Debates about the proper way to eat an Oreo have been around for as long as the chocolate sandwich cookies themselves.
Do you dunk them in milk? Go with the old twist-and-separate approach? Eat them straight from the bag?
Or maybe you prefer to squirt a dollop of mustard on your otherwise-sweet treat — like the person who crafted one confounding clue for the USA Today crossword puzzle last Wednesday.
The clue for 10 down? “Cookie that some people eat with mustard.”
USA Today journalist Brett Murphy tweeted out a reader letter — addressed to “the buffoons behind the USA Today crossword puzzle” — that detailed the seemingly inexplicable conundrum.
“I eventually filled in ‘OREO,’” the missive explained. “I was confused but willing to admit my ignorance for the sake of completing your godforsaken puzzle.”
But getting the right answer to a clue that felt wrong wasn’t good enough. The reader wanted to see just what they’d been missing.
“And then I tried it,” the now-viral letter continued. “You bastards. I would hope that given the cultural influence of the USA Today crossword puzzle, the puzzle masters would exert some sort of quality review for their clues. Oreos and mustard — I can now inform you with learned experiential certainty — are wretched.”
After requesting the phone numbers and mailing addresses of the “some people” who allegedly like the combo, the reader went on to say that they’d eat (ahem) the cost of the Oreo and that the mustard was free. However, they requested a refund of 14 cents for “the exact cost of the 4 Altoids I had to consume to get the taste out of my mouth.”
But according to the official Oreo Twitter account, the real value of all of this is “priceless.”
The brand also tweeted, “Adds mustard to list of unusual things people dunk OREO cookies into.”
But the question remains, do they really?
Maybe they did, according to /Film writer Josh Spiegel, who found a reference to the practice in Theodore Carl Soderberg’s memoir, “The Summer of ’72: Haight Ashbury to Alaska.”
“‘Did you know that Oreos taste better if you spread a little mustard on them?’” the passage read. “I then spread a big glob of mustard on two Oreos, shoved one in my mouth as mustard dripped down my chin, and extended the last one toward Lenny. ‘Here you go, buddy, give it a try!’”
Then Lenny, seemingly speaking for everyone, responded, “Ugh, how can you eat Oreos with mustard?”