Why Do We Eat Oreos the Way We Do?

It is something cosmic or Uncle Tony that determines why you eat your Oreo the way you do?

By Diane Toops, News and Trends Editor

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More than 362 billion Oreo cookies have been sold since their introduction on April 2, 1912. Born under the sign of Aries (the sign of leaders), Oreo was the best selling cookie of the 20th century. Made by Kraft Foods Inc.'s Nabisco operations, Oreo was one of the first interactive foods - one of the secrets to its success.

Psychologists, food writers and Oreo aficionados speculate whether the method used to eat one's Oreo cookie can indicate personality. I'm convinced it does, but is it nature (perhaps characteristics based on your horoscope sign) or nurture (technique taught by an influential) that determines your technique? I decided to conduct an investigation using our Food Processing/ Wellness Foods team to solve the puzzle.

“I eat not one but two Oreos together," says the newest member of our team, Publisher Kay Ross-Baker. “I take one apart at a time, eating the cookie side and saving the side with the filling. Then I combine the two filling sides to make one big double-stuffed Oreo and eat it," she explains about her unique approach. “I did this a long time before Nabisco came out with the Double Stuff Oreo, and it gives me great satisfaction to make my own. On other days, I like to eat an Original Oreo straight -- no pulling it apart and no dunking." Kay, on the cusp of Aquarius, with its insatiable urge for the new and completely different, contrasted with the discipline of Capricorn, admits she reads both horoscopes. “I choose the one I like best and disregard the other," she confides.

A nurturing and patient Capricorn, Account Manager Tony Fasano has a disciplined Oreo consuming approach. “I love Original Oreo cookies, with a short glass of cold milk," says Tony, who explains that a short glass makes it easier to dunk them -- the only way to eat Oreo cookies. Building relationships is key to a Capricorn personality, and thanks to their Uncle Tony, his five nieces and nephews all dunk their Oreos (and any other cookies they eat). “You must get the Oreo into the milk right up to your finger tips and get the whole cookie in your mouth before it breaks off and falls back into your glass of milk. It takes practice to know just when the cookie has sufficiently absorbed enough milk," explains Tony. “It's a riot to watch. My nieces and nephews have been doing it since they could hold a cookie by themselves, and now it's second nature. I can't wait to ‘train' my grandchildren."

Protective and enterprising describes Cancer Tom Schoen, regional sales manager, and so is his approach to eating his favorite Oreo Double Stuff cookie. “I twist the two cookies apart, ever-so-gently, to leave the filling entirely on one cookie with not a drop of white on the other, sink my teeth into the cookie with the filling until I feel my teeth land on the cookie, but without breaking it, and pull back the cream with my teeth and enjoy," says Tom. “I have now created a half moon, which I gaze upon in delight and satisfaction, as if I've just completed a masterpiece," he says. “However, it's short-lived, as I then toss the remains down the hatch."

Speaking of masterpieces, art director Lisa Hede, a Virgo, confesses she prefers her Oreos in Oreo Cookie ice cream. “That is my favorite kind of ice cream," says Lisa enthusiastically. “Yum!" Her technique for eating an Original Oreo is to eat it in two bites. There is one exception. “If I am sitting by a glass of milk (it probably isn't mine, since I don't like the taste of milk), I dip the very very edge in before popping it in my mouth," says award-winning Lisa, who is modest about her accomplishments, diligent, analytical and fastidious. “I don't like soggy foods, so that is why it is only the very edge," she adds.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Dakas, associate art director, who designs primarily for Wellness Foods, is an energetic, dynamic, enthusiastic Aries -Taurus cusp. “I think I lean just a bit more to Taurus," says Jennifer, which makes her loathe waste and love a bargain. “I dunk half of an Original Oreo cookie in milk, take a bite, then dunk the rest in milk and eat it," she says, adding that milk is a necessity with Oreos. “To clarify, I do not take the cookie apart."

Libras love to relate to others, are true team players, enjoy strategizing and partnering to get the job done. Dave Fusaro, editor in chief, enjoys the balance of Original Oreos with a glass of milk. “I always feel the need to share my Oreos," he says. “When eating them alone, I must have equal parts Oreo and milk."

David Feder, RD, managing editor, Food Processing/Wellness Foods, says (tongue in cheek, we suspect), “I put 12 in a bowl, crumble them up and saturate them with Johnny Walker Red … every morning. And don't forget to chill the JW." A patient and determined Taurus, David finally confesses he was just kidding. “But you may be equally shocked by the truth," he whispers. “I twist 'em open, scrape the filling into the garbage, and eat the cookie part. Always have, even as a kid."

Friendly by nature Heidi Parsons, managing editor of digital media, was born under the sign of Aquarius. An original herself, Heidi enjoys Original or Double Stuff Oreos, depending on what's available, but is adamant the filling is white. “I despise the seasonal versions with colorful fillings, and frosted Oreos are just way too sweet," says Heidi. She eats her Oreo in one of two ways, depending on her mood. “I have been known to use a straightforward bite-by-bite approach; to dunk the cookie a bit at a time, sequentially eating each part I just dunked; or to use the juvenile approach of unscrewing the sandwich, scraping off the filling with either my upper or lower incisors, and then eating the chocolate cookies, preferably after dunking them in milk," she says.


I'm an addictive, intuitive, indulgent Scorpio, so more is better. I put my Oreos (always seven for good feng shui) in a pretty plate (for visual splendor) standing up on their sides and bookcased with a dark chocolate truffle on either side for dessert. I contemplate whether or not to roll the Oreos across the table (to ensure the stuffing is distributed properly), then slowly, one at a time, investigate and savor the Original Oreo or Chocolate Crème stuffing first, followed by the cookie. My beverage of choice is a double espresso.

Production Manager Christina Kayalik, who makes certain your ad is in the right place, embraces life and her Oreo. “I eat it intact," she says. “I do not separate the cookie and eat the cream first, and I don't drink milk." A Pisces, Christina loves to solve everyone's problems, and her compassionate, selfless nature means she is likely to share her Original Oreos. “No Double Stuff or chocolate stuff for me," she says, after reflecting for a few moments. “Hmmm, now I have to get some Oreos from the vending machine!"

Whether it's nature or nurture, Christina shared her Oreos with us. And we all ate them the way we prefer. And that's the way this cookie thinks an Oreo should crumble.

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