Letters: Chinese Oreos; News Poet

Chinese Oreos and news poetry get love from our listeners: Melissa Block and Audie Cornish read emails about Friday's program, in which we heard stories about how the Chinese embraced the Oreo cookie — and debuted a new monthly feature, the news poet.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Now, poetry and Oreos or your comments about Friday's program and two stories that seem to have caught your collective attention. First, how the Chinese came to embrace that American classic, the Oreo.

LORNA DAVIS: In the early days, people said, there's no way that Chinese consumers will twist, lick and dunk because that's a very strangely American habit.

BLOCK: Well, as we learned on Friday, a savvy marketing campaign and a crafty redesign have made Oreos the number one cookie in China. Chinese Oreos are more chocolatey, the filling less sweet. They're also not necessary black and white or even round. Think rectangular or sticks. Meet the Chinese Oreo.

Well, some of you were intrigued and wanted...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Cookie.

CORNISH: Others still couldn't get past how unhealthy Oreos are. Between these two factions, Patrick Consadine(ph) of West Jefferson, North Carolina is a man of peace. He writes: Following the story, I went into a wellness center where I swim. Jennifer was at the front desk and I said, twist, lick and dunk is the essence of what cookie? She thought for a minute and said, it must be the Oreo. What else do you twist, lick and dunk? I proceeded to tell her about the NPR story I'd just heard. And she said, maybe you can get us a taste of those Chinese Oreo cookies. So, this is my attempt to get a sample of those new Oreos. I'll share them at the Mountain Hearts Wellness Center, but only after people workout.

BLOCK: Alas, Patrick, our cookie jar is empty. From the essence of an Oreo now to the essence of a news story. On Friday, we debuted a monthly experiment. We asked poet Tracy K. Smith to turn the day's headlines into verse. She was taken with the story of Nigerians fleeing the country's north to escape violence and here is some of what she wrote.

TRACY K. SMITH: History is not a woman and it is not the crowd forming in a square. It is not the bright swarm of voices chanting, no and now or even the wrapped silence of a room where a film of history is right now being screened.

CORNISH: Candace Pierce(ph) of Grand Rapids, Michigan writes: I love your poem. And Kathleen Dixon(ph) of Casper, Wyoming called Smith's poem, "New Road Station," vivid, moving and touching. She adds, this unexpected Friday evening gift left me with a haunting and much clearer perspective.

BLOCK: We enjoy reading your letters. Please, keep them coming. You can write to us at NPR.org. Just click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.

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