Recently a close friend mentioned to me that he thought the most recent batch of Oreo cookies was sub-par, referring specifically to taste. My wife agrees. I haven’t noticed the taste being worse, but I have noticed that the cookies now arrive more broken up and often the two cookies separate, leaving frosting on only one. Based on this admittedly small data set, it seems that either Nabisco has cheapened the product or has QC issues at one of its bakeries.
This reminded me that I read somewhere recently that the Hydrox cookie is supposed to be coming back. I always preferred Hydrox to Oreos and was sad to see them go. Some people perceived Hydrox as knockoffs of Oreos, but actually the reverse is true. Hydrox came first and were such a big hit that Nabisco copied Sunshine with the Oreo, but used lard in their Oreo recipe, whereas Sunshine did not in the Hydrox. I read an article that described the vicious marketing war that Nabisco won – paying grocery store chains large sums to reduce shelf space of the Hydrox and reserve eye-level shelves for Oreos, among other things. It worked, eventually driving Hydrox off the market. That same article said that in blind taste tests Hydrox regularly beat Oreos, with 70% preferring Hydrox. I can believe it.
Wikipedia says that a company called Leaf is now making the Hydrox and that it should be available in most chains. I don’t do the grocery shopping, so I wouldn’t know, but can anyone verify that? I’ll let my wife know to be on the lookout.