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REVIEW: Oreo Churros

Fried, hot Oreo cookies. What could go wrong?

I could hardly contain my excitement, when it came time to finally sample the box of Oreo Churros that had been rotting away in my freezer, neglected for more than a month. After all, how could this unassuming blue box contain anything less than the single greatest snack mashup modern food science has ever created, promising all of the greatness of the classic Oreo cookie, only fried, hot, and rolled in sugar like a Mexican churro? How could any other frozen dessert ever hope to compete, once these Oreo Churros delivered a one-two combo punch to all of the pleasure centers of my brain?

From the box:

OREO® meets churro. Now available as a melt-in-your-mouth chocolatey churro, stuffed with rich creme. With a crispy outside, rich creme filling, and OREO® cookie pieces in every bite, it is the ultimate MASHUP!

Right away, there are a few written clues to indicate that this may not be an all-natural product. The use of the terms “chocolatey” and “creme,” as opposed to “chocolate” and “cream,” suggests that the product may contain little, if any, of either. And indeed, I tried to count the ingredients on the box, but got lost somewhere around 100, since each ingredient contains parenthetical sub-ingredients, some of which ALSO contain parenthetical sub-incredients, followed by a notice that the product is “partially produced with genetic engineering.”

Now, look. I’m not scared of science. The reason I haven’t yet made Oreo Churros in my own home kitchen, is that I don’t have access to the mad scientist’s lab of chemicals and tools needed to create such an abomination, to make such a crime against nature even remotely possible. And genetic engineering? Pffff. If it’ll make my peaches bigger and sweeter and less furry, and my tomatoes more able to withstand traveling at highway speeds without bruising, that’s fine. If the good people at J&J Snack Foods of Pennsauken, NJ need to bend God’s rules a little bit to get Oreo Churros in my mouth, I’m all for it.

I just feel like it’s worth noting: That’s a shit-ton of ingredients, for what should amount mostly to, um, a hot cookie.

Frozen Oreo Churros. Also, how badly do I need a new baking sheet?

But ethical food choices don’t matter if the end product is awesome, right? I started with a few Oreo Churros prepared according to the conventional oven directions, figuring that most people wouldn’t be breaking out the deep fryer and/or giant pots of boiling oil just to sample a hot version of their favorite cookie. 8 minutes at 450 degrees, a quick roll in the included “Oreo Dust and Granulated Sugar” pack, and I was ready to try one, along with my five year old daughter, who will likely include this website as evidence of neglect, in her forthcoming emancipation proceedings eleven years from now.

The outside was super crunchy, and almost chalky, with only a trace resemblance to the cookie that bears its name. Inside, the lauded “creme” filling stayed put firmly inside the churro, with a blast of vanilla flavor and a strange, gummy texture. Presumably, this viscosity is what keeps the filling inside the churro where it belongs, instead of leaking out all over your baking sheet or into your deep-fryer, but the tradeoff almost isn’t worth it; the resulting texture is so off, that it really detracts from the overall experience.

I couldn’t resist deep-frying a few of the Oreo Churros as well, since Mexican churros fresh from the fryer are one of the greatest gifts given to mankind. My hope was that taking the extra step of deep frying would lighten up the exterior, somehow making the whole thing lighter, airier, and more like the kind of churros you buy on the street outside of the zoo or at the indoor mall that nobody visits anymore.

While frying did result in greater sugar/Oreo crumb adhesion, this cooking method only made the texture of the cookie part of the churro even harder to bear. Frying produced a very thick outer crust, with dominating burnt chocolate flavors, and rendering the creme filling almost indistinguishable from the rest of the churro.

In conclusion, this was a disappointing showing from Oreo. While the conventional oven directions provided the best tasting version of the snack, the only vaguely chocolately, crumbly exterior and the weirdly viscous, too-sweet filling make for a snack that is less “ultimate mashup,” and more “Frankstein atrocity.” Skip this one, unless you’re my daughter, who after trying one, proclaimed me “probably the best cooker in the whole world.” So there’s that.

 

Written by Malcolm Bedell

Malcolm is the author of “Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road,” as well as a frequent contributor to Serious Eats, Down East Magazine, The L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and more. When not poisoning his body with garbage and then posting sardonic commentary about it on the Internet, he also owns and operates the ‘Wich, Please food truck, named Eater.com’s “Hottest Restaurant in Maine” for 2015.

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