The skinny on Oreo Thins

After all the advance media hoopla about new Oreo Thins — styled as "the Oreo for adults," and "a thin, crisp, elegant take on the Oreo," all three varieties (regular, Golden and mint) turned up in stores last week.

Much ink has already been spilled over the cookie-to-filling ratio (it is alleged to be the same as that in the original cookie, although it might not look like it). But even though Mr. Tidbit knows how much tastes vary, he would advise that, appearance aside, the biggest departure in the Oreo Thins degustation experience might be how delicately they behave in the mouth. The regular Oreo and the new one nicely illustrate the difference between crunchy and crisp.

Most people on the planet probably heard several times the assertion that although a four-cookie serving of Oreo Thins might feel like more, it actually has fewer calories — 140 — than a three-cookie serving of regular Oreos, which has 160 calories. Mr. Tidbit points out that a serving of three regular Oreos is bigger — it weighs 34 grams — than a serving of four Oreo Thins, which weighs 29 grams. If you ate 34 grams of Oreo Thins, you'd get the same 160 calories you get in 34 grams of regular Oreos.

But the thing that Mr. Tidbit wants to say most clearly — and somewhat wearily — about new Oreo Thins is this: Although a bag of Oreo Thins sells for the same price as a 14.3-ounce bag of regular Oreos, the bag of Oreo Thins contains only 10.1 ounces. So Oreo Thins cost a whopping 41 percent more per ounce.

Mr. Tidbit hopes you're not really surprised.

Frozen soup

Last winter, while discussing how very many Campbell's soups there are, Mr. Tidbit noticed that the Campbell's website listed a new line of frozen soups, called Campbell's Reserve, but that he hadn't yet encountered any of them in a store. Now he has: Several varieties, including Loaded Baked Potato with Applewood Bacon, and Chicken & Dumpling, are at Wal-Mart. The freezer-bagged soups are expensive: $5.98 for 24 ounces — 25 cents an ounce — compared with Wal-Mart's $2 for an 18.8-ounce can of Campbell's Chunky or Homestyle Creamy Chicken & Dumpling soups (that's just 10.6 cents an ounce).

Al Sicherman