Fun fact: Not all Girl Scout cookies are the same. There are two authorized bakers: ABC Bakers in Richmond, Virginia and Little Brownie Bakers in Louisville, Kentucky. The Mississippi River may be the dividing line: Little Brownie Bakers distributed in the east and ABC Bakers in the west. At least that's my conclusion based on a story from heartland TV station KFVS in the greater St. Louis area. Such a dilemma there, where traveling across the river can get you a totally different cookie. Here in Bergen County NJ, east of the Mississippi, we get Little Brownie Bakers.
Not only are there differences in appearance, taste and ingredients, but also the names of the cookies. Samoas can be called Caramel deLites; Tagalongs know as Peanut Butter Patties. Is it Trefoils or Shortbread, Do-si-dos or Peanut Butter Sandwiches? It all depends on where you live. As for the 3 new varieties offered this year, I'm not sure my neighborhood sales girl had them. I certainly got no sales pitch for Rah Rah Raisin (oatmeal raisin) or the gluten free Toffee-tastic (toffee bits in a butter cookie) or Trios (chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal). She also didn't mention that my beloved Thin Mints are now vegan - smart little salesgirl, knowing my preference over the years. I may have hesitated if I'd known. Vegan cookie is right up there with favorite oxymorons like Military Intelligence and Jumbo Shrimp--impossible, contradictory combinations. If I'd known, I may have just resorted to the Stop and Shop imitations, which are actually quite good.
When I got my order, I immediately examined the "nutrition" information on the box and confirmed that whey had been removed. Yippee - my first vegan cookie! The taste test was next. The thin mints box suggests a serving size of 4 cookies (160 calories), but everyone knows the actual thin mint serving size is one sleeve. Yes, folks, that's 16 cookies at a whopping 640 calories! Yum.
The thin mints passed my test, but I decided I will hold a cookie tasting contest this Saturday to get wider input. Contenders will be the Little Brownie Bakers vs Stop and Shop. If someone could express ship me some ABC cookies, I'd greatly appreciate it! The strictest guidelines will be followed including blindfolds, milk to cleanse the palate and a detailed questionnaire.
Stay tuned for results. Wishing you a very Happy Easter or Passover!