DATELINE: You Need a Biscuit?
With Oreo Cookies in the news this week, another one of Trump’s “stable genius” appointees mixed up the distinction between an REO and an Oreo.
It came to our attention that the Oreo was invented and launched to the public on March 6, 1912, while the RMS Titanic was launched on April 12, 1912. So, we checked our First-Class Titanic menu for April 14, and learned that British-style biscuits were not proffered to passengers among the fancy pastry tray items.
The elite on the voyage had a choice of apple meringue, custard pudding, or assorted pastry. We think Animal Crackers were not on the docket.
Our spirit of choice, who stays in our haunted home, never had a chance to partake of an Oreo Cookie from the National Biscuit Company. He was a teenager during the years that the American cookie revolution hit: oh, you would find Fig Newtons, Graham Crackers, Animal Crackers, and even Saltines, all invented in the first decade of the 20th century. Oreos came on the tail end.
In all likelihood, Richard White—who died on the Titanic at age 21—never heard of an Oreo Cookie.
Oreos have since been sunk into a billion glasses of milk by children, while the Titanic sank but once as it steamed into oblivion.
When first on the market, the Oreo was sold as an elegant, first-class “dessert sandwich.” They came in a tin box to prevent dampness and water from turning them into soggy spoils.
Snobs of America, those lovers of all things Anglophilia around 1900, likely preferred ‘biscuits’ to ‘cookies’, in language terms. The cookie was a term around since the American Revolution, derived from a Dutch sounding word for little sweet cakes.
Since the Titanic was of British registry, you would not find a cookie aboard, though unkind people might have referred to Titanic passengers, artist Francis Davis Millet and his friend Archibald Butt, as a couple of sweetcakes.
By 1912, American children who had been introduced to snack-food cookies began a journey that would bring them to an epidemic crisis of diabetic proportions 100 years later.
And we have not even dunked our blog cookie into the racist use of the term Oreo.