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By Pam Burke 

View from the North 40: In times of stress ...

 

Last updated 1/8/2021 at 10:31am



With plenty of opportunities lately to participate in one of my favorite self-health activities — stress eating — I was prompted to do some research on one of my go-to stress foods — Oreo cookies — after reading an Associated Press article about how Oreos are going where no culinary adventurist has thought to take them before.

Nor should they have thought of this: McDonald’s fast food restaurants in China have reinvented the hamburger by replacing the burger with two slices of Spam (yes, Spam, the deviled ham in a can, sodium-laced delight), and then they replaced the pickles and lettuce with a generous heaping of crumbled Oreo cookies. To finish off the Oreo-Spamburger, they slathered the bun in mayonnaise.

The Dec. 21 AP article went on to say that only about 400,000 Oreo-Spamburgers will be sold as Monday specials. The only indication of how long it might take to reach that sales goal are the high numbers of underwhelming reviews the specialty menu item has racked up. So it might not be too late to book a flight to the nearest McD’s in China for one of these bad boys, which they they have named Lunchmeat Burgers to entice people to buy them.

They lost me at Spam and ended me with the mayo — maybe they could’ve recovered my interest with special sauce, but now I’m out, and I don’t care what they call it.

While this McDonald’s Oreo-Spamburger concoction might be easy to dismiss as a China-thing, Oreo actually has a history of making short-run specialty cookies, sometimes in collaboration with other food brands.

A New York Times article that ran Dec. 16 explored the “Why does Oreo keep releasing new flavors?”

My initial response was, of course, because the world needed peanut butter Oreos and the mint Oreos for those many months when the Girl Scout mint-chocolate cookies are not being sold.

I know other brands make delicious mint-chocolate cookies that are closer in composition to the Girl Scout cookies. The benefit, and the beauty really, of the mint flavored Oreo cookies is that they can be dipped in milk. You would know this if you would pay attention to the commercials — those short instructional videos used to break up the monotony of TV programming.

(As a side note, we are just getting back to commercials after decades of commercial-free TV viewing and this is an eye-opening educational experience. But we are here to learn about Oreos.)

I remember when Double Stufs came out in 1974. If I were the slobbering kind, I would’ve done it then. Since Oreo’s 100th birthday in 2012, the NYTimes article says, the brand has introduced 65 short-run novelty flavors from carrot cake to tiramisu and banana split to pina colada.

And in China, you will not be surprised to hear this, the brand has even produced Wasabi and Hot Chicken Wing Oreos.

I have to admit that I would try them. I know, I said no to the Oreo-Spamburger, but it’s the Spam. We have a long history as fraught with inappropriate advances into my food profiles and rejection of its presence as Pepe Le Pew and that poor black cat he is always trying to over-power.

I would try the savory spicy Oreos. I would. What can I say, I saw a recipe for fruit salsa that added cilantro, jalapenos and onion to a fruit salad and not only did I love it, when Christmas came around it took me about 10 seconds of deliberation to decide to do the same thing to my cranberry-orange salad. The bomb.

In the end, though, as my pallet has matured, and my stress levels have risen, I have to say that I prefer a return to simpler times and the original single stuffed Oreo of my early childhood. Do I feel better after eating Oreos in an amount to match my stress level? No. No I don’t.

But I don’t think that’s the point, now, is it.

——

Maybe don’t listen to me, though. I think a Gatorade milkshake is a healthy snack at [email protected] .

 
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