The Reverse Dietary Editing Maneuver

Lately I’ve been “editing” unworkable foods out of my life in groups of three.

Maple Leaf sandwich cookies make the latest editing cut

I seem drawn to that number, perhaps because of the old superstition that things tend to happen in groups of three. Or maybe because it’s a subset of 9, another number I’m drawn to — not just because of the 90in9 connection, but because of the magical, almost spooky mathematical pattern involving multiples of 9.*

But what if you reversed that maneuver, and kept only three foods in every category?

Take sandwich cookies, for example.

As a kid, I loved these store-brand two-toned sandwich cookies my mom would bring home from the grocery store. As an adult, I’ve often been struck by how bland those cookies are, both in taste and appearance. I’d eat them, out of some sentimental inertia. But I would be hard-pressed to defend them in culinary court.

To deserve the right to continue to exist in my diet, sandwich cookies, relics of the industrial age, ought to have some kind of redeeming art or design value. Or, barring that, a kitsch characteristic that ranks them in the pop-culture pantheon.

Reviewing my new set of standards, here are the three sandwich cookies I came up with:

1. Oreos*.
2. Nutter Butters.
3. Maple Leaves.

Three distinct shapes. Three different tastes. In my new world, these are the only three kinds of sandwich cookies that exist.

*Any number multiplied by 9 produces an answer whose digits add up to 9.

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