A Mystery That Needed To Be Solved
I'm talking, of course, about Girl Scout Cookies.
Oh, you don't think there's mystery here? Perhaps you don't realize that the delicious coconut and caramel cookie you've known and loved as a "Samoa" is sold - sometimes - as a Caramel deLite? Or that the Tagalong is called a Peanut Butter Pattie, again sometimes?
When I first discovered that the Samoa was no longer called that, and instead the wishy-washy, Anglicized Caramel deLite, I assumed that a group from American Samoa had complained. (Although, who could complain about having THE MOST DELICIOUS COOKIE EVER named after you?) Then, I wondered...what about the Tagalong? Who would care about that name?
Using my admittedly finite deductive powers, I assumed that the Girl Scouts of America decided that we consumers were too stupid to know what was in a Samoa, a Trefoil or a Do-si-do. So, they renamed them with names that actually described the cookie contents.
That is...until last night, when while complaining about this at my friends house, they pointed out their box of...SAMOAS.
Yes, that's what they're called. Still.
The only logical question here is, "What the fuck?"
In her wisdom, my wife suggested I do a little online digging and it's a pretty easy nut to crack:
Girl Scout cookies are made by large national commercial bakeries under license from Girl Scouts of the USA. The bakers that the organization licenses change from year to year; as of 2005 they are Little Brownie Bakers, a subsidiary of Kellogg's; and ABC Bakers, a subsidiary of Interbake Food (since 1939). Licensed bakers can offer up to eight varieties of Girl Scout cookies. The national Girl Scout organization reviews and approves all varieties proposed by the bakers, but requires only three types: Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwiches (called Do-Si-Do's by LBB) and Shortbreads (called Trefoils by LBB). The other kinds can be changed every year, though several popular favorites, such as Caramel DeLites (LBB's Samoas) and Peanut Butter Patties (Tagalongs by LBB), are consistently available. Each bakery names its own cookies. Thus the exact kinds, names, and composition of the cookies varies depending on who has the license. Little Brownie Bakers and ABC Bakers have been the primary competitors for the past several years.
So, essentially, Little Brownie Bakers has the cool, old school names, and ABC Bakers uses the more descriptive but decidedly less fun names. It seems, from reading this, that there's probably many folks who have never heard of a Samoa at all. And that's just a shame.
Yes, I know this is a seemingly lot of energy to expend on Girl Scout cookies, but it's a pretty simple answer to a question that had bugged me, and - maybe - bugged you as well.