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An Oreo is a type of cookie manufactured by Nabisco Corporation, introduced in 1912. It is very similar to Sunshine's competing Hydrox cookie, introduced in 1908, which having lost market share to Oreo for years, was withdrawn in 1996. The modern design of the Oreo was developed in 1952 by William A. Turnier. It consists of two circular chocolate wafers with a sugary white filling (commonly referred to as "cream," although it is technically not) sandwiched between them. The design of the Oreo allows it to be eaten in several ways. Many people twist apart the wafers and eat the filling first; others eat the cookie without taking it apart.

The Oreo is commonly used as an ingredient or adornment for other foods. Milkshakes containing Oreos are popular. Deep-fried Oreos, which are batter-dipped Oreos fried like funnel cakes, are sometimes sold at carnivals and fairs. Also, the development of premium ice creams has produced "Cookies 'n' Cream," a vanilla ice cream with chunks of Oreo cookies included. Cookies 'n' Cream may or may not contain actual Nabisco Oreos, however, non-Nabisco brand chocolate sandwich cookies that are functionally identical, such as Hydrox and an endless stream of "generic" brands, are commonly referred to as Oreos.

In 1998 the makers declared that Oreos were kosher-dairy in Kosher diets. On May 13, 2003, British-born attorney Stephen Joseph filed suit charging Nabisco with using hydrogenated, or partially hydrogenated, oils to make the cookies. The suit was dropped as Nabisco considered replacing the hydrogenated oils with alternative oils. Depending on area, Oreo cookies may or may not be vegan.

For many years, the DC Comics character J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter, had an addiction to Oreos (later "Chocos" due to copyright laws). This is one of the character's most well-known traits.

Oreo varieties

Not all varieties are listed here, and not all are available in every country. Shown Below:

  • Double Stuf Oreos - an Oreo with a double portion of filling
  • Colored Creme Oreos - Instead of white cream, these Oreos contain cream that is tinted a certain color. They are sold at appropriate times of the year (orange at Halloween, red at Christmas, blue during springtime, etc.).
  • Chocolate Creme Oreos - contain chocolate-flavored cream instead of the traditional white cream. A similar cookie by the name of Fudgee-O is made in (and available in) Canada, also made by Nabisco.
  • Fudge Oreos - like the traditional cookie, but with an overall coating of chocolate fudge
  • White Fudge Oreos - Oreos with a coating of white chocolate fudge
  • Double Delight Oreos - Oreos with two different flavors of filling in the same cookie
    • Peanut Butter and Chocolate - The filling is half peanut butter and half chocolate-flavored cream.
    • Mint 'n' Creme - The filling is half white cream and half mint-flavored cream.
    • Coffee 'n' Creme - The filling is half white cream and half coffee-flavored cream.
  • Uh-Oh! Oreos - The flavors of the cookie are reversed: the wafers are vanilla flavored and the cream is chocolate. The name comes from a television commercial for the cookie, in which a little girl exclaims "Uh-oh!" after watching malfunctioning factory equipment create a reversed cookie.
  • Cup 'O Dirt - Not exactly an oreo, but a cup of chocolate pudding and crumbled Oreos on top of that, filled with gummy worms.
  • Golden Oreos - have the usual cream, but yellow wafers instead of chocolate ones
  • Uh-Oh! Golden Oreos - consist of the yellow wafers of Golden Oreos and the chocolate filling of Uh-Oh! Oreos
  • Mini Oreos - a smaller, "bite-sized" version of the cookie. They are packaged in bags or individual snack packs rather than the usual wrapped trays.
  • Oreo Barz - a candy bar variation of the cookie, containing the wafer and cream, plus a chocolate coating and chocolate chips for topping
  • Oreo O's - a breakfast cereal containing the chocolate and cream flavors of the cookie with marshmallow bits
  • Oreo Ice Cream - an ice cream containing blended oreo cookies and vanilla ice cream. Breyers makes this Ice Cream in the States while Nestle makes it in Canada.
  • Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches - same as the cookie with larger wafers and oreo ice cream in the middle (without the huge chunks of oreo cookies in it) Breyers makes this Ice Cream in the States while Nestle makes it in Canada.
  • Jello Oreo Pudding - Jello chocolate pudding at the bottom and on top, with vanilla in the middle.

The term "Oreo" is also used, primarily by African Americans, as a derogatory term for a person who is black by ethnicity, yet whose sympathies lie with Caucasians. The term implies that the individual so described is "black on the outside, but white on the inside"; "coconut" has the same suggestion. Individuals of Asian descent often use the terms "banana" and "Twinkie" for a similar metaphor. All of these terms are generally considered to be racist for implying that there is a certain way to act or think if an individual is of a given ethnicity.

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