Brotherton: Fed up with snack food flavors of the week 

Why can’t Oreos just be Oreos anymore? And that goes double for M&M’s and Hershey Kisses!

Have you walked through the cookie and candy aisles at the supermarket lately? The choices are endless. Peeps-flavored Oreos, yucky coconut-flavored M&M’s, and the artificially-flavored cough-syrup-like Cherry Cordial Hershey Kiss … oh my!

Let’s face it, our snacks come in too many “new and exciting” flavors these days. I yearn for the days when a Triscuit was a plain old Triscuit, and Wheat Thins contained no sundried tomato and basil. Zesty Cajun Squirrel potato chips anyone? Don’t laugh; British chip company Walkers actually makes and sells these things. They probably taste like chicken. Bet I could eat just one.

Variety might be the spice of life, but enough already.

Years ago, I interviewed a couple who had moved to Lynn from the then-Soviet Union. The thing that overwhelmed them most in the United States? Freedom of choice. Especially when shopping for food. In Russia, due to the scarcity of everyday products back then, supermarkets featured at most one kind of ready-to-eat cereal and limited selections of meat, vegetables and everything else, they said. 

My friends say Howard Johnson’s, which was founded in Quincy, had 28 flavors of ice cream, and that Hood and Friendly’s and Ben & Jerry’s have many more than that. Why should cookie giant Nabisco and candy conglomerate Mars limit the number of options, they reason. After all, someone who craves the lemon-filled or the Golden Oreo, with its vanilla instead of chocolate biscuit, might gag at the mere thought of biting into the classic Oreo.

The original Oreo is perfection. Two round chocolate cookies filled with one layer of vanilla cream. Why fiddle with perfection? After all, it is “milk’s favorite cookie” — whether it be whole milk, skim milk, buttermilk or 1 percent or 2 percent. Do we really need Oreos with cookie dough or jelly doughnut or neon yellow filling? No, we do not. 

Double Stuf Oreo has about twice the amount of white creme filling. It’s not twice as yummy though. It’s too sugary and lacks the original’s chocolate and vanilla explosion in the mouth. The Mega Stuf Oreo contains even more cream filling. The Most Stuf, a limited edition Oreo introduced earlier this year, has about four times the filling of a normal Oreo. You might as well just scarf down a bag of wet sugar.

My ice-cream-loving taste buds might find Hood’s Sweet ‘n’ Salty Kettle Corn, Friendly’s Rockin’ Poppin Cotton Candy and Ben & Jerry’s Red Velvet Cake frozen treats unpalatable. But to someone else, they might be nirvana.

As I write this, I’m wolfing down a “share size” bag of Crunchy Mint M&M’s. They’re OK, sort of,  like munching on crystalized Cool Mint Listerine. They don’t come close to the addictive “I’m gonna eat the whole darned bag” yumminess of the original or peanut M&M’s. 

And what’s with the teeny-weeny “fun size” Milky Ways. Those aren’t fun. A 20-ounce Milky Way? Now, you’re talking “fun size.” And what’s with Oreo “thins?” Gimme a ginormous Oreo “fats” any day of the week.

Perhaps I’ve become an unadventurous fuddy-duddy, a superannuated guy who’s perfectly happy to overindulge on longtime favorites like Hood’s classic Golden Vanilla or Patchwork, a chocolate/vanilla blend. I’m content digging into a bag of peanut M&Ms or pigging out on the tried-and-true old-fashioned original Hershey Kisses.

But if the cookie, candy and ice cream manufacturers start adding real bacon to their snack products, all bets are off. I might throw caution to the wind and risk disappointment. Or I might find bliss. That’s how the cookie crumbles, I guess.


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