By Monica Weymouth·
In theory, the Girl Scouts’ cookie drive is a simple fundraiser.
In practice? It’s a merciful beacon of light in this mess we call winter in Philadelphia, the absolute only chance you’ll have at joy or hope until, say, mid-April. Girl Scout’s honor, this place sucks in January.
If you’re like us, you already bought a box or 15 (y’all are doing the Lord’s work, troop 82136). You probably didn’t bother to match up each cookie with a Philadelphia neighborhood, but that’s where we come in with our free time and our cabin fever.
Just in time for cookie season, this is the neighborhood guide you never knew you (sort of, maybe) wanted.
(Note: As you may have noticed, the names of some Girl Scout cookies have changed in certain markets. We’re sticking with the far-superior original names. Peanut Butter Sandwich vs. Do-Si-Do? Get outta here.)
Boasting a shape that has historically symbolized the Holy Trinity, the Trefoil has enthusiastically resisted any and all advances in cookie technology throughout the years. Yes, Northeast, the Trefoil is your vaguely Catholic and completely stubborn spirit cookie. Dated? Possibly. Appetizing? It’s more of an … acquired taste. But when we want a straight-shooting shortbread, there’s only one cookie to reach for – and it sure isn’t a Cranberry Citrus Crisp.
Overly precious and a bit self-satisfied, the Cranberry Citrus Crisp is the new whole-grain Girl Scout cookie — excuse us, “crisp” — that’s been liberated from high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. Only in Fishtown could a fucking cookie act like it was this much better than you.
No matter how good it tastes, I don’t trust a cookie that has “Thank You” stamped across it. Have a little self-respect — I’m about to eat your face, cookie. Similarly, I don’t trust a neighborhood where people put down $600,000 for a two-bedroom and smile about it while eating a $4 muffin. Make no mistake: That woman with the yoga mat and bougie stroller would knife you for a spot at Moonstone Preschool.
Remember that one spring day at Rittenhouse with the puppies and the Frisbees and the guy playing violin while the kids danced? And you knew in this moment that Philadelphia was the absolute best place to call home, and that you, by extension, were the absolute best for knowing the secret? This delusion only lasted for about 30 seconds, but even so, it earns Rittenhouse Square the Tagalong, aka The Most Perfect And Beautiful Cookie Known To Man.
As far as status symbols go, Graduate Hospital and Thin Mints were made for each other. Coveted, hyped-up neighborhood, meet your coveted, hyped-up cookie. Pay no attention to the heathens in Point Breeze eating their Keebler Grasshoppers year-round. Those minty chocolate wafer cookies might taste exactly the same and cost less, but they’re easier to acquire so they must not be as special as yours. Right?
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Fairmount. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Do-Si-Do. But if you spent 45 minutes parking and all you got out of it was a peanut butter cookie that forgot its chocolate? Fairmount, the Do-Si-Do is your benign let-down of a cookie.
Chock full of coconut, Samoas aren’t for everyone. But if this is your Girl Scout cookie, this is your only Girl Scout cookie, and you will irrationally defend its honor and refuse to try any other. West Philly, stay weird over there with your Samoas.
I was a Girl Scout until I was 14. Since retiring my sash, I’ve dutifully hunted down cookies old and new every January. Am I saying that the rumored Toffee-Tastic and Trios varieties don’t exist? Not quite, but as something of an expert, I do find it strange that I’ve never spotted them in the wild. Like Manayunk, I hear that these are real things that real people enjoy — but there’s no way I’m fact-checking if it involves getting on I-76.
If you’ve never had the pleasure, Savannah Smiles are basically your great-aunt’s Italian Wedding cookies but, somehow, even more stale. Go back to Jersey, Smiles.
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Source URL: https://www.phillymag.com/news/2015/01/20/girl-scout-cookie-best-represents-philadelphia-neighborhood/
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