There’s a New Study on the Optimal Way to Open an Oreo Cookie, and I’ve Never Been More Proud of Science

published Apr 22, 2022
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oreo cookie partly open on white background
Credit: Eskaylim/Getty Images

There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s, but a new scientific study out of MIT documents a methodical hunt for the optimal way to eat an Oreo. Or at least, to open it.

Oreo, the nostalgic sandwich cookie beloved by tall glasses of milk, has its flaws. Have you ever twisted open an Oreo only to find all of the creme filling has stuck to one side? Of course you have; this is a banal yet pressing problem for snackers everywhere. You’re then left with a dilemma: Eat the too-sweet cookie first, or the too-bland one?

This issue plagued Crystal Owens, a Ph.D. candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In between studying for her degree in mechanical engineering, Thrillist recently reported that Owens pursued the study of Oreology. It was more than just work; this was a true passion project. “I preferred the taste of the cookies with the creme exposed. If I got a bite of wafer alone it was too dry for me, and if I dunked it in milk the wafer would fall apart too fast,” Owens explained.

Owens and a team of researchers created a 3D-printed Oreo-like structure to study trial twists. After rigorous testing and documentation, a disappointing conclusion was drawn: There is no foolproof way to open an Oreo for equal creme distribution. “In essentially all possible twisting configurations, the creme tends to delaminate from one wafer, resulting in one nearly bare wafer and one with almost all the creme,” Owens said, adding that the best way to achieve equal distribution was to “mush it manually.”

Owens made the 3D printing files public for Oreology hopefuls to try their own luck, and shared some of the team’s methods in graphs that may bring to mind a certain mind-boggling meme. (Or at least they did for this layperson.)

Of course, as Kitchn’s own N’Kesia Pannell recently discovered, there is another, less scientific way to open an Oreo: Just twist the cap off a bottle of red wine.

How do YOU open Oreo cookies? Or don’t you?