Comebacks we'd like to see: #4 -- Hydrox cookies
This post is part of our series ranking the top 25 bygone products and trends we'd like to see return.
Back when I thought wine only came in two flavors -- red and white -- and cheese was either white or yellow, I still managed to consider myself something of a connoisseur. That's because -- despite all the hype and hegemony of Oreos -- I knew that Hydrox cookies were better.
Oh sure, you may be one of those people who thought of Hydrox as the cheap knock-off that your mom bought to save money. I once believed that too. But then the taste of the little off-brand cookies converted me. In my eight- or nine-year-old mind, I became a cookie expert. I was happy to share my sandwich cookie wisdom with anyone who asked. I'm sure no one ever asked, but I was eager to spread the news anyway.
It's been years since I tasted a Hydrox, so I can't quite describe what I liked so much about them. Some have described it as less tangy than the Oreo. I suspect that some of the pleasure was just in having a taste that was different than most people's.
By the 1970s, everybody just loved Oreos and thought of them as the all-American cookie. It was years later that I learned that Hydrox wasn't just a knock-off. It was the original, started in 1908, back when combining two chemicals to form a name -- hydrogen and oxygen -- seemed like a nifty idea. Oreos didn't jump on the bandwagon till 1912.
By the 1990s, Hydrox fell victim to corporate scheming. Keebler bought its maker, Sunshine Biscuits, then changed the name to Droxies. Then Kellogg's bought Keebler and In 2003 they quietly killed off Hydrox cookies. Loyal fans only learned the news when they realized the always difficult-to-find cookies had became impossible-to-find. Some complained; others petitioned; no one listened. Some claim to see a ghost of the Hydrox cookie recipe in Famous Amos cookies or in certain store brands.
What's odd about the disappearance of Hydrox cookies is that it happened just at the time when consumers everywhere are reveling in their obscure tastes. My eight-year-old attitude has caught on. We now have people who claim to have a preference for a certain kind of salt. The experts in olive oil are legion. Why can't we have our old, beloved sandwich cookie back?
What discontinued childhood treats do you still have a taste for?