This MIT Researcher and I Disagree About How to Eat Oreos

Oreo preferences are surprisingly contentious. Don't believe me? Ask your group chat if anyone prefers classic Oreos to Double Stuf, or vanilla Oreos to chocolate, and watch the sparks fly. Or, ask how to eat an Oreo. Is it better to eat the Oreo in sandwich form, or twist it apart? If you're a twister, do you eat the plain cookie first, or the creme-y one — or do you stack several cremes together and eat them all at once?

There is no end to the Oreo-related debates. And recently, another divide in the world of Oreo eaters came to my attention: what the perfect twist looks like.

When you twist open an Oreo, what's your desired outcome? According to one PhD candidate in MIT's mechanical engineering department, the perfect twist would result in the Oreo creme separating, so each cookie gets an even smudge. The candidate, Crystal Owens, felt so strongly that this was the correct goal — and was so disappointed by the fact that her twists always resulted in one cookie getting all the creme and the other coming away clean — that she launched a study, which was ultimately published in the Physics of Fluids, into how to twist an Oreo in order to get creme on both halves. She used a device called a rheometer to open over 1,000 Oreos to see if twisting speed made a difference; she also opened Oreos by hand to see if different methods, like peeling, yielded a better result, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But no. Four out of five times, the creme stuck to one cookie.

To which I say, respectfully: duh.

In my mind, the perfect twist absolutely results in one clean cookie and one creme-y one. Isn't that the whole premise behind a Double Stuf Oreo — that a higher creme-to-cookie ratio is better? When I twist open an Oreo, I know I'll be able to enjoy a creme-free cookie and a creme-loaded cookie. I enjoy the juxtaposition. Balance in all things.

I was curious about whose twisting preferences were the outlier: my own, or Owens's. So I decided to look up some old commercials from Oreo's "twist, lick, dunk" campaign and see if I could deduce the cookie giant's stance on the whole twist debate. And what I found proved that Owens and I were both right (or both missing the point entirely, depending on how you look at it).

The commercials depict kids showing their parents and pets the "right" way to eat an Oreo. The approved method was to twist the halves apart, lick the creme-ier half, then put the halves back together for the final dunk. If the point of opening your Oreo is just to get one little taste of the creme inside, why would it matter if it splits or adheres to one side? (FWIW, one 1993 version did show a slightly uneven creme split after twisting, while a 2012 UK ad showed one cookie coming away clean — so no clear answers there.)

Ultimately, of course, personal enjoyment is all that matters, especially when it comes to cookies. As Owens proved, if you want creme on both halves of your Oreo, you're in for a lifetime of difficulty and disappointment, but you're not wrong for it. Neither are you deviant for preferring an uneven creme split. Heck, you're not even wrong if you prefer vanilla Oreos to classic chocolate — but I can't say I understand you.