18 cookies that you should Ore-Know


We think Shakespeare said it best when he wrote: “An Oreo by any other flavor would taste just as freakin’ awesome!” or something to that effect. After Oreo’s debut in 1912, more than 85 flavors have been introduced into the world. Naturally, the next logical step after learning this fact was to try and eat every single Oreo flavor that we could get our hands on. With hope and vitality in our veins, we gathered our Oreos.

The first flavor we decided to wolf down was a fairly safe choice: Peanut Butter Oreos. First things first though, who decided that two Oreos was a serving size? We respectfully disagree. As we opened the box, an intense peanut butter smell wafted through the room. We had our first volunteer bravely take their first (and last) bite, and our Oreo Odyssey had begun.

The taste itself was reminiscent of Nutter Butters, but with a chocolate twist. It brought to mind daycare PB&Js and a Texas Roadhouse. The teamwork of the chocolate and peanut butter brings to mind the cereal hit Reese’s Puffs—it’s the flavor we savor, baby. Overall, this Oreo was a pretty decent start to the adventure that was to commence.

The next unlucky contestant up to the drawing board was the Chocolate Oreo. The smell of the Chocolate Oreos was underwhelming to say the least—more like the mere thought of chocolate than anything. This smell was echoed by its equally underwhelming 3-year-old-chocolate-pudding taste. It was to the point where the chocolate from the cookies was stronger than the filling itself. The taste was further described as Play-Doh without the salt, and unhealthy without the fun of eating unhealthy food. Needless to say, this Oreo put the bar of our expectations 6 feet under. We’re not mad. Just disappointed.

Next up to bat was Caramel Coconut, which was a surprisingly specific flavor to see. The scent was entirely caramel and was almost identical to a scent of a Glade plug-in, just more sweet. It invoked a cough, tears, and multiple confused faces, and its incredibly fragrant smell raised expectations for the taste that much more. Despite the sensory suspense, the taste subverted all expectations by being mostly coconut flavored with a bit of a lame and tame caramel. The tag team effort of the caramel smell with the mostly coconut taste was a… creative (terrible)… take on what you would think hearing “coconut caramel.” Regardless, this cookie was much better than the last. We continued on.

Lemon was the next flavor, which is pretty self-explanatory. With the smell of a nursing home and the taste that was exactly what you think of when you picture a lemon cookie, it was great. It tasted notably less forced than the other flavors and was even, dare we say, refreshing. Unlike the others, this did not taste like it was made by chemists in a lab. Without a doubt, this was the best one yet, and it raised our standards quite a bit.

Moving to the least self-explanatory cookie of our arsenal, we have the Brookie-o. As for what a Brookie-o is, it consists of a standard Oreo with brownie and cookie dough filling stacked on top of each other with a third crème being the standard Oreo filling. The smell is an unrecognizable, disorienting mix of different sugary desserts, and it left us feeling uncertain and scared. When we went to eat it, we realized just how overwhelming they were, as they dominated the senses. The cremes were all fairly on par by themselves, but together they made a monster of a cookie. The flavors clashed, making this intense cookie a nauseating experience. To put it simply, it tasted like the obesity crisis in the U.S., and with that, we finally had a contender for last place.

As we moved on to the next cookie, we all felt confident knowing that surely nothing could be worse then what we just experienced. The seasonal classic Pumpkin Spice luckily managed to meet these low expectations. As expected, the cookies smelled of fall and basic Starbucks girls. These Oreos had an almost viscerally upsetting color scheme—yellow cookies and pumpkin pie colored crème—that made them look raw, somehow. As for the taste, it started as a gooey pumpkin pie before transitioning into more spice flavor than expected. Pretty much, this just tasted like a performance enhancing pumpkin pie.

Dark chocolate is a flavor more synonymous with leftover Halloween candy than anything else, and despite this, Oreo still decided to make a flavor out of it. The smell was faint and gave us the thought of a similarly faint flavor. When biting, the first thing that was apparent was the spine-snapping crunch—this was our loudest Oreo yet. As for the actual crème, it was incredibly bitter, and to some, burnt. It tasted the least childish of all of the other cookies, as well as tasting like what used espresso looks like. All this combined gives us the second cookie fighting for the title of last place.

Next up was Chocolate Hazelnut. The name alone brought hopes of a Nutella-esque flavor, but instead it was disappointing. Other than the odd texture it was unremarkable. The flavors didn’t flow together well, but it wasn’t painful to eat. It was like an arm wrestle at a stalemate. A perfect display of mediocrity.

After eight boxes of Oreos with arguably declining quality, we started to lose both our hope and sanity. Artificial tastes and smells were all we knew at this point. What is an Oreo, really? What are we doing here? One existential crisis later, and we were back on track to find the best Oreo flavor.

The Spooky Oreo was our next candidate. It seemed to be pretty tame, as it was a normal Oreo. But orange.

But oh, how incredible it was to finally eat something decent after the quadruple whammy of the previous cookies. The Spooky Oreos brought us pure joy comparable only to a tearful reunion with a long, lost lover. It led us to question why Oreos had so many flavors in the first place when the original was already this great. Plus, it had designs that went obscenely hard. This was a universally loved Oreo that rejuvenated our spirits and added at least 10 years to each of our life spans—the deus ex machina of this story.

However, our spirits were soon crushed by the mere sight of the Gluten Free Oreos box, which somehow made white, pink, and blue look bad. It had a powerful smell, but the taste wasn’t terrible. It was simply boring, reminding us of doctor visits. If we were gluten free, this would satisfy our Oreo needs, but as it stands, they were just a sad alternative.

The Mint Oreo box put up a fight to be opened, but once we did it was very worth the effort. An honorable cookie (much like Brutus if he didn’t kill Caesar), with a respectable fluoride-y taste and a radioactive green appearance. Certainly not the best, but it was undoubtedly mint, so it gets a gold star for that.

Next we moved on to a more bombastic flavor: Birthday Cake. The smell was straight sugar, and it was clear that so was the cookie. The crème tasted more like frosting than all previous contenders and was incredibly sweet but not necessarily in a bad way. The sugar is severe enough to make you feel the sugar, and helps to awaken all of the senses of whoever decides to eat it. Either that or the person will just end up feeling sluggish. Divisive and powerful, it’s a sorting hat of a cookie that helps the pure of heart and debunks all others.

After the last Oreo, we were back to feeling decently ready for the next one. Toffee Crunch is an interesting Oreo because it changes the status quo quite a bit. It does this by not only flavoring the cookies and cream, but also adding crunchy bits into said crème. Other than that, it was another fragrant batch of Glade-smelling cookies, and it did taste like good toffee. This combined with the really solid flavor made for one of the best Oreos we had tried yet and a solid competitor for first.

The next Oreos were less of a flavor and more of a variation, being fudge covered. This variation was odd because they took a chocolate surrounded cream and then surrounded that in slightly better chocolate. This made it so that the fudge overtook the Oreo itself to the point where it tasted like fudge covered cream. Other than that, it was extremely uninteresting and is just a more caloric Oreo that tastes a bit worse.

Back on track with actual flavors we had the holiday Snickerdoodle. Now being a beloved cookie already this seemed like a simple slam dunk from the Oreo company, but it gets a little more complicated. In the spirit of the season it was decided to add crunchy sugar crystals to the filling, as well as making the filling cinnamon flavored. The cookie was a subpar snickerdoodle flavor that wasn’t bad, but passable. Unfortunately that is all the credit that can be given to this cookie. It was a horrendous gauntlet to finish, prompting us to look up the synonyms of the word “awful.” This Oreo tasted like a morgue. If all Oreos were amusement park rides, then this one in comparison would be a highway car crash. We thought the Brookie-o’s were terrible, but this one managed to exceed our expectations for what constituted a Bad Oreo.

After rock bottom, there really is only one direction that you can go. This is echoed by the next cookie, a Winter Oreo. While the Snickerdoodle failed to show the magic of the holidays, this Oreo succeeded. This was another example of holiday designs engraved on the cookies with snowmen, snowflakes, penguins, and mittens. Beyond this the crème was red and had that classic Oreo flavor. While non-believers may say that these are just normal Oreos but red, it was the Christmas miracle we needed to continue rating Oreos after the tragedy that was Snickerdoodle.

For our penultimate Oreo, we had Java Chip. The coffee smell was heavy, filling the entire room. It tasted like what non-coffee-drinkers imagine coffee tastes like, and it wasn’t particularly bad. However, it left us wishing for real coffee, which we could have easily gotten from the Keurig in the same room. All in all, it was an unassuming cookie with all the taste of coffee and none of the caffeine.

Finally last and hopefully not least we had Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Oreos, and with the longest name by far it struck intrigue. Now, this Oreo was not like the others in one very important way. While it had multiple cream flavors, the Oreo group had learned from the sin that was the Brookie-o and came up with a new plan. Instead of stacking the crème, they would just use one crème on each half of the Oreos. This solution prevented it from becoming overwhelming, while still allowing for more variety. Unfortunately, as far as the varieties go, they are just okay. The chocolate seems to have gotten lost in the peanut butter, and it tastes like the Peanut Butter Oreo again, but this time with graham flavored cookies. This meant that it just tasted like a slightly worse Nutter Butter. All in all, it was perfectly fine and nothing more.

Proportions of a Peanut Butter Pie Oreo. Photo credits to Keagan Mould.

And what a way to end this, right where we began—with a totally ordinary peanut butter flavor. 18 empty boxes of Oreos later, and we have finally seen the heavenly highs and hellish lows of the Oreo company.

The only question we are left with is: why?