The Atlantic has a brilliant story about the design of the Oreo cookie by Nicola Twilley (author of the blog Edible Geography). In a nutshell (and the story is well worth reading in its entirety), the amount of thought and consideration that’s gone into this topic rivals, well, nearly anything else.
Referencing the art and science of pastry docking, the Freemasons, and the Knights Templar, Twilley digs into the particulars of a uniquely American icon while musing on the anonymous nature of cookie creation: “This tradition of biscuit design anonymity seemingly continues into the present day. The Weidenmiller company of Illinois, for example, promises that its team of nameless artists will ‘develop any design from a conceptual thought,’ while Italy’s Errebi Technology offers more than 500 rotary mold shapes off the shelf—and utterly uncredited.”
Similarly deep dives into other American food icons would be equally interesting. For example: Coca-Cola’s seemingly timeless and universally recognizable logo. Or, say, the Golden Arches of McDonald’s, which also transcend language or geography.
Down the road: the early-morning landscape of the 5-Hour Energy bottle? The Taco Bell bell? The Heart Attack Grill’s busty-nurse-of-death uniform? Only time will tell.