Friday, September 26, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Oreos- ShopRite: Cherry Hill, NJ - Pumpkin Haul 2014

Pumpkin Spice Oreos- ShopRite: Cherry Hill, NJ
This will be the first pumpkin item for my 2014 Pumpkin Gallery/Haul! I figured I might as well start with one of the most hyped up pumpkin releases this season, the Pumpkin Spice Oreo!

Since last January, Oreo has kicked their limited edition flavor releases into over drive. We've had so many! Everything from Marshmallow Squares to Fruit Punch has been converted into a sandwich cookie, and I feel like it's gone from a fun novelty, to being an obnoxious marketing campaign. The only limited edition flavors I would ever re-purchase would be the Reese's, Banana Split (which technically came out last summer and were just re-released this year) and the Crispy Marshmallow Square. They were interesting, well executed, and very different from everything else on the market, but the rest of the flavors I've reviewed have been one-shot novelties. Food bloggers like me get suckered into tracking these flavors down to let readers know what's worth checking out, and the thrill of the cookie chase was fun at first, but now the gimmick is starting to wear thin. Each disappointing novelty flavor makes me feel less and less interested in these limited edition cookies, and I really feel like a lot of them aren't worth your time (or money). I'm kind of hoping that this Pumpkin Spice cookie will taste delicious and it'll revive my love of the limited edition hunt, so I won't waste anymore time, let's open this package and find out!

The package is very generic, the same as all other vanilla-based Limited Edition Oreo flavors, so there isn't much to say. It's yellow. There's a picture of a pumpkin with cinnamon sticks on the front. It has that peel-up front that acts as a seal for the package (which I hate). The packaging functions well, and it's design fits in with the rest of the Oreo line, but there's nothing new about it to make it stand out or really worthy of commentary. I'm just going to move on to the cookie itself. 

Inside the package, the cookies are lined up into neat little rows, and the filling has a pleasant cinnamon-heavy spiced aroma. Right off the bat, I'm really happy to report that these cookies smell like actual food! Not a candle or lotion trying to imitate food, but real, edible, food! At a distance, the scent is sweet and mild, but when I bring it closer to my nose the aroma is more like Biscoff and those other spiced cookie spreads. There's a hint of the other pumpkin pie spices, like ginger, cloves, and nutmeg, but they are really weak. Cinnamon is undoubtedly the star of this show.

Untwisted, the filling looks wet and shiny. It still twists off clean, due to the shortening-like texture of Oreo creme fillings, but it's really soft to the touch. Visually, the coloring is pretty close to that of a pumpkin pie, which is quite impressive, but when you remember there is no actual pumpkin in these at all, it gets a bit worrying. The ingredients list some kind of paprika-based coloring agent, so I guess it's not entirely food dye, but I don't know why they just couldn't use actual pumpkin in the mix. Does it spoil? These things are chock full of preservatives already, wouldn't that make the pumpkin shelf-stable?

I started out by trying the creme filling on it's own. The creme was really soft, but not as mouth-coatingly waxy as normal Oreo cookie filling, and it has a sweet cinnamon-y flavoring. As you chew, the other spices become as little more apparent, and there is a decent amount of nutmeg in the aftertaste, but cinnamon is still the boldest flavor in this cookie. It tasted really good, and it was nicely spiced, but it's way too cinnamon-heavy to truly recreate pumpkin pie or the pumpkin pie spices.

When eaten with the cookie, the vanilla flavoring and crunchy texture helps to mellow out some of the cinnamon, but the cookie as a whole still doesn't do a good job representing the pumpkin pie spices.

Out of all the pumpkin themed cookies I've reviewed over the years, this was the most enjoyable, but it's just not a good representation of pumpkin spice. It's too cinnamon heavy. (I want to take a quick moment and thank Oreo for NOT making this pumpkin cheese cake flavored. Seriously, Archer Farms and Pepperidge Farms need to reformulate that stuff. It's just awful and I never want to buy anything pumpkin cheese cake flavored ever again.) 

This cookie was definitely worth the hunt and the purchase, because it is really delicious and it pairs nicely with a glass of cold milk, but it is more of a fall spiced cookie than a pumpkin spiced one. If you see this while you're out and about, and you like spiced cookies like gingerbread or ginger snaps, you'd love these.

On a Pumpkin Scale of 1-5 (5 being the most pumpkin-y) I’d give this a 3.5. It may taste very cinnamon-heavy, but it's the most enjoyable fall/pumpkin cookie I've ever reviewed.
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