The other day while in our student center, I saw a table of Girl Scouts selling cookies. Instantly I decided being late to lecture was well worth a box (or ten) of those beloved Girl Scout Cookies.

“I’ll have a box of Caramel deLites and a box of Peanut Butter Patties please,” I said. The Girl Scouts started back blankly at me. They had no idea what I was talking about. I looked at their boxes. Several varieties that I knew and loved had different titles plastered on their packaging. I quickly offered, “Oh, I mean a box of Samoas, and a box of Tag-a-longs, I guess.” Immediately the correct cookies appeared before me.

Photo by Katherine Baker

As I walked away, shoving cookies in my face, I reflected on my childhood. I was so certain that the cookies went by different names, and had different packaging. Was I crazy? Have times changed? Or was this a regional thing? I am a Midwest girl, after all. Maybe the East Coast did the name thing a little differently.

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After doing some important research on this topic in lecture (whilst eating more cookies), I discovered that the Girl Scouts of America supplies cookies from two different baking companies – ABC Bakery, headquartered in Richmond, VA, and Little Brownie Bakers, in Louisville Kentucky.

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There are four cookies that these manufacturers produce by different names: I grew up eating Butter Patties, Shortbreads, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, and Caramel deLites from ABC Bakery, while others around the country may know these same flavors as Tagalongs, Trefoils, Do-si-dos, and Samoas.

So are they different? Yes. After comparing the ingredients and nutrition profiles of several cookies, it appears the bakeries use slightly different recipes and some cookies have slightly different nutritional profiles. Notably, ABC Bakers has four vegan cookies – the Lemonades, Thanks-A-Lot, Thin Mints, and Peanut Butter Patties. Little Brownie Bakers does not produce Lemonades nor Thanks-A-Lot, and their Thin Mints and Tagalongs are not vegan. ABC also produces the Cranberry Citrus, and offers a gluten-free Chocolate Chip Shortbread, while the Little Brownie Bakers supply Savannah Smiles and Dulce de Leche.

So people across the country get slightly different Girl Scout cookies, yes, but at the end of the day, a Caramel deLite by any other name tastes just as sweet. Personally I will accept Trefoils or Shortbreads, Peanut Butter Patties or Tagalongs, all with open arms and zero self control. No matter where you are in the country or what you call them, I’d encourage you to buy some Girl Scout Cookies. They’re nostalgic, for a good cause, and of course, because they’re frickin’ delicious.