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History Of Oreo Cookies
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History Of Oreo Cookies

Recently, I saw a new Oreo commercial and realized that I didn't know much about the history of the Oreo cookie. I remember a teacher in junior high school teaching us that when the Oreo came out, Nabisco introduced other cookies as well. I thought she said that the company thought the Oreo would be the cookie that would fail because it was more simple and the others more elegant. Yet, here we are, nearly 400 billion Oreo cookies later. I set out to find out when the Oreo hit grocery store shelves and if I remembered what my teacher taught me all those years ago.

Back History:

Before Nabisco introduced the Oreo, several companies merged to be come the National Biscuit Company in 1898. Four years later, the company stocked the shelves with those Barnum's Animal cookies. They had the brilliant idea of adding a string to the box that looked like a circus cage so that the cookies could decorate Christmas trees.

Introduction of the Oreo:

In 1912, Nabisco created the Oreo. The Oreo was a sandwich cookie with crème in the middle. The chocolate disks' design for the sandwich was slightly different from today. The crème came in either vanilla or lemon flavors.

In 1975, the Double Stuf Oreos debuted. It was not until 1987 that the Fudge Covered Oreos arrived. They were followed by the Halloween Oreos in 1991 and Christmas Oreos in 1995.

How Oreo got its name:

The name of the cookie is rather peculiar. Where did Oreo get its name? It seems that no one really know for sure. “Or” is the French name for gold, which is the color of Oreo's original packaging. A little known fact is that the Oreo, when it was in the testing phase, had a mountainous shaped wafer. Oreo in Greek means mountain. Perhaps, the shape of the test cookie stuck? Another conjecture is that someone got the “re” from the word crème and placed it between two O's like this o- re- o.

The name of the cookie changed over time. It was first called Oreo Biscuit, followed by Oreo Sandwich in 1921. Still not satisfied, apparently, with the cookie's name, the cookie's name was modified in 1948 and was known as Oreo Creme Sandwich. Yet again in 1974, the cookie's name was morphed into Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookie. Will it change its name again?

Oreos around the world:

In Canada, the flavor is different since coconut oil is used. The logo on the cookie is also different because it is sold under the Christie label, which does not include an antenna in Christie's label.

Poland and Croatia just got the Oreo in 2011. If you go to McDonald's, you can get it with your McFlurry.

India also got the Oreo in March of 2011, but it is sold under the Cadbury brand because Kraft acquired Cadbury. It is also available in McDonald's with a McFlurry.

In Argentina, the Oreo cookie has banana filling or caramel filling. Both are in the same package and are called “Duo.”

I did not find any references to other cookies introduced by Nabisco at the same time. I can tell you that I really enjoy Oreos and Dirt Cake. I've even eaten Oreo Biscotti with my hot chocolate.


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