RocketNews24’s Meg pits the two cookies against each other, and also tosses made-in-China-for-China Oreos into the fray.

After months of hand-wringing by budget foodies, Yamazaki-Nabisco’s license to produce Ritz and Oreo brand snacks in Japan has run out. That means that, for the foreseeable future, the Oreos that are sold in Japan will actually be made in China, and with the dim view Japanese consumers generally take of Chinese-made products, it’s not a change that many here have been vocally happy about.

But as we’ve seen in the past, made-in-China doesn’t necessarily mean low-quality. So maybe all those doubting Thomases/Tanakas are getting worked up over nothing. After all, when our Japanese-language correspondent Meg was living in China, she made locally produced Oreos a major part of her diet, and she turned out just fine.

▼ See?

With the new, made-in-China Oreos going on sale in Japan on September 12, Meg decided to set up a three-way taste test, with the following subjects:

● The new made-in-China, sold-in-Japan Oreos, which we’ll call Oreo J Neo
● The old, made-in-Japan, sold-in-Japan, cookies, which for this test we’ll refer to as Oreo J Classic and which we still had a pack of left over
● The made-in-China, sold-in-China Oreos, which for testing purposes we’re dubbing Oreo C, which we’d procured on a recent trip to China

First up, the graphics on the package of the Oreo J Neo are different from those of the J Classic. As a matter of fact, the photograph seems to be the exact same one that’s used on the Oreo C bag.

▼ Oreo J Neo (top left), J Classic (top right), and C (bottom)


▼ The parallels between the Oreo J Neo and C packages continue on the back.


We tore open all three packages and grabbed one cookie from each. Once again, two of them looked very similar, except this time the Oreo C was the odd one out, with a lighter brown biscuit than either of the types of Oreos we’d purchased in Japan.

▼ J Neo (top left), J Classic (top right), and C (bottom)


It makes sense that the J Classic and J Neo look alike, though. The J Neo is specifically being made for export to Japan, so it’s going to be designed to mesh with Japanese expectations in order to capitalize on all the goodwill the Oreo brand has built up in the country.

The story was much the same when we twisted the cookies apart to take a look at their cream fillings. Once again, it’s hard to visually distinguish between the J Neo and Classic, while the Oreo C filling looks noticeably more buttery and has a less solid consistency.

▼ J Neo (top left), J Classic (top right), and C (bottom)


But just like people don’t go to the Louvre to nibble on the paintings, we didn’t buy these cookies to admire their aesthetics. It was time to eat them, and to Meg’s surprise, all of them taste different from each other.

Meg’s taste test notes:

Oreo J Classic: The biscuit is crisp and moist, with the strongest bitterness of the three. The cream is very moist, with a level of sweetness between that of the other two varieties.
Oreo J Neo: A light, crisp biscuit with suppressed bitter notes and more sweetness. The cream is moist and mildly sweet, less so than the other two types, but very refreshing.
Oreo C: The biscuit is hard enough to be called crunchy, and very sweet. The filling is the sweetest of the three, and has the consistency of old-fashioned butter cream.

So in the end, we’ve got three different cookies, and because they’re all tasty in their own way, we really can’t call any one of them a winner or loser. They’re all enjoyable in their own unique way, so really the only thing to do is choose the one that matches what you’re in the mood for.

If that happens to be the J Classics, though, you’ll want to resist any urges to go into a feeding frenzy on them, since we’re not going to be getting any more.

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