Some weeks you get a flat tire, others you might overdraft your checking account. And for some people, on a really bad week, Nabisco announces that it’s going to release a Candy Corn Oreo. While the two flavors seem like they could pair nicely for a seasonal cookie (just look at the amazing job Trader Joe’s did with their candy cane “Joe’s Os” for proof of the possibilities on that front), the Candy Corn Oreo doesn’t seem like a natural fit— it’s like trying to imagine Lou Reed making an album with Metallica or Taco Bell fashioning a taco shell out of Doritos.
It’s a risky move, especially considering the general public’s polarizing views on the sugar-soaked candy. In the Paste office especially, the tri-colored nuggets conjured up critiques that ranged from “It’s a classic candy” to “The old guy on the corner who gave out pennies [on Halloween] was better than this sick stuff.” You either love it or hate it, and that’s what makes the Candy Corn Oreo your new best friend or worst enemy in the month of October.
On these grounds, we’ve evaluated the Candy Corn Oreo as an overall snack—not just a seasonal one that you’d pluck off the shelf once a year. Here’s how the evaluation took place: We tasted the Candy Corn Oreo back-to-back with Nabisco’s original Oreo (an absolute, indisputable classic cookie by our measure), Brach’s Candy Corn (America’s No. 1 candy corn, according to the bag) and our own homemade hybrid, which featured Brach’s kernels stuffed into Oreos.
At first taste, it seems like Nabisco played it safe with the Oreo, drawing up more on a sugary, frosting-like flavor than an actual piece of candy corn. While there are undertones of that same taste that we saw in Brach’s, we saw more similarities to Oreo’s birthday cake cookies than an actual piece of candy corn. This makes it mildly more tolerable for non-candy corn eaters and a disappointment for others, and the impact of the sugar up-front made it difficult for me to consider eating two back-to-back.
Eight out of nine participants agreed—These cookies probably aren’t going to creep their way into your yearly lineup. The reactions were harsh to say the least (“A despicable creation. not sure what the good people at Nabisco were thinking here,” and “It’s not good, but at least it’s not candy corn” rounded out the comments). Mid-afternoon, the one favorable review quickly took a 180 after too much of a “good” thing (“I’m not sure that I love them anymore,” our Editor-in-Chief said roughly four hours after his first bite.) In all actuality, we loved the ghetto-rigged Brach’s/Oreo hybrids so much more. The flavor was bolder, the sugar attack wasn’t as in-your-face. As predicted, none of the snacks could stand up next to the always-amazing original Oreo cookie, which hovered around the top of everyone’s rankings.
The truth is, as strange of a combination as it seems, Nabisco’s latest oddball creation is not nearly as offensive as it could be. If you’re on the edge about sampling it (or are a candy corn fan in general), its small price tag makes it worth giving it a shot. But if you’re thinking it’s not for you, we’re guessing you’re 100 percent right.