A century of deliciousness from the Oreo

A true legend turned 100 this week.

Coastal PointNo, I’m not talking about Peyton Manning, the iconic quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts who was released by the franchise this week as they throw their hopes and fortunes into a rebuilding effort. And, no, local builder Mark Hardt did not turn 100, either — he just walks and moves like he did.

Is it smart to make fun of the Coastal Point’s landlord? Probably not. Just to be on the safe side, I’ll suck up to Frank Miranda next time I see him. He’s the brains of that operation, anyway. I mean, let’s be serious here, the only way ...

But I digress.

The real legend who turned 100 this week is the Oreo cookie. According to Yahoo!’s Angela Tague, the National Biscuit Company (now commonly referred to as Nabisco) introduced the cookie to the world in 1912. The original Oreo cookie, according to Tague, is 71 percent cookie and 29 percent creme. And, according to our publisher, Susan Lyons, the cookie is 100 percent delightful.

Susan is one to appreciate the classics. She keeps a stash of plain Hershey’s candy bars at the ready, still enjoys her shortbread cookies with hot tea and eats the same cereal she has since the Storm of ’62, I assume. She also still loves her “I Love Lucy” reruns, classic Sherlock Holmes movies and Bob Bertram — timeless classics all.

Apparently, she is not alone in that. Darren Rovell of CNBC tweeted the other day that Oreo had $2 billion in sales last year, which equals to about 20 billion Oreos sold in more than 500 million packages. Tague wrote in her blog that, “If all the Oreos ever made were lined up end to end, they would circle the Earth 381 times at the Equator. Or if you prefer to stack them, they’d reach the moon and back more than five times! Now that’s a tower of Oreos!”

A delicious tower, I might add.

So this begs the time-tested question: How do you eat your Oreos? Do you dip them in milk? Tear them in half, scrape off the creamy filling with your teeth and then eat the cookie part? Do you twist them apart and combine two Oreos to make a super Oreo? Or do you eat them the way I do — by simply licking each one on the package and then putting the package on the conference room table to see who dives in later?

Note to my readers: Do not eat the Oreos on the Coastal Point’s conference room table.

Of course, the traditional Oreo cookie has seen a few spin-offs over the years. Tague wrote that, as of 2003, there were 11 varieties of Oreo cookies, ranging from fudge-covered to those flavored with peanut butter or mint. We’ve seen the backwards Oreos, called Uh-Oh’s, that feature a vanilla cookie with chocolate cream, and the Double Stuf, which can result in quad-stuffed Oreos if taken apart and combined with another.

Guess what I’m going to be snacking on this weekend.

The Oreo has also crossed theological lines, as the cookie became kosher in 1998. If you look at the front, bottom-left corner of the package, you will find the “OUD” symbol, which is considered the world’s most-recognized symbol of kosher products.

But, let’s face facts, we’re not here to discuss the religious responsibility of the Oreo or the possibilities of scaling an Oreo mountain to reach the moon. No, this is about celebrating one of those American traditions that might not be the most healthy thing ever created, but has spawned smiles and goodwill across the nation for a century with its sugary sweetness — kind of like Betty White.

Personally, I think it’s pretty cool that a cookie has made it 100 years, and shows no real signs of slowing down. We’ve seen chefs incorporate the cookie into dessert treats, eaten them deep-fried at fairs and ticked off family members by leaving a sleeve of chocolate cookies in the bag with the cream scraped away.

Happy birthday, Oreo. Here’s to 100 more.