream filling and lemon cream. The lemon cream centers were soon abandoned and the vanilla cream center has remained the Oreo trademark.
An Oreo is 29% cream and 71% cookie. The Oreo design features 12 flowers encircling the Oreo name. It takes 90 minutes to make a single Oreo and each cookie has 90 ridges.
Who coined the word "Oreo" is unknown; in fact, the name itself is shrouded in mystery. One theory is that someone took the letters "RE" out of "cream" and placed them between two letter Os, which represent the two parts of the cookie. Some think the name came from the French word "or" meaning "gold," while others think it came from the Greek word "oreo," which means "hill" or "mountain."
Not knowing what the name means has not bothered the cookie-hungry public. The Oreo remains the most popular cookie in the U.S. and over nine million are consumed annually (the chocolate chip cookie is a fairly close second at seven million).
(Image credit: Flickr user Andy Melton)
Okay, let's get down to business. How do you eat your Oreo? According to Central Survey, an online polling agency:
31% say they eat the Oreo cookie and the icing together.
25% say they twist their Oreo apart.
16% say they eat the icing first.
9% say they dunk the cookie in milk before eating (this is definitely my group. I am a confirmed Oreo and milk dunker).
9% say they have a complex way of eating their Oreos.
7% actually say they eat the cookie first and save the icing for last (how?).
3% imitate the person they're eating Oreos with.
Other Oreo statistics: Of the people who dunk their Oreos, 82% dunk them in milk. Two percent dunk them in peanut butter! Other dunk them in hot chocolate or some other drink.
(Image credit: Flickr user Ricardo Velasquez)
Each year there is an Oreo Stacking Contest held at 15,000 supermarkets throughout the country. Contestants compete in two age groups (7 and under and 8-12) to see how many cookies they can stack in 30 seconds. The national stacking finals are held at Universal Studios in Florida.
If all the cream filling used to produce a one-year supply of Oreos were used to decorate wedding cakes, there would be enough to decorate all the wedding cakes made in the United States for the next two years.
If everyone dunked every Oreo they ate, cows would have to produce over 42 million extra gallons of milk just to satisfy the additional dunkers.