Monday, May 19, 2008

Oreo invades Britain

I couldn't not post about this. I really tried to resist, arguing to myself this is a hockey blog and you guys want to read about hockey. But, I think you also want some diversion during a long offseason. This qualifies.

First, some full disclosure: I'm an Anglophile. It's not only my ethnic heritage, but I helped administer a study abroad program at Oxford while I was in grad school and later taught a course on British politics. The Brits are highly interesting and entertaining to me. After reading this article about the introduction of the Oreo into the British biscuit market, I think you'll see why. Biscuit=cookie to the Brits, by the way. That will help you follow along. And also note that most of the cookies over there are of the dry oatmealy, or shortbread variety. I know this from an informal cookie survey I conducted.

Second disclosure: I really like Oreos. Did this need to said? What red-blooded American doesn't like Oreos?

I first heard about the Oreo kerfuffle on NPR, but I think this article, originally out of the Christian Science Monitor, is even better. An excerpt:

One tabloid newspaper has attacked those "Yanks" who are trying to "snatch the biscuit from our mouths and replace [it] with a tackier piece of inferior confectionary." Another described the Oreo as "an imperial juggernaut of a biscuit backed by one of the world's biggest food companies." ...
"Before we know it, the next generation of kids will not know the word biscuit at all," he grumbles. "Whether it's fast food, TV chat-shows, or cookies, we must resist all that is American for the sake of our own souls."

Meanwhile, in other Oreo news, there was a big spill last night outside Chicago as a tractor trailer hit the median. Fourteen tons of cookies were lost. Double-stuff to boot! I found $1.40 in the change return at the toll booth today and thought I hit the jackpot until I read about the Oreo spill.

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