Anyone remember Kookaburras? Le Chips? Juliettes? With Girl Scout cookies, the flavors come and go, more often than you might think.
The Girl Scouts have been selling cookies since 1917, first by making them at home and then through licensed bakers during the 1930s. In that time, the flavors, names and availability of cookies have gone through changes as the Girl Scouts introduced new varieties and retired others.
I'll share some interesting facts about Girl Scout cookies that you may not know about. All the information comes from resources provided by the Girl Scouts. For more, here'sand to your house.
51 Girl Scout cookie flavors have been discontinued
Over the years, dozens of Girl Scout cookies have come and gone. A popular cookie, Thanks-A-Lot, was recently discontinued in 2021 after 15 years in the lineup. It was replaced by new cookie Toast-Yay, a French toast-flavored cookie dipped in icing.
It's up to each of the more than 100 local Girl Scout councils to decide which cookies will be baked in their area for the year and which ones will be shelved indefinitely. Only three flavors are mandatory for the bakers to make for each council (see below).
Only three cookie flavors cannot be discontinued
In 1951, there were three Girl Scout cookie flavors being sold: Chocolate Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwich and Shortbreads. Those cookies are now commonly known as Thin Mints, Do-si-dos and Trefoils. Those three flavors are also the only cookies that can never be eliminated from the lineup. Yes, that means the beloved Samoas and Tagalongs can be nixed if the Girl Scout organization chooses to get rid of them (though I don't think that'll happen anytime soon).
The cookies are made in two bakeries
Girl Scout cookies are now made in just two bakeries: Little Brownie Bakers and ABC Bakers. But it hasn't always been that way. In 1948, there were 29 bakers licensed to bake Girl Scout cookies. By the 1960s, that number had dropped to 14, and then to four bakers in 1978. It wasn't until the 1990s that the Girl Scouts streamlined to just two bakers.
And yes, you can typically tell when you get a cookie that's not from your usual Girl Scout region (see below).
The recipes are different between the bakeries
Due to a licensing issue, the two bakers don't seem to use the same recipe in every case, and that's why some of the cookies have two different names. For instance, Samoas come from Little Brownie Bakers, while Caramel deLites come from ABC Bakers. The two cookies look the same, but if you check the nutrition labels and compare how they taste, they're pretty different.
During my Girl Scout cookie taste test, I received Peanut Butter Patties instead of Tagalongs and noticed a huge difference in the flavor and texture. Tagalongs have more peanut butter while the Peanut Butter Patties just have one layer. The Thin Mints from ABC Bakers are also thinner and crunchier than the ones Little Brownie Bakers produces.
Some of the other popular cookies with different names are Do-Si-Dos/Peanut Butter Sandwich and Trefoils/Shortbread.
How do you know which cookie you'll get? Check to see which region you fall into.
There's an argument between Thin Mints and Samoas fans
Ah, the divisive cookie debate between Thin Mints and Samoas. During my taste test to determine which Girl Scout cookies were the best, I sent a survey to my colleagues to get their thoughts. The majority voted for Samoas cookies (54.5%), while 27.3% voted for Thin Mints.
Even Justin Timberlake riled up some fans with the Samoas versus Thin Mints cookie debate in a video he posted on Twitter in 2020, noting it was a "contentious subject." He's not wrong.
Tell a Thin Mints lover that your favorite Girl Scout cookie is a Samoa and see what their reaction is.
Girl Scouts used to bake their own cookies at home
When Girl Scout cookies first became a thing, the Girl Scouts would bake them at home. However, at that time, there was only one recipe for a sugar cookie. They were sold for 25 to 35 cents per dozen -- now they're between $5 and $6 per box.