You think I like being a cookie curmudgeon? I want to support these young girls on their path to propriety before the tats and nipple rings lead them astray as much as the next guy. I just don't want to be a party to this kind of “food” that our society so eagerly embraces. This week, however, I was obligated to buy a box, and when I offered my friend a cash donation instead, well, that was too complicated. He just wanted to sell me a box of cookies. So I caved. And surprisingly—sweets binger that I am—after my first Samoa, I didn't want any moa. I said no moa. Something seemed off. It had a cardboardesque quality to it as if it had been engineered in a lab. It still had that new beaker taste. I envisioned some mad food scientist in a lab coat and goggles hovering over his boiling glass ensconced in Samoa steam. As I was compartmentalizing each cookie component in my mouth, I wondered where the caramel was that used to be so prominent? Was my box just a result of a bad day at the lab or had the recipe changed? Isn’t that the point of processed food—to achieve a reliable level of sameness?
Since two different
beakers bakers make the cookies, I did a little research on the Samoas® and found that each baker has different cookie names with slightly different ingredients and nutritional information for the very same cookie. For instance, ABC Bakers calls them Caramel deLites® and the ingredient list says: Artificial color (red #40 lake, yellow #5 lake, blue #1 lake, blue #2 lake), yet the Samoas from Little Brownie Bakers makes no mention of artificial color at all. So to the unsleuthed ingredient eye, one would assume the colors are as natural as the blue sky of Samoa.
On the Girl Scouts FAQs, I was surprised to find that they address some of my concerns about hydrogenated oil, high-fructose corn syrup, free-trade chocolate, etc., but mostly they make excuses for the ingredients. Apparently, you can claim zero trans fat when there is actually 0.5%, according to FDA labeling rules (Gotta love those processed-food lobbyists). And you know the cookies couldn’t be too healthy when their crack legal team is advising you to eat them in moderation. That’s a little like telling Charlie Sheen to only have one porn star a night. And zero trans fat when there's really some in there? That’s like saying Sheen only had a tween, so she doesn't count. In the meantime, I’m working on some fresh ideas for a Girl Scout cookie makeover. I bet you can hardly wait.