It is rare for there to exist one version of a thing. Superman is not the only super-powered hero. MS Word is not the only word processing software. And Kellogg’s Raisin Bran is not the only raisin bran.
This is the case with chocolate sandwich cookies, which is the generic name for “Milk’s Favorite Cookie”, the Oreo. But if you visit your local cookie vendor, you’ll discover Famous Amos makes a chocolate sandwich cookie…Newman’s Own has their Newman O’s…and there are always the more generic, off-branded versions as well.
In the beginning, however, there was the Oreo and the Hydrox. And any trivialist or food nerd will quickly tell you that the Hydrox pre-dated the Oreo.
But the Oreo is the most well known. Oreo, like Xerox for photocopiers and Kleenex for tissues, has become the common-use term for the chocolate sandwich cookie (by way of example as MS Word spell-checks this very document, “Hydrox” gets the “you spelled this wrong” red underline; “Oreo”, no problem. In fact, it only corrects you if you fail to capitalize the O). This was the case for me even as a child, where I just assumed Hydrox was the “off-brand” version of the Oreo. I may not have been the only one, as years ago the first cookie, the Hydrox, was no longer available for purchase.
More recently, however, the Hydrox has returned. Labeled as a 100th Anniversary Limited Edition, you may once again find Hydrox in your local grocery.
Which led to the question: despite their chronology or popularity, what’s the difference, really?