We are down to the final hours of Oreo’s month-long #MyOreoCreation Contest and the chance to win a cool half million bucks; Rum & Biscuits is up against the wall thanks to some brief world travel and shameless procrastination.
Oreo is asking us to come up with a new cookie flavor, candy, or any food item with Oreo product incorporated, and text it, post it, or submit via the contest site with the hashtags #MYOREOCREATION and #CONTEST. Simple, right?? So let’s complicate it:
Ask yourself, “What are the yet-to-be-dreamt-of Oreo flavors that best reflect the Caribbean, Africa, and Oregon – the culinary communities that Rum & Biscuits most proudly serves?” We think we have the answers, but you decide.
Just two caveats before things get contentious. Mostly around additional rules we self-imposed to make things even tougher:
- No flavor repeats. This includes seasonal and limited edition flavors, failed flavors, and Malaysia-only shit. This is why the PERFECT Africa combo of coffee (born in Ethiopia) and bourbon vanilla (Madagascar) didn’t make the cut. It’s also why Oregon gets none on the mint or berries front. I’m getting upset again, let’s move on.
- Respect the sweetness. Yes, it would have been easy, genius, and gourmet to pitch a Tillamook sharp cheddar cookie with Willamette Pinot Noir cream, but it’s just too far from the integrity of the original Oreo flavor. Yes, I have some stretch suggestions with somewhat savory cookies balancing sweeter creams, but no savory-on-savory.
And now, with the business talk out of the way, let’s get into how we gonna take over the world with these island, motherland, and PNW flavors.
If you haven’t experienced the Bahamian guava duff, please book your flight right now. Duff is actually the locals’ term for British pudding, or steamed dough, if you’re trying to visualize. I’ve compared it to a hybrid of a cinnamon roll and pancakes, served with fresh island guava jam and drizzled with rum butter icing. There’s any number of desserts the combo could be adapted to, but for Oreo, I’m imagining rum butter cookies with the guava cream filling. And it’s making me sweat.
All in on this one: in this concept, Jamaica’s scotch bonnet pepper (world-famous for adding the heat in jerk seasoning) balances the sweet, rich cornmeal flavor of Jamaican festival: a corn dog without the dog in both shape and flavor at it’s best, I say. Making sure to keep this a legitimately sugary cookie, I’d envisioned the cream flavor of pineapple – the fruit perhaps most associated with the islands of all, and a staple of the best Caribbean cocktails you can find.
Did someone mention cocktails? While the warm spice nutmeg is used almost ubiquitously in Caribbean cooking (including jerk), you’ll also find it regularly used as a garnish on mixed drinks, just to put that West Indies exclamation point on it. Sorrel, or the bright purple tea made from hibiscus leaves, is another fun water stamp of the islands that the most savvy bartenders will incorporate to take their drink to the next level. Step 2: go to Streets BK in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and tell me I’m lying. Sorrel mimosssaaaaasssss!
Achomo, for my Beninois! Chin-chin, for my Naija peeps! Chips for my Ghanaians, and uhh…deep fried cookies that look like cereal for the uninitiated. But damn, these things are delicious, particularly with a healthy dose of nutmeg in the dough, as my mother-in-law prefers. In my book, they’d form the perfect Oreo sandwich for some deep fried plantain cream. Gotta be done right, though, with the burnt sugar color and flavors real strong. Thanks Oreo!
I had to fancy it up for marketing purposes and even this one’s a big swing, but folks, this is just fufu (agou, or boiled and mashed yucca) with sweet, spicy tomato-peanut sauce. The umami alone is making me salivate. Yeah, fine, maybe not something you give out at Halloween but tell me you wouldn’t crush a bag.
My home state of Oregon produces 99% of America’s hazelnuts, and touts a Top 3 ranking in pears with it’s Pacific coast brothers to the North and South. The nutty sweetness of the filbert (maybe with a pinch of salt) seems the perfect balance for a sweet, zippy pear cream. Remember, we couldn’t use the Pinot for creams in this exercise, so let’s go ahead and pop a bottle now – perfect accompaniment for the H&P Oreo.
And finally, in an homage to Portland’s iconic and ground-breaking though mediocre Voodoo Donuts, we submit the Maple Bacon Oreo, or Bacon Maple if we’re going cookie first. The salty-sweet combo is the PB&J for a new generation: as intuitive, widespread, and begging for adaptation as any other combo on the market. Serve it in a cardboard pink box and, as 50 Cent says, watch the money pile up.
And there you have it – our humble entry suggestions for the new flavor of Oreo. Are some a bit niche? Sure, granted, apart from Maple Bacon there is no Fried Chicken and Waffles among them. And for that reason, maybe they fall around “Moonshot” on the Ambitious Spectrum. But at Rum & Biscuits we know that “culturally limiting” is in fact just another word for mind expanding and soul blossoming. And cookie bettering. And in that, we all have something far more valuable than $500,000 from a consumer packaged good conglomerate.
…But God knows I’ma try anyway. Wha’g’wan, Mondelez?!