By: Straight Man ‘21

Photo illustration for “A Star is Born: Lady Gaga Chromatica Cookies Cause Controversy”

On Saturday evening, Valentine’s Day Eve, Russ Hockman sent a post in the Davidson College Facebook Group that sent shockwaves throughout our campus: “If anyone wants what remain of my Chromatica Lady Gaga Oreos (all but 2 cookies remain), YOU CAN HAVE THEM. THEY ARE AWFUL.” 

Inspired by her album “Chromatica,” Oreo and Lady Gaga collaborated on a product meant to be, according to the Oreo website: “a chance to spread kindness — especially since resealable packs make sharing simple!”*

Battle lines were drawn, and the Gaga Oreo wars had begun. Campus celebrities were hotly divided on either side. When asked to expand on their original post, Russ Hockman commented, “I LITERALLY DESPISE THEM. ON THE FUCKING RECORD.” They also provided the following as an official statement: “Heheheheheheheeheh.” 

The queen of the meme page and Davidson slug aficionado Carolyn Krebster took a more analytic approach to the Oreos, connecting it to Gaga’s work on which the cookie is based: “My experience of eating the cookies is much like the experience Gaga herself represents in 911, the 8th track of Chromatica: “my biggest enemy is me.” Flamingo pink and Shrek green are not appetizing colors, but with closed eyes, the other senses strengthened at the expense of sight, I recognize Oreo as Oreo, the only significant cookie.” 

We reached out to Anna Chuggin, famed baker for the rapidly expanding, morally upstanding Summit Coffee Co. for some baking expertise on the cookie: “nasty,” she simply replied.

We here at The YowlTM decided to do a definitive review of the Oreos for the sake of unifying our campus and bridging this great divide. And I figured since I’ve watched an obscene number of hours of Food Network, Gordon Ramsay programming, Netflix’s Chef’s Table, and the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen YouTube channel, I had the relevant expertise to undertake such a critical decision.

On Monday, I braved the torrential rain, missed part of the Bachelor, — though during the 60 seconds I missed the talking was somehow muted, so it was just dramatic music with no words — and arrived at the Davidson Commons Harris Teeter in search of the Oreos. Gaga’s Oreos had their own dedicated section at the end of the aisle — the reflective hot pink packaging certainly caught my eye — and were on sale for $3.49 with my girlfriend’s mother’s VIC Card. 

The Gaga Oreo is structured as a regular Oreo: two grapefruit pink cookies sandwich reusable-Commons-to-go-box green frosting. However, there were some slight differences in design. The first was the fun Gaga-inspired designs on the cookie itself. I enjoyed this creative twist! The other difference was that the frosting seemed to be in more of a dollop than a patty making clean twists of the Oreo more difficult to do. 

While the neat design and quirky colors give the Gaga Oreo high marks in presentation and creativity, it’s the taste of the cookie that ultimately lets it down. What makes the original Oreo so perfect is it’s balance: bitter chocolate against the sweet icing. The Gaga Oreo is simply sweet on top of sweet; it leaves a cloying taste in your mouth. The texture of the cookie also falls flat. My cookies almost tasted stale, and the cookie itself crumbled very easily. The icing also lacked the consistency that makes the original Oreo wonderful. 

 All in all, the Gaga Oreo reminds me of the famous adage, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” The Oreo is a perfect cookie. Its voyage into the realm of Gaga is unnecessary and frankly, left a bad taste in my mouth. 

*The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend sharing food with multiple people due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Yowl is the satire section of the Davidsonian, therefore any and all information in these articles should be taken as fiction and not real.