I’ve been thinking recently how the contents of this blog might imply that I lead quite the cosmopolitan lifestyle, my weeks practically overflowing with visits to lauded bakeries and trendy restaurants. Perhaps I should just let this impression continue, since the reality is far less exciting — think Trader Joe’s frozen dinners and Progresso Soups — but tempting as that may be, when I started Experimental Gastronomy, the goal was to provide an outlet for the pent up trivia and fascinations with food that I find taking up far too much space in my brain. So fortunately, this week brings me back to the origins of the blog. Let’s take a break from fancy dinners and get back to my roots — that’s right, we’re talking Oreos.
Last week began with a literal “stop the presses” moment. During my routine morning Google Reader catch-up, I stumbled upon this post from the Impulsive Buy. My mouth fell open. Megastuf Oreos? Could it be? Had Nabisco somehow heard my prayers and broken the double-stuf-creme barrier? I literally said out loud (to no one in particular) — “I need to find these.”
As I declared in my first post about Oreos, I am firmly in the “creme” camp of the “cookie vs. creme” debate (which Nabisco has now made the core(o) of their new ad campaign), so the idea of adding even more filling to an Oreo cookie sandwich was irresistible to me. However, Nabisco is far from first to think of this — Oreo hacksters have been posting pictures of triple, quadruple, or even dodecastuf Oreos on the Internet since reddit was born. How would an officially sanctioned, factory-baked mult-stuf measure up against the indie-stacked competition?
Thankfully, Megastuf was significantly easier to find than the Ice Cream Cookies n’ Creme Oreos — while my crack team of my mother managed to secure me a box from Target, I’ve actually since run across Megastuf in Duane Reade and Food Emporium. This may be due to the way Megastuf fits into Nabisco’s larger advertising scheme, or simply a nod to the sizable audience of creme-preferring Oreo eaters. I’d call us “cremers,” but that just makes me incredibly uncomfortable.
It’s also worth noting that Nabisco had previously attempted to alter the cookie/creme ratio, via the Triple Double Oreo. The TDO is the structural equivalent of a Big Mac — three cookies with two layers of creme, one vanilla, one chocolate. I’d rank the TDO pretty low on my Oreo variations list, for a couple of reasons. First — way too much cookie, and unless these bad boys are stale, that means each bite is gonna be pretty damn crunchy. Second — the creme layers are not Double Stuf, and I have standards. And lastly, who likes chocolate creme Oreos? It’s not even real chocolate — it’s chocolate-flavored. No thank you. That being said, if you’re on the cookie side of things, you may prefer the TDO to the Megastuf at the end of the day. Although if you’re a real Oreo lover, you’ll seek out the Oreo X3, the Argentinian Oreo product that features 3 cookies and 2 layers of original creme. God, I know way too much about Oreos.
And with that in mind, let’s get down to the overanalysis of processed food. Enter the Megastuf Oreo. Thanks to my boyfriend, I had a box of Double Stuf on hand for a direct comparison. Despite having fewer cookies per box, the Megastuf package felt heavier than the Double Stuf box. I don’t want to think about the implications of the creme being the heavier part of the Oreo than the actual cookies.
Upon opening the package, I was greeted with the familiar Oreo scent — cocoa intermingling with sugary sweet pseudo-vanilla. I would wager it was slightly more pungent with this product, but thankfully not the chemically-fortified strength of the Birthday Cake or Ice Cream Cookies n Creme varieties. Smell-wise, these are your basic Oreos, but if you maybe slathered the insides of the package in creme. Speaking of slathering, some of the Megastufs looked like they were nearly exploding with filling. The creme cannot be contained! (Getting uncomfortable again.)
Side by side with a Double Stuf, it appears that the Megastuf has about 1.5 times the filling of a Double Stuf. So I guess compared to an Original, the Megastuf is really a 3.5-stuffed Oreo? For me, this was drool-worthy, but I could see it being a little imposing for the old-fashioned Oreo pursuits (although really, you all should just be eating Hydrox — why even pretend to be part of the Nabisco sugar-industrial complex?).
The Megastuf was supremely easy to twist apart, most likely due to the lubrication from the extra filling. Tasting the standalone Oreo, the flavor is nothing new — classic, not too sweet cocoa taste. The creme was wonderfully soft, but again was nothing different in flavor. Nabisco was clearly not interested in revamping their formula with the Megastuf. I guess that’s what the Creamsicle/Berry Burst/Candy Corn Oreo monstrosities are for.
It will come as no surprise that overall I found the experience of eating a Megastuf extremely positive. Because of the softness of the filling, it spreads across the breadth of the cookies, providing a balance of cookie/creme flavors, and crunchy/soft texture in every bite. I sincerely hope Megastufs graduate from the Limited Edition space to mainstream Oreodom. The Megastuf singlehandly removes the most unfortunate consequence of underground Oreo hacks — what to do with the remaining naked half cookies once you’ve assembled your leaning tower of creme filling. The Megastufs also maintain the ideal composition, allowing bits of cookie and creme to be a part of the whole eating experience.
The only downside to the Megastufs is their nutrition. Coming in at 180 calories per 2-cookie serving, they’re only 40 calories more per serving than Double Stuf. But the Megastufs make up for it in sugar content, slapping you in the face with a stunning 18g of sugar per serving. For comparison, the worst rated sugary cereal, Honey Smacks, has only 15g of sugar per serving. So maybe hold back on the kids wolfing down a box of Megastufs, unless you’re prepared to wrestle them to the ground after they’ve finished crayoning the wallpaper.
In terms of Oreo product reviews on this blog, the Megastufs are the clear winner (wooo small sample size), but even beyond that, I will be keeping my fingers crossed that this Oreo variety stays around. Thanks to Valentine’s Day treats, I’ve still got 98% of the Megastuf box left, so I’m already deliberating on whether I should mix them with ice cream, or bake with them, or just savor the overflowing creme filling lick by lick. Ugh, regardless of how I eat them, I’ve got to stop writing about it. This post is getting less family friendly by the second. Bottom line: if you’re on the creme side of the cookie v. creme debate, go find these. Your mouth will thank you.