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AMERICAN MORNING WITH PAULA ZAHN

Oreo Cookie 90 Years Old Today

Aired June 13, 2002 - 09:56   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: This week marks the 90th anniversary of an edible American icon. The Oreo cookie is 90 years old today. How you eat them is really none of our business.

Jeanne Moos is making the most out of a sweet anniversary.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Oh, beloved baked good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't reach any more!

MOOS: Towering icon, senior citizen of sandwich cookies: Oreo's 90th birthday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They look good for 90. They have spawned colorful Oreo offspring. The latest are mint and cream and peanut butter and chocolate, but the Oreo's roots remain black and white.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Little girls have pretty curls, but I like Oreos.

MOOS: Ninety years after its birth, the Oreo is not just a mouthful; it's an eyeful.

(on camera): Do you ever eat them, or do you just put them in your eye?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I eat them.

MOOS: You're not speaking today? Oh, your mouth is full.

(voice-over): The makers of Oreos celebrated this milestone with a p.r. Extravaganza.

CROWD: Happy birthday, dear Oreo.

MOOS: For some, what took the cake was the arrival of race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a decorated car. The event took place at New York's Chelsea Market, which used to be the old Nabisco building where the very first Oreos rolled off presses like this one.

(on camera): Making Oreos wasn't easy. (voice-over): Over the years, the Oreo has become the darling of pop cookie culture, with references in films ranging from "Rounders" to "A Star is Born."

Barbara Streisand was sandwiched between black backup singers. Some even suspected the Oreo of being subliminally featured in "The Wizard of Oz."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those little henchmen for the wicked witch, they say "or-ree-oo," "or-ree-oo."

MOOS: Actually, the screenplay shows they were chanting o-ee- yah, eoh-ah.

But, where did Oreos get their name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They took the "re" from word cream and inserted cream between two o's in chocolate.

MOOS: Much has been made of how folks eat Oreos.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please don't fiddle with the Oreo middle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: Oreos even made it onto a birthday card that says "Too much of a good thing is just right on your birthday."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at this. Whoa!

MOOS (on camera): Do you think you could do that?

(voice-over): Sugar and calories did not seem to count here.

(on camera): Three cookies are 160, and you've had 12?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who cares!

MOOS: What happens if I tickle you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They may be 90, but kids still have eyes for Oreos.

(on camera): Usually, you put them in your mouth, not your eyes.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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