On September 16, Oreo issued a new challenge to cookie fans everywhere. A new Mystery Oreo flavor began to roll out on shelves nationwide, with Oreo offering a potential $50,000 prize for correctly guessing the flavor. To us, it sounds like the ultimate mystery—Oreo is releasing a new clue each week to help guide cookie detectives toward the answer, and celebrities are even weighing in with their own guesses (Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo is convinced it’s French toast). But of course, one of the best ways to figure out the unknown flavor is to try it, so we did.
Even before taking the first bite, Mystery Oreos remind us of cinnamon. They have a strong cinnamon smell, and the flavor is just as powerful when you try them. Still, Oreo would never choose a mystery flavor as simple as plain cinnamon (or would they?), so the guesses from curious taste-testers on the BHG.com team tended to be a little more complex.
According to our social media editor, “It’s obviously Dunkaroos—they taste just like my childhood.” One of our assistant editors is also on Team Dunkaroos, and I have to agree, there’s a hint of graham cracker flavor to the cream along with the cinnamon. I think it’s possible that the flavor is just cinnamon graham cracker (they smell exactly like one), but the added creaminess could also point toward Dunkaroos.
Cinnamon Teddy Grahams were also a popular guess in our office, and the flavor is dead-on (plus, like Oreo, they’re owned by Nabisco). Golden Grahams cereal is also a possibility, but that guess gives us a little pause. After all, Oreo’s 2017 mystery flavor turned out to be Fruity Pebbles, so would they really choose another cereal? They might just to throw us off track, but Golden Grahams almost seems a little too obvious. The mystery flavor is only in the cream, according to Oreo, so tasting it alongside the chocolate cookie can be tricky too.
That brings us to my personal favorite guess: Churro. The cinnamon flavor is exactly right, and there’s a little more to it that could hint at the cinnamon-coated fried dough. But what really sold me on churro as the answer is the first clue that Oreo released: “Its name it stole and history kept. Perhaps from a creature that lives on the steppe?” The clue is paired with a picture that looks like a ram or a goat, and some quick Internet sleuthing into the history of churros turned up another clue. Apparently, some people believe that churros were invented by Spanish shepherds, and there’s a breed of sheep called the “Navajo-Churro.” They’ve got horns like Oreo’s picture too, and a “steppe” is a flat grassland in Siberia or southeastern Europe—perfect for sheep, in other words.
Still, that was just the first clue of eight, and we’ll have to wait until September 23 to find out if churro is holding up as the answer, or if we should be changing directions. In addition, Oreo keeps reminding us that “the best mysteries have multiple twists,” so I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more to it than just plain churro. There’s support for Dunkaroos as the answer too—the Dunkaroos mascot is a kangaroo, and kangaroos are native to a flat grassland in Australia (also called a steppe).
We’ve got a long mystery ahead of us, and we wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few twists, turns, and red herrings along the way. Oreo will be releasing a new clue to help each Monday until the competition ends on November 10. No matter how confident you are in your guess, you can submit an answer each day on Oreo’s website, and if one of them is right, your correct answer will enter you into the sweepstakes for the grand prize, $50,000. If you follow along with the case, your detective work could pay off big time. Oreo has also teased that the answer could be a combination of two previous Oreo flavors, so you might want to brush up on your Oreo knowledge while you're at it.