“Do you like Fruity Pebbles?” Joy the Randall’s cashier asked me after scanning my package of Mystery Oreos.
“No,” I replied, though with some uncertainty. It has been approximately two decades since I've had Fruity Pebbles, and my only foggy memory of the experience was my conclusion that Fruit Loops were far superior.
“Well, that’s what the mystery flavor is,” said Joy, with too much smugness for my taste.
“Oh yeah,” I followed up, “Is that, like, officially confirmed?” I have a habit of inserting like into sentences to seem casual and relaxed when in fact I’m rapidly becoming annoyed.
“That’s what they’re sayin,’” asserted Joy.
Well, if it’s any body of persons I trust, it’s that ambiguous they. Not. In the past few years, I have been informed by numerous characters that “they say that global warming thing is a government conspiracy,” and “they say that Obama character is a Muslim.” So, sorry, Joy, whatever “they” are saying is probably an alternative fact. Also, Oreo already released a “Fruity Crisp” varietal with colorful rice krisps whose fruit flavor clearly was designed to evoke Fruity Pebbles without having to name the cereal (and give Post some of the profits).
I was purchasing Mystery Oreos to attempt to guess correctly the mystery flavor (obviously) and possibly secure the grand prize ($50,000) or one of the five “first” prizes ($10,000). Apparently, at some point around the release of Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Oreos and Apple Pie Oreos, the Nabisco flavor R&D department ran out of juice and could only come up with “Mystery.” Maybe even the Oreo people don’t know what it is!
I said a brusque goodbye to Joy and headed home, where I poured a tall glass of milk and opened my Mystery Oreos.
The first bite reminded me of artificially fruit-flavored sugary cereal. Oh s***.
So did the second. This can’t be happening. ‘They’ can’t be right, even just once.
First of all, I had assumed it was a given Nabisco would not simply repeat one of its previous Oreo iterations. That’s more like “Guess who?", not a mystery. Furthermore, now all my fantasies of nibbling my Mystery Oreo slowly to eventually yield a eureka moment of “It’s pandan!” or “It’s garam masala” were crushed.
A cursory search of the internet quickly revealed just about everyone and their mother also thought the mystery flavor was some fruit-flavored breakfast cereal, though a strong minority argued that it was specifically the residual fruit-flavored milk left in your bowl after consuming said cereal.
Convinced my conversation with Joy had somehow biased my senses, I brought the Mystery Oreos to my pals at Soul Cycle. I did not reveal my suspicions about the flavor and none of them admitted to have read any press regarding mystery Oreos. The unanimous verdict: artificial fruit-flavored cereal.
I tried a few more Mystery Oreos, and in this second taste test, detected (maybe?) a hint of banana and definitely some sort of faux acidic fruit.
I decided to go with what my gut told me the second time.
For the record, my guess, which I submitted on the Oreo site: Chess Pie.