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There are few things with the power to excite and abhor travellers more than foreign versions of sweets and cookies that exist back home. Even though we pass them by dozens of times a day in supermarkets and convenience stores in our own country, spot M&M’s, Doritos or even a Kit-Kat in a land where everything else is alien, and immediately we feel like home is not so far away; it’s like running into a friend from your home town during your first week of college where everything else is scary and unknown. What happens, though, if that same friend has a weird new haircut and is affecting some peculiar accent just because they’re in an unfamiliar town?

Oreo Sticks, a snack exclusive to Japan, will likely have the very same unnerving effect on snackophiles. With packaging familiar to millions, yet containing a snack entirely different to those we’re used to, Oreo Sticks have the potential to shatter cookie fans’ dreams, but with a little courage they could also be something quite wonderful.

There may be a ton of Japanese text on the packaging, but anyone familiar with the Oreo brand will feel instantly at home here, regardless of the snack’s odd new shape. Each box contains three packets, inside each of which you’ll find three sticks. With just nine sticks in total, you’re hardly going to be able to rely on these things alone to get you through your weekend anime sessions, but at just 105 yen (US$1.05) per box, at least they’re not going to break the bank.

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The box itself is something of an oddity, with the front section featuring a perforated strip that you tear away in order to fold the top third of the box back like a giant, flapping mouth. The idea is that this section of the box can then be used to hold your sticks, but really who has the time or willpower to put anything loaded with sugar or cocoa powder down for more than five seconds?

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As for the sticks themselves, they’re roughly three inches long and the thickness of a ball-point pen. The outside layer, while looking exactly like regular Oreo biscuit, is actually a little lighter and tends to flake away more like a wafer than a cookie.

Fans of North American Oreos will be pleased to know that the cream filling inside the sticks is closer to that of the cookies sold in the US, which is a lot richer than the Japanese variety of Oreos that many Westerners simply can’t bring themselves to eat without welling up and thinking of home.

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▼ The layer of cream clings only to the inside of the cookie tubes, but that’s perhaps a blessing in disguise since a tube full of the stuff might get a bit sickly…

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Oreo Sticks are just as moreish as their cookie brethren, but much lighter and, we think, go better with drinks like tea and coffee. They may lack the Oreo stamp and pattern, but these are every bit as tasty as the real thing. Better yet, since Oreo Sticks come in small, individually wrapped packs, they’re ideal to keep in your desk at work to enjoy in moderation or, if you’re feel altruistic/were raised Catholic and would like to displace feelings of guilt while snacking, share with a colleague.

When compared to a stack of the original cookies, Oreo Sticks might look a little puny, but they definitely make a worthy addition to Nabisco’s cookie canon and are definitely not one of those weird foreign creations that lovers of the original product would fly to their keyboards to rant about. If you’re in Japan or have a good importer near to you be sure to check these tasty little guys out!

Photos: RocketNews24