Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fruit Punch Oreos vs. Watermelon Oreos!

The ultimate battle of sublimely weird novelty twist-top cookies IS NIGH. 

We only have ourselves to blame here, folks. Every time Nabisco rolled out some weirdbeard, newfangled Oreos variation over the last four or so years -- be it Halloween-themed, Christmas-themed, or super-meta Cookie Dough-themed cookies-- we all went to our nearest Targets and snatched up the products like avaricious vultures. If there's one thing 21st Century America can't refuse, it's ironic, kooky cookies; what we have before us today, I am afraid, is the endpoint of our nation's long, unhealthy relationship with strange-for-the-sake-of-being strange junk foodstuffs.

Last year, you may have heard about the limited edition Watermelon Oreos. Yes, watermelon, as in the giant green fruit thingy. I'm not really sure if the item was nationally released -- I sure as heck didn't see it ANYWHERE around Atlanta in 2013 -- but it got plenty of Intraweb coverage, nonetheless. Well, it looks as if the experimental cookies have gotten a U.S.-wide distribution deal via Target this summer, so now junk food aficionados from St. Paul to San Antonio can cram the weird-ass tasting comestibles into their maws like hungry crabs and whatnot.

Now, that alone would probably be worth a feature story, but just you wait: not only has Nabisco given us nationalized watermelon Oreos, they have also given us an all-new cookie variation for summer 2014, and if you dare fathom it, they might be even stranger than watermelon cookies: would you believe these motherfuckers have released FRUIT PUNCH flavored Oreos, too?

Ever the backyard social scientist, I figured it was worth our collective time to try out both products, and compare their aesthetic and gustatory merits, side-by-side. Pour yourselves a tall glass of milk, folks; it's time to dunk ourselves into some absurdity.

To the best of my knowledge, Watermelon Oreos had a seasonal release last summer in select U.S. markets. This summer, it appears as if Nabisco has struck some kind of General Mills Monster Cereal-like exclusivity agreement, with most nationwide chains carrying the peculiar-looking, smelling and tasting dessert products. 

The cookies themselves are golden-hued, which if nothing else, is a positive for the sake of dental hygiene -- let's face it, NOBODY wants to be approached by someone walking around with the dreaded "Oreo Teeth" condition, especially if said individual is walking around with "Oreo Teeth" that smell like Watermelon Bubble Yum.

As far  as the cookie aesthetics are concerned, we're working with a nice pink and green swirl -- watermelon colors, obviously, but they are also well-suited as hors d'oeuvres if you're having a Joker or Barney the Dinosaur-themed get-together, too. In terms of scent and taste, they really do taste like Watermelon-flavored Bubble Yum, which I guess can best be described as a super sugary synthetic apple taste. At first chew, the combination of watermelon creme and cookie is pretty bizarre, but the more cookies you wolf down, the less weird they start tasting. I'd say after chowing down on an entire row of cookies, you'll be pretty much desensitized to the flavor; after that, if you can believe it, it's not a bad little dessert offering at all. 

Which brings us to the Fruit Punch-flavored Oreos, which are basically the only weird-ass, yet still seasonally appropriate, product variation I think the company could'v produced to out-kitsch the aforementioned Watermelon Oreos. I mean, shit, after this, they'd have to release a fish-fry or seaweed-flavored cookie to be considered "kooky," I reckon.

While the Fruit Punch cookies make use of the same golden cookie top mechanism that the Watermelon Oreos use, the stuffing itself, I am afraid, is uni-toned. As far as the creme flavor is concerned, I guess you can pick up the citrus taste, although, to me, it tastes more like a Coca-Cola flavored Oreo than a fruit-punch-flavored offering. As a whole, the cookie has the synthetic, Pop-Tart fruit filling taste going on pretty fierce, but as with the Watermelon Oreos, your taste buds become quite accustomed to them after a few handfuls. I mean, don't get me wrong, they still taste weird as hell, it's just that after some prolonged exposure, it becomes a weird as hell feeling you actually enjoy. You know, sorta' like French kissing, only with WAY more calories involved.

So, in a one-on-one limited time novelty product showdown, which Oreo permutation gets my official nod? Well, the two cookies tend to taste surprisingly similar after you've had time getting acquainted to both of them, so picking a gustatory victor here is really kinda' arbitrary. On the whole, the Fruit Punch versions was just a bit more tingly than the Watermelon variation, which you could argue was a bit smoother than its citrus drink competitor. If you're going for sheer taste, I might give a slight advantage to the Fruit Punch variety, but the Watermelon kind is probably the better overall product, with texture, hue and general WTF-value factored into the equation.

Which, obviously, begs the question: what doe this two things taste like when COMBINED into an Oreo Singularity? Well, ever the snack food adventurer, I decided to scoop out the creme filling in both cookies, and craft myself a one-of-a-kind, Fruit Punch-doused Watermelon Oreo...

...and yeah, it pretty much tasted like crap. I'm not quite sure what the respective sugariest things ya'll have eaten as individuals was before, but I'm willing to bet that this abomination of junk food is roughly eleven times more nauseatingly saccharine than anything that's ever knotted up your stomach before. I guess if you dig sudden insulin bursts, a handful of these custom cookies will have your blood sugar swimming in no time, but I reckon most normal people, with their normal taste buds, probably wouldn't dig this one too much. Hummingbirds, maybe, but people...I say "nay." 

So, uh, what more can be said about Watermelon and Fruit Punch Oreos? They look weird, they taste weird, but if you eat enough of them, they no longer taste as weird. I mean, I probably wouldn't hoard a whole bunch of packages for safekeeping or anything, but if you're a junk food aficionado such as myself, both permutations are probably worth a taste test.

In the wake of both products, I suppose the big question is, where could we possibly go from here? After releasing watermelon and fruit punch flavored cookies, there's really not that much virgin territory to explore. As the summer days drag along, could Cucumber Oreos be on the table? Or what about barbecue flavored Oreos? That would be a nice addendum for Labor Day get-togethers. Honestly, I'm kinda' surprised we haven't seen Dr. Pepper or Mountain Dew flavored Oreos by now -- or  a cherry RC Cola variation. 

All I can tell you is that, with these limited-time products, the bar for what constitutes gimmicky junk food has been raised, and considerably. Unless Nabisco decides to trot out bacon-flavored cookies, I reckon these two items are about as kooky as cookies are going to get...for feasibly the foreseeable future, anyway. 


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