On March 6, 1912, the National Biscuit Company—later shortened to Nabisco—filed for a trademark on its chocolate cookie developed at a factory in New York City. That cookie: the iconic Oreo. Here are some facts about the cookie jar staple.
Good for Vegans!
People who try to follow a natural and organic diet eschew Oreos for the exact same reason why vegans can feel free to eat Oreos: The creme filling doesn’t have any dairy or animal-based products in it whatsoever, meaning no cream or lard.
Oreos dominate the “chocolate sandwich cookie with disc of crème filling in the center” market. Second-best seller in this cookie genre: Hydrox. Introduced by Sunshine Biscuits in 1908, they’re pretty much the same thing as Oreos, except that they’re kosher and were invented four years before Oreos.
Today, Oreos are just called Oreos, but it took a long time for Nabisco to settle on that name. The cookie was first called the Oreo Biscuit, then the Oreo Sandwich, then the Oreo Creme Sandwich, and then the Oreo Chocolate Sandwich. Sure, but just what is an “Oreo” anyway? Nabisco has never said, although it’s probably derived from a Greek word orexin, which means “appetizing.”
Double Stuf Oreos have more “stuff” or crème filling versus a regular Oreo…but not twice as much. According to a study conducted by a high school math class, Double Stuf Oreos should more accurately be called “1.78 Times the Amount of Stuf Oreos.” As for the even more crème-stuffed, occasionally sold Mega Stuff Oreos, one of those has 2.68 times the filling.
Over the last decade, Nabisco has released more than 50 different styles and varieties, part publicity stunt, and part miracle of modern food flavoring technology. Cool Mint, Limeade, Fruit Punch, Neapolitan, Uh-Oh! (the cookie is vanilla-flavored and the filling is chocolate), Candy Corn, Birthday Cake, Cookie Dough, Watermelon, Waffles and Syrup, and Mystery. Consumers could enter a contest to guess the flavor, which turned out to be Fruity Pebbles cereal.
Oreos initially flopped in China. Nabisco didn’t give up and kept tinkering with the cookie until sales picked up. A Chinese Oreo, therefore, is nothing like an American one. It’s a cylindrical cookie made up of layered, crispy wafers with vanilla or chocolate filling in between.
Total number of Oreos sold and consumed in the past 106 years: about 500 billion.