Controversy has befouled a national contest to create a new Oreo flavour. PICTURE: Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post.
Cherry cola Oreos are very, very bad. They're so bad that when I tried one blindfolded, I asked why they smelled like floor cleaner. They're so bad that I needed to brush my teeth after eating them, because the unpleasant, chemically created soda flavour tends to linger on the palate.

They don't seem like a far cry from any of the other novelty Oreo flavours that have come before. The company's strategy has leaned heavily on a dizzying array of new flavours, some more successful than others. Peanut butter Oreos and mint Oreos are winners, with a tried-and-true flavour profile. Others have been gimmicky: Peeps Oreos, "mystery" flavour (it's Fruity Pebbles), firework Oreos filled with popping candy. And still others should have been left on the drawing board: Watermelon is not a flavour that's known for going well with cream. Swedish Fish Oreos apparently looked and tasted like cherry ChapStick.

I suppose it could have been worse. According to USA Today, the company entertained the idea of avocado-flavoured Oreos. There could have been unicorn Oreos, too - right on the heels of Kellogg's Unicorn Cereal, and a year after the unicorn Frappuccino, which started/ruined everything. And the other flavors that cherry cola Oreos are competing against are within the bounds of acceptability. There's piña colada Oreo Thins - a little cloying, but fine - and kettle corn Oreos, which taste overwhelmingly of caramel and contain puffed millet pieces that emulate the texture of candy corn. They unfortunately suffer from a lack of pizazz - who has ever gotten excited about puffed millet? - but they're definitely the best flavour of the three.


Cherry cola Oreos, on the other hand, are a science experiment: Red and white icing swirls together with popping candy, which only exacerbates the unpleasant Robitussin flavor of this alleged treat. It's like a bag of Haribo Happy Cola gummies went rancid. Some people on Twitter report that they are "not that bad." Those people are either 5-year-olds, or they're wrong. People can vote for the winning flavour through June 30. You know what to do.