I’m gonna cut right to the chase, because I don’t have a lot of time and the Oreo I’m dunking in milk with my left-hand while typing this with my right-hand like a clambering hen is quickly growing soggy:
The real mystery behind Mystery Oreo cookies is how Nabisco couldn’t come up with something more creative.
Yes, when it comes to the near-constant stream of new Oreo news—which flickers across my social media timeline reliably enough to warrant it its own stock exchange style ticker—I usually remain an enthusiastic spectator, rather than a loyal hunter and gatherer: after all, how am I supposed to afford 16 Hot-Choco-Doughnut-Bun-Shortcake Oreos with Crackling Candy Filling when I have 17 more boxes of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios to buy, just to get me through the week?
The only time I take Oreo news seriously is when it involves a cereal flavor or the potential revival of Oreo Cakesters. And soon after Nabisco launched its Mystery Oreos, a nebulous flavor whose taste palate can be hypothesized for a chance to win $50,000, I heard from several little birdies that this flavor would “pique my personal interest,” *wink wink* *nudge nudge* *it’s a cereal flavor it’s a cereal flavor.*
So after donning a Holmes-ian hat, boning up on some Encylcopedia Brown, and assuring myself there’s no way Nabisco would release Oreo Cakester-flavored Oreo Cookies, I bought a package. Now, let’s solve a mystery the rest of the Internet solved three weeks ago!
It takes no more than a sniff and a nibble to decode this elementary flavor science, my dear breakfast: these are Froot Loops Oreos…err, maybe they’re Fruity Pebbles. With a dash of Trix?
Okay, I won’t lie: I can’t confirm exactly what morning classic these sandwich cookies are based off of, but they’re definitely meant to be an ambiguous “Fruity Cereal Oreo.” Now please, hand over my $50,000, because I desperately need to make a down payment on 2018’s supply of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios.
I know what you’re thinking: “But Dan the incomparable cereal genius, there was already a fruity cereal Oreo last summer!”
First of all, thanks for the weirdly specific compliment. Second, yes, the truly magnificent Fruity Crisp Oreo cookies of Summer 2016 were similar, they just had golden wafers and crunchy cereal niblets embedded in the creme. I’d love to say the creme flavor of Mystery Oreos is exactly the same—and it is uncannily similar with its nostalgically ambiguous blend of ambiguous artificial berries and tropical tree fruits—but since all remaining Fruity Crisp Oreos have either staled into sawdusty potpourri pucks or are currently cryogenically preserved somewhere next to Walt Disney’s Nutter Butters, I can’t say for certain.
See, it really is hard to describe the difference between the major fruit cereals on the market. Trix is easily the most citrusy, and Froot Loops is best deemed a tropical yogurt fruit smoothie, but Fruity Pebbles defines any other definition than “atomic cherry and blueberry.” Since I can taste candied cherry, strawberry, and, perhaps, artificial mango in their creamy crevasses, Mystery Oreos fall somewhere between the latter two.
And yes, the creme is pleasant on its own, but the dubious decision to remove the charming crunchies and add a chocolate wafer will make this one divisive cookie. Sure, chocolate and strawberry works together, but Toucan Oreo’s Frankenstein Monster Mash-Up of fake fruit doesn’t. The familiar and authentically cocoa buttery sweetness of the cookie just emphasizes how chemically alien and medicinal the creme is in its presence. After eating a few, Mystery Oreos started to grow on me, as I imagined them to be a whimsical child’s bizarro snack time experiment, like the times I tried maple syrup, peanut butter, and mint milk on my Froot Loops way back in…3 weeks ago.
Speaking of the scientific method gone awry, this happened. Surprisingly, I would recommend dunking Mystery Oreos in milk, and not just to freak out your Snapchat friends. Milk does a good job of creamily coalescing the otherwise nauseatingly juxtaposed fruit and chocolate flavors. When softened, the biscuits ‘n’ creme together taste like a loving hybrid of Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles, which, since Post also owns Oreo O’s, is a crossover cereal I expect to happen within the fortnight.
Overall, Mystery Oreos are more fizzle than sizzle, and certainly more fizzle than “Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus.” Froot Loops and chocolate are practically oil and water (until you add milk), leaving these just a shelf above Swedish Fish Oreos in the pantry of my mind.
(To give you a better image: the Swedish Fish Oreos are in the trash.)
The “Bowl:” Nabisco Mystery Oreo Cookies
The Breakdown: Half Froot Loops, half Fruity Pebble and 100% ruined by a perplexing choice of wafer, Mystery Oreos are a straight downgrade from last year’s Fruity Crisp. Dunk heartily in milk and treat as a one-time novelty for any hope of redemption.
The Bottom Line: 4 cryo-cookies out of 10