Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cinnamon Bun Oreos vs. Red Velvet Oreos!

A returning favorite meets a new challenger in the great twist-top sandwich cookie war of Feb. 2016. So which Oreo variations wins the coveted Valentine's Day L-T-O showdown?

By: Jimbo X

Oreos - alike Mountain Dew Kickstart and Pop-Tarts - are meant to spawn an endless wave of limited time only permutations. So far, we've seen Nabisco trot out just about every conceivable Oreos variation imaginable: watermelon Oreos, fruit punch Oreos, s'mores Oreos, lemon Oreos, marshmallow crisp Oreos, cookie dough Oreos, cotton candy Oreos ... Jesus Hernandez Christ, I can't believe how much I've written about novelty Oreos over the last few years. 

So dedicated to the  L-T-Oreos gimmick, Nabisco now has a special Wonder Vault attraction in which consumers in the Big Apple can taste-test newfangled cookies before they go nationwide. While it is unquestionably a shameless mechanism for generating quick and easy publicity - on day one, Buzzfeed and Fox News both had front page stories up about the release of the just announced filled cupcake Oreos - there is no mistaking that it is also a pretty clever marketing ploy. A new product shat out the assembly line every 30 days, with the more popular offerings returning as a special seasonal item every year? Yeah, that's a sure-fire way to make some C.R.E.A.M. (or, more fittingly in this instance, C.R.E.M.E.?

Excluding the aforementioned filled cupcake variations, the latest two remixes from the House Ritz Crackers built are Cinnamon Bun Oreos and the re-released Red Velvet Oreos. Both, obviously, were designed to fist fight it out for Feb. 14 market share supremacy, and since I really don't have anything better to do, how about we decide which one of the two is the superior "get 'em while they last" offering?

First up, we've got ourselves some Cinnamon Bun Oreos. Seeing as how the product has been compared by some as the closest we'll likely get to a full-fledged Dunkaroos relaunch - not to mention it is one of the few foods I am aware of to score a perfect 10 over at The Impulsive Buy - I was very intrigued to wrap my taste buds around these suckers. 

Aesthetically, the cookies ain't much to look at. With their beige exterior and off-white creme center, they could easily be mistaken for your rank and file "Golden" Oreo. However, the product does have a very distinct cinnamon bun smell - there is no denying these things, olfactorily at least, deliver on what the packaging promises. 

Texturally, the cookies are unremarkable. The "font" on the cookie is your standard Oreos "type face" and the creme is about as thick as you'd find on any other Oreo. That said, they do seem to produce a much more satisfying crunch than your average cookie, so maybe Nabisco tweaked the sandwich top formula just a wee bit? 

Of course, taste is all that matters, and while I enjoyed the Cinnamon Bun Oreos, I wasn't as wowed by them as some other online junk food fanatics. Sorry, but these things are no substitute for my beloved Dunkaroos, which - considering today's '90s-nostalgia obsessed culture - I am aghast haven't been re-released in the States by now. The cookie shell does indeed taste like graham crackers (which have never been my favorite) but the creme itself just tasted a little off. Sure, it has a certain cinnamon bun flavor, but it doesn't feel 100 percent authentic. Do you ever go to the vending machine and purchase those mini-wrapped cinnamon bun rolls that have frosting on them that's hard as concrete? Well, that's what this product reminded me of; it's cinnamon bun-like, but it is certainly no match for the fresh-made Pillsbury treats we all know and love. It's a nice variation, but at the end of the day? I just cannot say I am too impressed. 

The Red Velvet Oreos, on the other hand, are a re-release from 2015. As you can see, the cookies - perhaps taking a page from the SNES version of Maximum Carnage - are a deep blood red, which I suppose are meant to remind you of hearts and love and wanting to do it really hard and whatnot. And also, the creme tastes like cream cheese, which as the Golden Girls taught us more than a quarter century ago, is utterly fucking fantastic.

Of course, the cookies are not really a deep-deep red hue. It is actually more of a light brown with some orange mixed in. Now, I'm just conjecturin' here, but I suspect that's because the dark red food dyes have an unfortunate tendency to turn one's stool light pink - and as anyone who recalled eating Frankenberry back in the day can attest to - nothing says "whimsy" quite like taking a dump and erroneously thinking the inner lining of your sphincter has been ripped to shreds

The "fine print" is the same deal as your regularly scheduled Oreos. Although I am not 100 percent certain, I'm pretty sure Camp Nabisco did something to the cookie recipe beyond simply tinting it crimson. It's not quite cake batter flavored, but it sorta-kinda tastes like maybe it could have been on a table real close to something cake batter flavored for a long time. I know, that's a weird way to describe it, but as soon as you bite into one of these fellas, you will know EXACTLY what I am talking about. 

As for the creme, though, oh hell yeah. This stuff is absolutely delicious and probably my favorite Oreos filling since the brownie batter batch from late last summer. It has a very rich, chunky texture, which really sets it apart from other Oreos variations, and the cream cheese facsimile gels really well with the cookie bread. All in all, the product itself does taste remarkably like a red velvet cake, which is actually a pretty impressive biochemical feat, when you really think about it for awhile. 

All right, folks. If I had to pick just one, I' definitely go with the Red Velvet ones. They taste just like the namesake, the cream cheese really makes it stand out and overall, it has a very dark and rich flavor that isn't necessarily something you'd expect from the Oreos brand. 

Of course, the Cinnamon Buns Oreos are pretty good in their own right, but I'm just not seeing what all the Internet hubbub is all about. That said, I'd still recommend trying them out alongside the Red Velvet Oreos, if only to experience a double decker CINNAMON BUN RED VELVET Oreos home brew which - and I am not exaggerating - is one of the best tasting mass-marketed dessert abominations I've ever tasted. There is just something about the cream cheese and cinnamon frosting coming together that is SO satisfying, and the red velvet meets graham cracker gangbang is the metaphorical cherry atop the proverbial sundae. Yeah, it's a little gross in theory and one of the fattest things anybody can do, but come on ... we're celebrating Oreos here, so health-consciousness went out the window a long time ago. 

Perhaps the future of LTO Oreos is hybrid cookies of the sort? You know, something along the lines of a blueberry cookie with pineapple flavored creme, or Reese's flavored exterior pieces with a root beer frosting core. Sure, it sounds outlandish now, but seeing as how we've gotten to the point we are selling Oreos-flavored Oreos, I reckon such cookie chimeras are the only reasonable course of action left...


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