"The Girl Scouts experience is all about the cookies and it's not."
It's very hard to write anything negative about Girl Scout cookies, but some things need to be said. The new flavors released this year, Dulce de Leche (a "Latin" caramel cookie) and Daisy Go Rounds (100-calorie packs of Teddy Graham-like "daisies" which replaced last year's similar-minded Cinna-Spins) are not that tasty. Stick with Thin Mints—even if this year, due to rising flour and oil prices, there are two fewer Thin Mints in every box.
Serious Eaters were curious about the new flavors. Some found them "quite delicious" and dunkable in tea. Others were "on the fence." And still others, "meh" and "eh." And yikes, even a "whiff of a chemical aftertaste."
Girl Scout cookies were never aiming for the from-scratch taste. Plenty of troop moms spend hours sweating by the oven all year, making sure round-cheeked daughters have something warm to dunk in milk at meetings. It's about supporting a network of young, ambitious (or, hopefully, eventually ambitious) girls.
The Girl Scouts experience is all about the cookies and it's not. As an alum (just for two years, as my troop leader was a little nutso and I chose soccer practice instead), I remember the build-up, the late nights shuttling in boxes from minivans, the gentle backstabbing among girls to sell the most, but in the end, how many cookies did I actually eat? Weren't they just stacked in our freezer for the rest of the year? "For company," or "to save for when you can't get them the rest of the year," or "as gifts." But wait—were we just avoiding them?
No. I like Thin Mints. I do. Samoas are great too, even if three bites all of a sudden becomes ten grams of fat.
I am just worried about Girl Scout cookies, that's all. Will they acclimate to a new climate of locally-sourced foods, Facebook, and girls who don't want to be defined by cookie sales?
For example, this year one eight-year-old was busted for selling cookies online. Little Wild Freeborn had a goal to sell 12,000 boxes, but a YouTube sales pitch video later, and she's invited to the Today show, defending her innovative marketing approach with her tech-savvy father. The Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. forbid the internet sales of cookies—but fosters enterprising young women? Somebody needs to update the bylaws.
Somebody also needs to tone down the development of new cookie flavors. Maybe it should be limited to the elite originals? Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, and sure, throw in Tagalongs, even if people will forever attach a stigma to the processed peanut butter fillings (though this year's recall did not affect any of the cookies, reportedly).
Again, I am just worried about the future of the Girl Scouts, and the new cookies are just a reflection of this concern.