Originally posted on Jewschool.com.
I apologize if this is old news for you, but I had only heard rumors until today, when I was able to confirm this important story with my own eyes, teeth, and tongue in my natural habitat of Boston. In fact, as I sit typing this right now, I am indulging in a sensual pleasure that I thought was lost to the ages.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Hydrox, it was (as the new packaging proudly proclaims) “America’s first crème filled chocolate cookie,” introduced into the marketplace in 1908 by the Sunshine Biscuit Company. However, its real claim to fame for generations of American Jews is that it was a (hekshered) kosher alternative to the then-forbidden treifa Oreo. (Those who spend time thinking about this subject — and who doesn’t? — note the irony that while history points to the 1912 birth of Oreo as a likely sign that the cookie was “inspired” by the Hydrox, those-who-spend-somewhat-less-time-thinking-about-this-subject often mistook the Hydrox as an Oreo knock-off. For shame.) Growing up kosher, Hydrox were like a lunchroom in-joke, a shared culinary secret handshake that likely united more Jews in America than shaking a lulav or laying tefillin ever did. To many of us, the taste of a Hydrox dunked in skim milk is the taste of Jewish childhood. Continue reading