A Samoa by Any Other Name

Would a Samoa by any other name taste as sweet? I know this is old news but it comes up almost every year when we pull out our pocketbooks to buy our favorite Girl Scout cookies. Why did the Samoa get renamed to the Caramel Delite? There are several theories on this one (myths to be busted, actually). The myths are more fun and scandalous of course, but the truth is out there and must be shared!

Myth #1: Girl Scouts changed the name because it was offensive to the Samoan people

There is no evidence of this. Besides, who wouldn’t want a delicious cookie named after them? It is theorized that Samoas are named after the island of Samoa because one of the island’s major exports is coconut, one of the cookie’s key ingredients.

Myth #2: Girl Scouts changed the name because Caramel Delite sounds more healthy

Throw “lite” on the end of anything and its diet friendly, right? If you think Girl Scout cookies are healthy in any way, shape or form, you are clearly deluding yourself. If the Girl Scouts wanted to imply that eating cookies was a healthy activity, they would be fighting an uphill battle and losing horribly. But, for shits and giggles, feel free to read this rant I found (not sure if this guy is for real or just trolling but it made me laugh my ass off).

Myth #3: Girl Scouts changed the name

You read that right. The name never changed. Let me repeat that so it sinks in. The name. Never. Changed. Now you might be shouting at your screen insisting that the name did change. You might be yelling that you can’t get your hands on Samoas, that all the Girl Scouts you know only sell Caramel Delites and  that’s wrong and how could they do this to you? What happened is that the Girl Scouts in your area started getting their cookies from a different distributor. The merger of many Girl Scout councils due to a reorganization in 2006 (yes, I know, old news) caused many troops to change which bakery they used.

Samoas can still be purchased, but your girl scout cookie dealer (I mean seller) needs to get her cookies from the right source. There are two companies that are licensed to sell Girl Scout cookies, Little Brownie Bakers (LBB) and ABC Bakers. If her girl scout troop got their cookies from Little Brownie Bakers, she’ll be selling you Samoas. If they got their cookies from ABC Bakers, she’ll be selling you Caramel Delites. Which brings us to (drum roll please…)

Myth #4: Samoas and Caramel Delites are not the same

There is still some debate on this one, including “scientific” studies to determine if the cookies themselves are different in in any significant way. They’re not. The reason they have different names is that they are made by different bakeries. They are made with the same recipe and are the same cookie, just with different names. Many of the other cookies also have different names, as shown below:

ABC[32] LBB[33] Sales[23] Flavor
Thin Mints Thin Mints 25% Thin, mint-flavored chocolate wafers dipped in a chocolatey coating.[34]
Caramel deLites Samoas 19% Vanilla cookies coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut and laced with chocolatey stripes.[30]
Peanut Butter Sandwich Do-si-dos 16% Peanut butter filling sandwiched between crunchy oatmeal cookies.
Peanut Butter Patties Tagalongs 13% Crispy vanilla cookies layered with Peter Pan peanut butter and covered with a chocolatey coating.
Lemonades 9% Shortbread cookie with lemon icing.
Shortbread Trefoils 7% A traditional shortbread cookie made in the shape of the Girl Scout trefoil.
Thanks-A-Lot 6% Shortbread cookie dipped in fudge with a thank you message.
Savannah Smiles Lemon wedge cookies dusted with powdered sugar.
Girl Scout S’mores Graham cookie double dipped in crème icing and finished with a chocolatey coating.[35]
Girl Scout S’mores Graham sandwich cookies with chocolate and marshmallow filling.[36]
Trios Gluten-free peanut butter oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips.
Toffee-tastic Gluten-free buttery cookies with toffee bits. (Pilot, not offered everywhere.) [37]

Source: Wikipedia

So there you have it. Now shut up and eat your damn cookies!


Sources / Further Reading:

The Crazy Truth About Samoas vs. Caramel Delites

5 Fascinating Facts About Girl Scout Cookie Names