April 4, 2007

Girl Scouts: Angels of the Cookie

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If this column was an episode of Friends it would be called, “The one where I try every Girl Scout cookie, only to realize seconds after I finish that Passover is next week and now I have to finish every box before they go stale.” For those of you who don’t know, Passover is the Jewish holiday where eating leavened bread is not allowed. For those of you who really really don’t know, Girl Scout cookies are delicious, and should be purchased and then eaten whenever humanly possible. Allow me to take you on a journey through every variety of Girl Scout cookie, and at the end, we will both really need a glass of milk.

First to the table are Tagalongs, the peanut butter patties. Even though it’s early in the game, I would like to point out that Girl Scout cookies build strong bo0ides and strong minds according to the box. I’m sure they mean the funds that the Girl Scout cookies raise, go into programs that build strong bodies and strong minds, but I’m going to pretend that it means that these cookies are good for me. Tagalongs are crunchy, have strong peanut butter taste, and like all Girl Scout cookies are highly addictive. They remind me of New! Nutter Butter Crème Patties, except much better. When I first bought New! Nutter Butter Crème Patties from Wegman’s the cashier asked me to “think of her when I eat them.” I really disliked the cookies but somehow they found a home on my desk, and now I think about Jackie the cashier all the time.

Trefoils, the next cookie I tried, are “Old Fashioned Shortbread” and are not very good. If there was a cookie plate left out at a birthday party, trefoils would be last picked. They taste dry, almost like a cracker, and there is a slight lemony aftertaste, which is strange because there is no lemon in the ingredients. The culprit? My guess is citric acid (to preserve freshness.)

Next up is the most controversial cookie in the bunch. The Samoa has been accused of being the highest fat cookie (guilty), causing childhood obesity, heart disease, and juvenile diabetes (probably not guilty.) Samoas are a cookie based around coconuts, chocolate, and caramel, three flavors that rarely get to meet in the snacking wild. Throw these three together though, and there is magic in the air. They stick to your molars like those fish that stick to whales. After each cookie I tried, I wanted to brush my teeth. Think Mounds Bar meets candied apple, but less healthy, and you begin to have an idea of how good this cookie is.

The next cookies are the All Abouts. According to each cookie, Girl Scouting is “all about” something different. Fun, values, friendships etc. These cookies however are just jazzed-up old-fashioned short bread. The jazz is a chocolate bottom. For some reason however, these All Abouts are 30 times more delicious than the old-fashioned short bread. For this reason, I now posit Charlie Niesenbaum’s first law of snacks: Chocolate makes a snack 30 times better. (I recently discovered that my articles can only be Googled if I put my name in the body.)

An old wives tale entices people to save the best for last. I have no patience for that so I grab the green box of thin mints. Thin Mints are far and away the best cookie in the batch, and are the least like any mainstream cookie on the market. They are brittle, they are sweet, they are minty, they pack a chocolate punch. They are Andes crème mints spread out on a cookie, they are toothpaste flavored crackers, chocolate and mint were born to be together, and Thin Mint cookies don’t deny them their rights.

Last, the Do-si-dos peanut butter cremes, the second best peanut butter flavored cookie in the bunch. These are really just special occasion nutter butters, but they are a little classier because they don’t come in the shape of a peanut. Now that I’ve tried all the varieties, I would like to rank them in order from worst to best. Trefoils, Do-si-dos, All Abouts, Samoas, Tagalongs and the winner: of course Thin Mints. After All Abouts, it’s all good really, I would take any of the “final three” any day and be happy as a pig … well, I would be very happy.

This is my 10th column, and I would like to take a little time to thank all my fans as if this were my 10th anniversary column. “Thank you to all the fans! Who would have thought 10 years ago that a little snack column like this would last for ten whole years! After ten years of dedicated service to the best college daily in the world, the Cornell Daily Sun, I would like to dedicate this plaque to myself. It reads “For 10 YEARS of dedicated snack service to Ithaca, and the entire universe.”

Just a side comment on the design of the boxes: The girls on the boxes of cookies are having a lot of fun. I never was in the Girl Scouts, but between the zip line, the fireman’s hat and the field trip to visit a falcon, these up-and-coming female entrepreneurs have a bright future. Especially if they become cardiologists, obesity specialists, and dentists.