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Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Truth About Girl Scout Cookies

What you get depends on where you live.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 12:21 PM

Did you know that Girl Scout cookies can be very different, depending upon where you live? According to the LA Times, that’s because two different bakers supply the Girl Scouts with their cookies. One company is ABC Bakers and the other is Little Brownie Bakers.

And even though ABC Bakers is technically located right here in Richmond, our Girl Scout cookies are supplied by Little Brownie Bakers, a company located in Louisville, Kentucky.

It’s complicated.

Starting in 1937, FFV/Interbake (its old factory is near the Redskins’ training grounds and has been converted into apartments) was the officially licensed manufacturer of Girl Scout cookies. It closed the plant and moved its headquarters in 2006 out to the far West End near West Broad Street. Interbake renamed the Girl Scout cookie division ABC Bakers.

ABC Bakers actually manufactures the cookies at its plant in North Sioux City, South Dakota.

Therefore, if eating local is a concern, it’s a moot point.

But what’s the bottom line? How are the versions different? According to the L.A. Times, samoas are called caramel delites in other locations. Our samoas, in comparison to its counterpart, have a “heavier caramel layer, darker chocolate coating [and] more toasted coconut.” Richmond’s thin mints are covered in a “richer, smoother chocolate coating, [with a] distinct peppermint taste,” compared to the crunchier (and frankly, more unattractive) ABC Bakers’ thin mints.

Of course, none of this addresses the issue of access to gluten-free Girl Scout cookies. We can’t get them here, even though Little Brownie Bakers makes gluten-free toffee-tastics that they describe as “rich, buttery cookies packed with golden toffee bits bursting with flavor.” Gluten-free varieties are in the experimental stage and you can order them online, if your Girl Scout organization is participating in both the pilot program and the digital order form program.

Ours isn’t.

However, Girl Scout cookies, no matter their differences, always live up to the eager anticipation that they engender each year. Right? To check out how the two different companies’ varieties stack up, follow this link to the illuminating L.A. Times article.

Addendum: I didn’t check any of the nutritional information. If that’s the kind of thing you like to do, re: tasty treats you can’t get very often, it’s your call.

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