We're pretty sure that everyone ate Pepperidge Farm cookies growing up. If you didn't routinely eat Chessmen or Genevas, your parents at least bought you Milanos. Moms who wouldn't dream of glancing at Chips Ahoy in the grocery store were always happy to bring home Milanos. Perhaps it's the small package that belies the many layers of cookies stored inside, or the demure bag that doesn't try to trap you with elves or sprinkles or exclamation points or any such garish device. Either way, we were always happy to find these elegant sandwich cookies nestled in our lunch boxes and bags.
It's the 75th anniversary of Pepperidge Farm, and since we've already tried every kind of Oreo, it didn't take much to get us to embark on the task of trying every single cookie they make.
And how many cookies they make! Maybe you've never really tried to archive the various sweet discs that come in those folded-top paper bags but they really have quite the collection. There are the Distinctive Cookies, which you probably just thought of as "the Places": Geneva, Brussels, Tahiti. ("Distinctive Cookies" is written very faintly at the botton of the package, because Distinction doesn't abrasively announce itself, of course.) In other words, the classics.
Then there's the Milano family. The popularity of the Milano has led it into many different incarnations à la Oreo. While you probably already have fond feelings for the Mint or the Double, you might not know about the Raspberry, the Melts, or the Milano Cake.
The Homestyle cookies resemble kinds you might make at home for a holiday or a special occasion: Gingerman, Shortbread, and Sugar, to name a few. We loved some of these and didn't care for others.
And finally, the Big Cookies. They fall under the categories of Soft Baked, Chunk, and Soft Baked Chunk. These didn't invoke the same fondness or attachment as the Distinctives. They also get pretty complicated (have you ever tried to think about the difference between a Soft Baked Chunk Nantucket Dark Chocolate and a Chunk Double Chocolate Nantucket Dark Chocolate? I have, and I wouldn't recommend it). Our excitement over the smaller packages quickly fell when we dove into these guys. The soft ones have a strange taste and texture that were a bust among all our taste buds. The crunchy (Chunk) ones are too crunchy in the same way that the soft ones are too soft: neither kind seems like they were created through any normal baking method. The crunchy, ostensibly baked longer than the soft, bear no oven marks to show for it, but they do have a better, buttery taste.
We're sure you've been eating Pepperidge Farm as long as we have, but click on the links below or flip through the slideshow to experience our taste test of every single one. And hit us with your own rants and raves over these classics and not-so-classics in the comments below!
- Milano Melts: Dark Classic Creme
- Milano Melts: Mint Chocolate Creme
- Milano Melts: Vanilla Creme
- Milano Slices: Crunchy Almond
- Milano Slices: Sweet Toffee
- Milano Orange
- Milano Raspberry
- Milano Double Chocolate
- Milano Milk Chocolate
- Milano Mint
- Milano Cake
- Soft Baked: Santa Cruz Oatmeal Raisin
- Chunk: Montauk Milk Chocolate
- Soft Baked Chunk: Captiva Dark Chocolate Brownie
- Chunk: Chesapeake Dark Chocolate Pecan
- Chunk: Sausalito Milk Chocolate Macadamia
- Chunk: Tahoe White Chocolate Macadamia
- Chunk: Nantucket Dark Chocolate
- Chunk: Maui Milk Chocolate Coconut Almond
- Chunk: Double Chocolate Nantucket Dark Chocolate
- Chunk: Lexington Milk Chocolate Toffee Almond