You know that thing where your brain starts writing suicidal checks that your body knows it will never cash? That was me, walking to the grocery section of Target for the fourth time, thinking to myself, “If they don’t have Watermelon Oreos today, I’m going to kill myself.”
This obviously did not happen, since I am still here.
I kept being promised by red-shirted employees, who sounded like they actually knew what they were talking about, that the Oreos would be in stock the next day. On the first day, here’s how my morning started:
Me: “I have to go to Target today.”
Husband: “Uh, okay. Why?”
Me: “I have to get Watermelon Oreos.”
Husband [pause]: “I would have rather you told me you were going to go bang your secret boyfriend in the filthy Target public bathroom than tell me you’re going to spend actual money on Watermelon Oreos. That is disgusting.”
Unfortunately, there was neither gross secret-boyfriend banging nor Oreos on that day.
On the second try, I was so pissed off that I bought an iced coffee from the in-store Starbucks. I’m not sure who I thought I was committing revenge on, besides my wallet, but it made sense at the time.
On the third strike (after being told the second time that they’d definitely be there that weekend), I told Target it was lucky it was so close to my house because if my Regrets Per Mile were any higher, the building would be burning to the ground.
A smarter person would have learned after the first time to just call the store before going, but I kept being fed creamy broken promises sandwiched between two cookies of sheer hatred towards calling retail customer service.
As you can tell, I finally found success. Unfortunately, my secret boyfriend had the day off and the bathrooms were out of service. But I got what I really came for, which is a cookie meant to taste like a large summertime fruit.
The Internet Hype Machine is in full force on this one, for reasons I can’t quite understand. Oreos have already gone Birthday Cake, Candy Corn and Gingerbread. I guess once the machine gets rolling it’s hard to stop.
There’s also some talk about Limited Edition Watermelon Oreos being racist, which is pretty much the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Oh, okay, there’s a stereotype about black people liking watermelon. You know who else likes watermelon? Children. Adults. College kids who fill them with vodka.
I’d like to think Nabisco was aiming a little more innocently on this flavor; namely, “Watermelon is a classic summer flavor and it’s also a weird filling choice for Oreos. Let’s do this.”
Actually, the exact wording that I found is, “’We chose Watermelon because it is a fun, summer flavor that goes great with the Golden OREO cookie,” Oreo spokesperson Kimberly Fontes told TIME.
She left out the part about the hype, but I think it’s implied.
Internet blah blah-ing aside, let’s take a look for ourselves.
First off: packaging. I like that Oreo generally sticks to the formula of “blue packaging for chocolate Oreos, yellow packaging for Golden Oreos.” It makes it easy to identify what’s what on store shelves, especially since Oreo has come out with 700 different flavors/styles now.
The rest of the packaging is simple but effective: a giant slice of watermelon dominates, with a little untwisted Watermelon Oreo off to the side. It’s bright, it’s colorful, and it screams summertime.
Golden Oreos were the obvious choice for this flavor, because it’s basically a vanilla-ish sugar cookie, which fits a watermelon-flavored filling much better than chocolate would. Plus, it contributes to the overall color scheme.
As you can see, the creme is half-green, half-pink. Pretty much a no-brainer. My only lament, which I’m pretty sure other reviewers have already expressed, is the lack of tiny little black specks to represent watermelon seeds. C’mon, guys, those seeds are iconic. You could argue that these are seedless Watermelon Oreos, but if you did so, I would laugh in your face because we’re talking about a fucking cookie and you’re sperging out about semantics. Which would make me a hypocrite, because that’s exactly what I’m doing right now.
Furthermore, the watermelon slice on the package has seeds. Oreo, you know we’re going to be twisting off that top. Make the effort. Plus, some teensy crunchy candies would just add to the fun.
Then again, I may be putting the cart before the horse, here. You’re not really going to care about missing black specks if you’re busy vomiting into your kitchen sink because Limited Edition Watermelon Oreos are so disgusting.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened my package of Watermelon Oreos, but what I was least expecting is what I got – the sweet, bakery-like smell of Golden Oreos. Not a hint of watermelon in sight. Or sniff, rather.
The second thing I did, of course, was twist the top off, because that’s what you do with an Oreo. The inside looked pretty much like the package advertised – a swirly half-green, half-red creme, just like the color scheme of a real watermelon.
Well, not exactly. It’s more like mégot pastèque à l’aquarelle. In case you don’t speak French, that translates to “watermelon butt in watercolor”. At least, that’s what Google tells me; I don’t actually know French. I just wanted to sound fancy. With butt-shaped creme jokes.
I then licked the creme and was instantly hit with a familiar flavor – Watermelon Jolly Ranchers. It tasted obviously artificial and nothing like a real watermelon, but it was definitely distinct. It also wasn’t overly sweet, which I liked.
What I didn’t like was pretty fundamental – watermelon-flavored creme. I’m not adverse to artificial watermelon candy; I actually like Watermelon Jolly Ranchers and Watermelon Jelly Bellies.
When I ate the Watermelon Oreo as a whole cookie, an interesting phenomenon occurred. While the watermelon flavor was strong when tasting the creme straight, it became remarkably muted when paired with the Golden Oreo cookies. The cookies themselves have a quite sweet and vanilla flavor, and the watermelon took a back seat to this, for which I was thankful. It was odd that the creme had such a strong flavor on its own but diminished so easily when eaten with the cookies.
After eating four of the cookies, I was left with an uneasy feeling that was both inexplicable and familiar. I was suddenly reminded of Watermelon Jelly Belly Pudding Snacks. I don’t know what it is, but it seems like there’s a place for artificial watermelon flavor, and that place is neither cookie creme nor pudding.
Nabisco nailed that artificial watermelon flavor, so I have to give them points for that. But on the other hand, Watermelon Oreos are just…not necessary. I appreciate the summertime marketing ploy and weird-factor hype, but the actual taste of the creme just didn’t sit well with me. Paired with the cookies, the toned-down flavor got a little better, but overall, it was just too bizarre for my taste buds.
But hey, at least I didn’t barf.
Limited Edition Watermelon Oreo