Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Old Cookies

And now a break for cookies.

I remember eating Oreos most of the time in childhood, but we sometimes had Hydrox when we visited my mother's parents' house. The four of us daughters thought they were weird and old-fashioned, therefore (or maybe a knockoff, if we had such a concept at the time). 

But as it turns out, Hydrox were first (1908) and Oreos were the imitation (1912). According to the Wikipedia and its sources, Hydrox have a sweeter filling than Oreos and the cookie is crunchier, supposedly meaning it becomes less soggy in milk.

The name Hydrox is meant to imply "purity and goodness" somehow through reference to the elements that make up water. What a great example of early-20th-century thinking about brand names! The name Oreo, on the other hand, is of unknown origin, though I find the argument that it may come from a Latin plant name, Oreodaphne, persuasive:

the original design of the Oreo includes a laurel wreath; and the names of several of Nabisco's cookies at the time of the original Oreo had botanical derivations...

What got me thinking about all this was the imprinted designs on the two cookies. For some reason, the pattern printed into the surface on one or the other of them popped into my head the other day, and I realized their designs are of the time they're from, and I never noticed that before.

That means they're from roughly the same era as Cascarets, this sheet music, or close to that of this Bakelite button.


Michael Leddy said...

Hydrox was (still is?) the better cookie, I’d say. I started thinking about Hydrox last year when hearing the former guy’s references to “hydroxy.”

Both cookie patterns would make some pretty spiffy sewer covers.

Daughter Number Three said...

A funny meta-moment: when your comment notification came into my email, the subject line was "New comment on Old Cookies."

I haven't had a Hydrox since I was a child, I think. The association with old people (my grandparents) is very strong in my head.