Girl Scout Cookies

I was a Girl Scout. My eight happy years as a Girl Scout only ended when I moved to Germany at thirteen. (We could have tried to find a troop there, I suppose, or a group of Girl Guides, but, frankly, it wouldn’t–couldn’t–have been the same, and I really had enough of that with band.) Having quite likely sold more than a thousand boxes of Girl Scout cookies in those years, I felt that I had a pretty good handle on what the names of the cookies were, particularly the classics like Thin Mints, Caramel DeLites, Peanut Butter Patties, and Shortbreads. But in moving first to Michigan and then to Ohio, I found myself confronted with foreign names for familiar cookies. How in the world, I asked myself, could they call this a Samoa or that a Do-Si-Do? The names sound ridiculous and convey no meaning whatsoever. A Tagalong gives no indication that the cookie contains peanut butter; Peanut Butter Pattie does.

These differences, of course, only fueled my flatmates in calling me a redneck. It’s as though they find my appreciation for cornbread and Girl Scout cookies with names that make sense a bad thing.

In the end, however, I have victory. I knew (having had so many of those multi-colored boxes pass through my hands) that Girl Scout cookies are made for the Girl Scouts of America by licensed bakeries. Today, though, I learned that the bakeries name the cookies. So, to an extent, my flatmates were correct in supposing that it must be a regional difference. There are two bakeries licensed to produce Girl Scout cookies, and individual councils choose which bakery from which they purchase their cookies. I grew up with cookies from ABC Bakers–who, incidentally, have been making Girl Scout cookies the longest of the current bakers. (Take that, Eric and Mark!) At the end of the day, though, we’re all right. The only thing that could make it better is a few of those boxes of cookies.

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