Despite all the flavors that have been introduced over the years, when I hear the word Oreo, I think of thing and one thing only: two chocolate cookies sandwiched over a vanilla cream filling. So when a new variety of Oreo comes out, I always have to remember to judge it on its own merits, not on how closely it resembles what I think of as an Oreo (which in most cases these days is...not at all.)
Take the new Lemon Oreos. They consist of two vanilla cookies sandwiching a layer of lemon cream filling. It's OK mind, I told myself as I stared down at the new cookies. It's just like when you watched Henry Winkler on Arrested Development. At first you kept thinking, hey, when did the Fonz become a lawyer? But then you got over it.
It's unclear how different these cookies are from the limited edition Lemon Twist Oreos from 2012 (or theoretically, the lemon Oreo introduced in the 1920s). Not that it matters, because as of this new release, there was still a big lemony hole in the Oreo line-up; these fill that gap nicely.
The outer cookies taste almost identical to the main portion of Vienna Fingers: i.e. not overly sweet and with a slightly floury vanilla flavor. The lemon cream is pretty bright and tangy. Yes, there is a slightly artificial taste to the lemon, a detergent edge that pretty much all supermarket lemon sweets have. And I definitely didn't enjoy the filling as much on its own, peeled back from its vanilla container. I won't be eating these cookies piecemeal, as I sometimes do a regular Oreo.
But when the cookie is eaten as a whole, the vanilla exterior harmonizes with the lemon interior and makes it taste fresher by contrast. Overall, I'm a fan (as were the people I shared my stash with) and those who have been holding out for lemon Oreos should take notice.
About the author: Carrie Vasios Mullins is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios