Of course I’d heard about them, the way you hear about certain obsessions people tell you about, but I hadn’t really listened, instead focusing my attention on the far-away look that crept into the speaker’s eyes whenever they mentioned the cookies. But I never thought they could be the ambrosia that look would seem to imply; after all, wouldn’t they at least be national if they were so good, instead of a just locally famous Baltimore Cookie company?

But some things just didn’t add up. I mean, how could a baked goods company exist with only one product? What was it about that one cookie that made them disregard every other sort of treat? Could this cookie really be the one cookie to, as they say, rule them all?

…The package is heavy for its size – in the fifteen-ounce size popular with most users, the package is perhaps five inches by seven or eight inches. No oreo package that size would weigh that much, no matter how much cream filling is in each cookie. It consists of a little orange and white half-box filled with the things, and covered in plastic wrap. I am not impressed, although I am amused by the somewhat Alpine-looking font used to write BERGER in little white circles across the side.

So I open it.

The scent of chocolate washes over me, lifts me up, tilts back my head as it drifts up to my brain, soaking me in the warm, velvety fragrance. It is almost more than I can bear. I pick up the ellipsoid cookie, marveling at the audacity of those Bergers – to break from the traditional flat and round mold, and wondering what other ways this cookie will test my preconceptions. The answer to that is not long in coming.

Slowly, my teeth sink through the layer of chocolate – not frosting, mind you, not that sniveling bastard of solid and liquid chocolate flavor smeared across the tops of other cookies – this is a full half-inch of rich, dark, sensual chocolate. It hits the roof of my mouth and melts immediately, rolling down around my tongue and making my teeth ring, but it’s a pleasant sensation somehow. It’s like being tickled from the inside, the chocolate’s laughter echoing through my teeth until it almost hurts. But just before it hits that point, I find the vanilla cookie underneath, which has waiting patiently in ambush the whole time. A vanilla cookie fit to make me pooh-pooh Nilla wafers, say adios to chips ahoy, and admit, at long last, that there is something better than those samoas the girl scouts sell. The cookie works quickly, efficiently, soothing my over-excited taste buds and soaking in the excess chocolate. The cookie is the yin to its yang; together, they create perfect sensory balance.

After I swallow, I take a deeper breath than usual. The mini-mart looks, well, not that much better, but the sugar buzz has gone directly to my brain, and I Feel Fine. When I can feel my hands again, I realize that I have the whole box left, and I have to hide my tears of joy from the Royal Farms clerk as she rings me up.

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