While it’s true that there’s nothing more American than apple pie and baseball, Nabisco’s Oreo Cookie is just as important to American culture. March 6 marks National Oreo Cookie Day, but it’s not like Americans need a special reason to buy Oreos. Millions are bought and eaten every day in the U.S. and around the world. Whether you like to take the cookie apart when you eat it or not, it’s still billed as “Milk’s Favorite Cookie.”
To help mark the special day, here’s a look at the history of the cookie.
1. Nabisco First Filed to Trademark ‘Oreo’ In March 1912
National Oreo Cookie Day is in March because this month includes the anniversary for Nabisco’s trademark filing for the name. As About.com notes, the company, formerly known as the National Biscuit Company, came up with the idea for a cookie that was two chocolate discs with creme in the center in 1912. On March 14, 1912, Nabisco filed for a trademark, which was granted in August 1913.
However, the filing notes that the first use of the term “Oreo” to describe their creation was on March 6, 1912. That’s why March 6 is National Oreo Cookie Day instead of March 12.
Nabisco has repeatedly had their trademark renewed over the past century, most recently in September 2013.
2. No One Has Any Idea Where The Name ‘Oreo’ Originates
As Time Magazine notes, the origin of the word “oreo” is still a mystery. Some thought it might come from the French word “or” for gold, since the original packaging featured gold coloring. Others suggested that it comes from the Greek word for mountain, since the original test version had a hill shape that’s very different from what we know today.
The original Oreo wasn’t kosher because a key ingredient in the creme used to be pork fat. Today, it is made of powdered sugar, vanilla extract, water, granulated sugar and vegetable shortening.
Notably, the original Oreo was not kosher until 1998. The Oreo competitor Hydrox was though, and it stayed on the market until 2003. (Hydrox made a comeback in 2015, though.)
3. The New Peeps-Flavored Oreo Will Turn Your Tongue Purple
Today, Nabisco makes Oreo flavors for just about every holiday. For Easter, they’ve made Peeps-Flavored Oreo cookies, with creme that takes like the marshmallow candy. According to Junk Food Guy’s review, the new oreo has turned his saliva pink. He wrote:
Dude, the creme turned my saliva bright pink! BRIGHT PINK! This is sort of horrifying – this is the type of food dye where an hour later, when I went to brush my teeth, IT TURNED MY TOOTHBRUSH PINK. What the heck. WHAT THE HECK.
Some have also complained that the cookies have turned their poop pink.
“Certain foods can temporarily color the tongue and inside of the mouth. This is common with brightly colored products such as ice pops, gelatins and drink mixes, as well as with certain fruits and vegetables, including beets and cranberries,” a spokesman for Mondelez International, Nabisco’s current parent company, told Buzzfeed. “Such foods can also temporarily color stool.”
It’s worth noting that variety has always been a part of Oreos. When they were first introduced, Nabisco made a lemon meringue flavor that was eventually killed off in the 1920s.
4. Over 770 Million Oreo Packages Were Sold in the U.S. in 2015
According to Statista, 778.8 million Oero cookie packages were sold in the U.S. in 2015. Mondelez International was also the top-selling snack company in the U.S. with $2.97 billion in sales.
However, as Reuters reported in July 2016, Mondelez saw 11 consecutive quarters of declining revenue. The company, which also makes Cadbury chocolate, saw sales drop 26.5 percent in the second fiscal quarter of 2016 in Europe, its largest market.
In February 2017, Reuters reported that Mondelez also had lower-than-expected holiday revenue thanks to declining sales outside the U.S. The company’s net revenue dropped to $6.77 billion in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016.
Still, it’s estimated that 450 billion Oreos were sold worldwide in its first 100 years of existence.
5. Double Stuf Oreos Aren’t Really Stuffed With Twice the Creme
Back in 2013, Math teacher Dan Anderson wrote on a blog that the famous Double Stuf Oeros do not actually have double the creme compared to the basic Oreo. His post was later featured on The Huffington Post.
Anderson compared 10 basic Oreos to 10 Double Stuf Oreos and 10 Mega Stuf Oreos, and also weighed five wafers. He found that the Double Stuff doesn’t really have “double the stuff,” while the Mega Stuf has 2.86 times the weight of a regular Oreo.
It looks like the best way to make a true double stuffed Oreo is to just put two Oreo creme “patties” carefully removed from their centers and squashed together between two Oreo wafers.
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