Time Magazine recently listed nine obscure facts about Oreo cookies. The one they didn’t answer for me is:

Why does the package say “chocolate sandwich cookies” when nothing in them tastes like chocolate?

Whatever the cookie is, it’s bittersweet and dark in color, but if I was to be grabbed suddenly, shoved in an alley, force-fed a wafer of whatever the crunchy part of an Oreo is and then challenged to say what it tasted like, “weird graham cracker” would probably be the best I could do. I have some in front of me, in the form of some “fun size” Oreos left over from Halloween, and a 2-cookie pack left over from my wife’s lunch from yesterday. Both have the same ingredient list, both have cocoa as an ingredient, and both do list chocolate… as the very last thing that goes into an Oreo. The stuff that precedes chocolate includes: leavening (baking soda and/or calcium phosphate), salt, soy lecithin, and vanillin – an artificial flavor (which sounds like a kind of criminal mastermind who steals or somehow evil-fies cookies, doesn’t it?). I’m almost thinking that Nabisco is taking the homeopathic route with this kind of thing.

This isn’t to say they aren’t a fine snack or that they don’t taste “good,” per se. In the same way that Apple Jacks cereal poked fun at itself for not tasting like apples, one could say the Oreo is a unique flavor, like bubble gum. But to me, at least, it ain’t chocolate. Now if you’ll excuse me, that package of fun-sized cookies somehow got torn, so I suppose I shouldn’t let them go to waste…