Why Do Girl Scouts Sell A “Caramel deLite” In Milwaukee And A “Samoa” In Seattle?

When I first the nest to live among strangers in a strange land/another state, I was surprised to hear people talking about eating “Samoas” and “Tagalongs” during Girl Scout cookie season. Once I realized they meant “Caramel deLites” and “Peanut Butter Patties,” I figured these weirdos just used different names for the same cookies. But the thing is — they aren’t the same cookies.

Though there are some of you who may already know that there are two different bakeries churning out Girl Scout cookies every year, many who have long found themselves on one side of the divide or the other will perhaps be interested to know that it’s not just a regional naming convention thing — each Girl Scout region chooses which bakery it wants to provide its cookies.

There’s ABC Bakers, owned by Interbake and based in Richmond, VA, which has been baking for the Girl Scouts since 1937; and then there’s Little Brownie Bakers, owned by Kellogg Co. and headquartered in Louisville, KY, a licensed baker for the Girl Scouts since 1974.

Thin Mints are the only cookie that keep their name across the two bakeries, but they, along with the rest of the cookie line, vary in taste and texture — among other things — between the two bakeries.

The Los Angeles Times has a great interactive graphic covering all the different textures and names between the two bakeries (as well as cost, calories, total fat, sugar, protein). There’s also a color-coded map by region so you can see where a Peanut Butter Sandwich is a Do-si-do, or you can plug in a city and see which kind of cookies are happening there.

For example, in Milwaukee, where I grew up, Caramel deLites have a higher cookie-to-caramel ratio and milkier chocolate, and are a smidge cheaper and more sugary. Whereas the Samoas in Seattle have more caramel and a darker chocolate coating, cost a few cents more per cookie and are a bit fattier and higher in calories.

If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, this all calls for a side-by-side taste test sometime in the very near future.

6 Girl Scout cookies you thought you were getting but aren’t [Los Angeles Times]

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