Oreos: less fat, more munching

April 01, 1994|By Kevin Cowherd

In a scientific breakthrough that rivals the Salk vaccine and the first manned space flight to many, reduced-fat Oreos will soon appear on supermarket shelves all over this great country.

Oreos, of course, are the most perfect cookies God ever put on the planet.

But since so many Oreo lovers tend to be swollen and pear-shaped, Nabisco is coming out with a new Oreo that contains a good deal less fat.

As everyone knows, the problem with Oreos is that you can't eat just one, or even two, at a sitting.

An average helping would probably be, oh, seven Oreos, although I used to play softball with two guys who routinely banged back 14 or 15 of these babies at a clip.

Sure, these guys were animals, real knuckle-draggers. But that shows you the hold Oreos have on some people. It's worse than having to stick a needle in your vein.

I see some members of Congress want to investigate whether the tobacco industry deliberately jacks up the nicotine levels in cigarettes in order to hook smokers.

That's all well and good, but how about Oreos?

How about sending a couple of investigators to a Nabisco plant to find out what they put in these things and why it drives so many people crazy?

I remember one particularly ugly incident that occurred in my own home several years ago.

My wife was nine months pregnant at the time and extremely irritable, as so many expectant mothers tend to be at that stage.

Anyway, one night we were both rummaging around the kitchen for something to eat.

Naturally, there was very little food around, as my wife's cravings had caused her to eat just about everything in sight, including some dish towels and part of a place mat.

Suddenly, we both spotted a lone Oreo at the bottom of the cookie jar.

I started to reach for it, which is when my wife's eyes narrowed to twin slits.

Then she said, in this incredibly calm voice: "If you take that, I'll cut your hand off."

She would have done it, too. The woman was very hostile at that point and given to rattling around in the knife drawer at the slightest provocation.

Maybe I could have grabbed the Oreo and out-run her, but you never know.

Pregnant women are very deceiving. You'd think they wouldn't be able to run that fast with that big belly sticking out. But once they get going, they're surprisingly quick, in the manner of grizzly bears, really.

Plus that extra ballast in the front allows them to take corners like a Formula I race car.

In any event, I didn't want to take a chance on any bloodshed, because then you have paramedics and the police involved, not to mention the neighbors peeking out from behind their curtains to see what's going on.

The main question about reduced-fat Oreos, of course, is: How will they taste?

If these new Oreos taste like Spackle between two pieces of plasterboard, Nabisco could have a huge marketing disaster on its hands, sort of like the introduction of New Coke some years ago.

On the other hand, if these cookies are any good, a whole new generation of Oreo lovers could emerge, free from the oppressive shackles of the Health Gestapo.

For those who have never had the pleasure (and I feel sorry for you, I really do), there is a right way and a wrong way to eat an Oreo.

Ideally, this should be done alone. If you live with others, find yourself a secluded area of the house. I find a hall closet works well -- simply move the rock salt, rubber boots and umbrellas out of the way and make yourself comfortable on the floor.

First, grasp the Oreo firmly with two hands. This accomplishes two things: it prevents you from accidentally dropping the cookie in the darkness. And it leaves your feet free to lash out and kick anyone who suddenly bursts into the closet and tries to take your Oreo.

Next, pry the Oreo apart. (By the way, I am assuming you had the foresight to bring a glass of milk into the closet with you. If not, open the door a crack, make sure no one is lurking about, and go get some milk. There is no point in eating Oreos without milk.)

Eat the cookie part of the Oreo without the icing first. Then, using your teeth, scrape the icing off the other side and eat it. Then eat the remaining cookie part.

Wash it down with the milk.

Emerge from the closet.

Act nonchalant.

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