Where Do Oreos Come From?Posted: September 25, 2013
Some years ago, I got to explain where babies come from. I think I got the point across. Maybe I was able to handle the task because I knew what I was talking about. That class I took on the topic in sixth grade helped after all. Knowing what you’re talking about helps.
I’m happy that my son didn’t ask me where Oreo cookies come from. It turns out I didn’t know as much about the topic as I believed I did.
On a recent road trip, my car’s alternator gave up the ghost. I spent the night in an unfamiliar town, then walked back to the garage where I had the car towed and waited for the mechanic to finish the repair.
‘Tis Ain’t The Season
I ate lunch at a barbecue joint down the street. As I did, I learned that I didn’t know where Oreos come from. On the restaurant’s menu board was this entry:
Oreo Pudding (Seasonal)……….$1.95
Oreo Pudding sounded delicious, but I opted out of having any. Something made from Oreos can’t be healthy. That’s not why I didn’t have any.
I didn’t order the pudding because I didn’t know there was an Oreo season. What a fool I would’ve looked like if I’d ordered the dessert when the cookies were out of season.
After my car was ready, I drove home and looked in to why Oreo pudding is a seasonal dessert. It turns out that Oreo season occurs in late spring/early summer. You can probably imagine how relieved I was that I hadn’t ordered pudding in September.
Unlike money, Oreos grow on trees. These cookie trees grow quickly in full sun. For maximum yield, Oreo trees need a cool and moist spring. Strong winds can destroy the cookies before they are ready by blowing them off their stems before their time.
Machines can’t harvest this crop. Skilled migrant workers pick the cookies by hand to avoid crushing the delicate wafers.
Once picked, the cookies are rushed to a processor to be wrapped in cellophane. The Oreos are best when they’re packaged within two days. The high spoilage rates of the cookies make them a high risk, high reward crop for farmers. Not just anyone is up to the task of tending an Oreo orchard.
I’m certain about where babies came from because of sixth grade family living class. I likely won’t ever have a good grasp of why Oreo Pudding is a seasonal menu item.
I’ve figured out that there are times when it is critical to know what you’re talking about. There are also times when you can fake it. There’s nothing wrong with knowing your business nor with improvising.
But it is a mistake to believe that the world doesn’t understand when you’re faking it. Acting as if you’re not making it up as you go along is demeaning to those around you.
Talking down to folks is always out of season.