Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Oreos, the world’s top-selling cookie, manufactured by the Nabisco Company, are a sandwich biscuit consisting of two crisp chocolate rounds with a vanilla cream filling.

Until the twentieth century, cookies in America were generally homemade or bought at local bakeries; mass-produced cookies like Oreos became popular around the turn of the century due to the relatively inexpensive cost of sugar, the development of new manufacturing technologies, and the rise in popularity of such treats. The National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) introduced the Oreo Biscuit in 1912, the same year they released the Lorna Doone, a square shortbread cookie. Oreos were first sold to grocer S. C. Thuesen in Hoboken, New Jersey, and were launched nationally one month later. What is now referred to as “milk’s favorite cookie” was not the first of its kind, however. Nabisco had previously offered a similar product dubbed “Bouquet,” and the Sunshine Biscuit Company had launched its chocolate sandwich cookie, the Hydrox, in 1908.