by Larry Peery

This article contains a little history, a little geography, a bit of football, some food and wine, a bit of football, an earful of music, and a lot of life and Dip! — a lot to tempt your taste buds, especially if you have a sweet tooth.

After all, what’s there not to love about Milano, Milan or the Milanese?

Or, to put it another way:, it’s brought to you by some real artisans, with a supporting cast of thousands, produced over three generations at a cost that is priceless; and you’re getting it for nothing. That’s part of what makes Diplomacy so special.

Warning! There’s a zinger in this story. See if you can spot it before you get to the end of the story.


Everyone knows that Napoleon famously said, “An army marches on its stomach.” but not everyone knows that Davide Cleopadre infamously said, “A Dipper plays on his junk food.”

Un diplomatico gioca sul suo cibo spazzatura,” is how that translates into Italian according to Google.

“A diplomat playing on her junk food,” is how it translates back into English when you retranslate it from the Italian, again according to Google.

This is an excellent example of The Retranslation Syndrome and Dippers should be wary of it when dealing in writing or speaking with foreign language players. A miscommunication could have disastrous, even if unintended, effects.


A further broadening of the Pepperidge Farm product line also occurred in the 1950s. On a trip to Belgium, Margaret Rudkin, the founder of PF, discovered a line of premium cookies being produced by Delacre Company. She reached an agreement with the Belgian company to produce and sell the delicate European-style cookies under the Pepperidge Farm banner. A wing was added to the Downingtown factory where a 46-meter-long cookie oven, imported from Belgium, was installed. Production of the Distinctive line of cookies, which initially featured such names as Bordeaux, Geneva, and Brussels, was launched in 1955. This line would later be headed by the popular Milano cookie.

During and after the 1960s Delacre grew to become an international brand and company, just as Pepperidge Farm was doing in America. Delacre increased its sales abroad significantly. As the need for investments was growing, the company was taken over by the Campbell Group. Finally, in 1998 Delacre was acquired by United Biscuits. Today’s Maitres Patissiers Delacre keeps using their inventiveness to create new indulgent chocolate biscuits. Bottom line: although the line of cookies is named Milano there is no connection between it and Italy. The line runs from Belgium to the United States and the world.

Read more here!

The original Milano variety used a filling of dark chocolate. Many additional varieties have since been marketed, such as milk chocolate and double chocolate; other flavors include a layer of mint or sweet orange paste in addition to some form of chocolate.

Milano cookies have primarily been marketed towards adults, as an indulgence food, rather than children.[1] Aside from being a processed food and using processed sugar, Milano cookies are made using partially hydrogenated oils of varying kinds.[2]

In Canada, they are sold under the brand name "Monaco" rather than "Milano".


  • Original dark chocolate
  • Mint
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Double Chocolate (double the dark chocolate in one Milano)
  • Orange
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Lemon (limited edition)
  • Black and White (vanilla on one side and chocolate on the other)
  • Endless Chocolate (chocolate cookies with the original Milano filling)
  • Milano Melts (dark classic crčme)
  • Chocolate Enrobed (Milano covered in chocolate)
  • Milano Slices (half of a Milano, available in Chocolate with almonds, pretzel, toffee, or coconut)

In popular culture:

  • In the series finale of the hit television sitcom Frasier, Niles brings Frasier a box of Milano cookies. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it was the decision of TV Guide, not Pepperidge Farm, to plug the delectable treat.[3]
  • In an episode of Scrubs, the diabetic Christopher Turk is presented with a plate of Milanos by his wife, Carla.
  • In an episode ("The Trip") of Seinfeld, George and Jerry comment about Los Angeles Police officers eating Milanos instead of donuts.
  • In King of Queens, when Doug is unable to get himself aroused so that he can have sex with Carrie during her ovulation period, she tries to turn him on by telling him, "Um, think of Alyssa Milano. Huh? She's hot, plus her last name's a cookie."[4] At the end of the episode, after their attempt at sex fails, Doug pulls out a package of Milano cookies from the cupboard and becomes aroused once more, prompting him to run off to find Carrie.
  • In Will and Grace Season 5 Episode 16, Jack is reunited with his babysitter and they bond over tea and mint milanos to which she replies 'Still with the expensive taste I see!' also in Season 7 Episode 16, Karen explains that she allows herself one mint milano a day as a treat.
  • In Chip Chocolate's Single 'Cookie Dance' he refers to Milano's as well as Pepperidge Farm.
  • In Episode 2 of Season 2 of Two and a Half Men, called "Enjoy Those Garlic Balls", Alan Harper brings Herb Melnick a tray from the kitchen with the line: "Here you go. Coffee, orange juice and my secret stash of Mint Milanos from the back of the freezer. Just a tip: if you want quality cookies around here, you gotta hide 'em. Judith eats Pepperidge Farm like she's going to the chair."

External links

  • Pepperidge Farm Website

    Pepperidge Farm has provided no figures on the production of Milano cookies, although it does admit that its eight bakery/factories in the United States, where it makes its famous “smiley” goldfish crackers. cranks them out at the rate of 145 million a day!

  • This ten year old article provides an interesting look at how PF expanded from Margaret Rudkin’s kitchen to a bakery in an old gas station into eight state of the art plant bakeries that provide PF goods to some 40 countries.

In every bite of a Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie, you’ll experience the perfect harmony of pure, rich, dark chocolate and delicate golden-baked cookie. Transform any moment into something special with Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies.

Pepperidge Farm Chunk and Soft Baked cookies are premium cookies baked with real, quality ingredients including abundant chocolate chunks, nuts, raisins, butter and vanilla flavor.

Other Pepperidge Farm products sold include Soft Baked Chocolate Brownie cookies.


  • Auchan
  • Esselunga
  • Autogrill
  • COOP

Davide Cleopadre has never seen PF Milano cookies in Italy, and I doubt if any of the Belgian Dippers have seen them in Belgium either.

Campbell Soup has owned Pepperidge Farms for over 50 years and in general the relationship has benefited Campbell more than PF. In the early years of their relationship it provided PF with capital to expand its business into more markets and more product lines. Today it’s the other way around. PF is a cash cow that brings far more profit into Campbell Soups, which has had some major problems with its products (See my article on The Campbell Soup Wars which should be online somewhere.) and business model over the years. Campbell’s is trapped in a vicious cycle of rising prices followed by smaller sized cans of its soups. Some years ago it introduced a larger sized can and now the same cycle as spread to that product, higher prices, smaller sized cans. In addition Campbell’s has struggled with the high sodium content level of its products, not popular with consumers. Pepperidge Farm is vital to Campbell’s bottom line, which is why they don’t sell it. If they did Campbell’s stock would bomb instantly.

This article tells you a lot about the background of Pepperidge Farm.

This link tells you how to make Milano-style cookies at home. Check the list of ingredients in their recipe with the list of ingredients (and nutritional information) you find on a package of Milanos.

In every bite of a Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie, you’ll experience the perfect harmony of pure, rich, dark chocolate and delicate golden-baked cookie. Transform any moment into something special with Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies.

Pepperidge Farm Chunk and Soft Baked cookies are premium cookies baked with real, quality ingredients including abundant chocolate chunks, nuts, raisins, butter and vanilla flavor.

Sounds and tastes so good until you read those labels.


The only difference between the Milano Diplomacy Variant and the regular game is in the make-up of the pieces used. Instead of the customary, wood, plastic, metal or paper pieces shaped like armies or fleets and colored according to the various powers; a different kind of piece is used.

First, be sure to cover the board with a sheet of clear plastic or waxed paper, properly secured, to keep the crumbs and filling off the board surface. The Milano uses PF Milano Cookies for the armies (There are 15 cookies per bag and three cookies is considered a serving.) There are 13 different types of Milanos so you should have no problem coming up with enough for the regular or even a variant game of Diplomacy.

Originally I considered using half-size pieces of the Milanos for the fleets but I decided that would create an over crowed and crumbly board. Instead I suggest using the famous PF smiley goldfish crackers for the fleets. There are eight different varieties so, again, you shouldn’t have a problem finding enough different types for your powers. Or, for the more adventuresome, considering diving into your Diplomacy game box and seeing if you have a set of those stick-on flags that came with some editions of Diplomacy. These were used to identify the powers owning the pieces. If you use the fleet sticky flags you can wrap one around each fleet goldfish cracker and you’re set!

Set aside enough of the pieces to cover any contingency. After all you never know when you might have an Austria that needs 16 fleets! Reserve the remaining Milanos for the winner’s cup and the remaining goldfish crackers for the first person eliminated in the game.


The difference between PF Milano cookies and real Milano cookies is simple: they are made with essentially the same ingredients: butter, vegetable shortening, confectioner’s sugar, water, egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, flour, salt and, most important, a dark chocolate frosting or filling. The difference is the Italian ingredients are real and chances are in the PF brands they are artificial or synthetic. And in the PF operation they are made in a factory controlled by a computer and driven by a profit motive. In Milan they are most likely made in an oven behind the shop by a pastry chef or cookie specialist who will personally tell you about his or her creations.

Ernst Knam, Milano

Knam needs not introductions either, but just so you know he studied with Gualtiero Marchesi – a stellar and Michelin-starred Chef that wrote the history of high-end cuisine in Italy – and he opened in 1992 the Antica Arte del Dolce/Ernst Knam. From cookies to cakes and pralines, he is considered the best pastry maker in Milan and certainly one of the most renowned abroad, too.

Martesana, Milano

Artisanal pastry chop since 1966, Pasticceria Martesana and its Executive Pastry Chef Davide Comaschi won the World Chocolate Masters Final 2013 Awards last October in Paris. It is today the place to go to if you want among the most refined Panettoni, pralines, and cakes.

Marchesi vs. Cova: It makes AC Milan vs. Juvental look like kids’ games.

  • “Started in the same building in 1824 and still one of the best in Milan”
  • Reviewed February 4, 2012
  • Marchesi is reputation wise equal to or superior to Cova.

It is located near the stock market while Cova is in the fashion district (Via Montenapoleone).

Cova gets written about more but Marchesi is far superior in my opinion. Some of its tuxedo wearing staff at the coffee bar can be a bit arrogant (they seem to be looking down at patrons they have not seen before).

The sweets section is instead run by four women and the lady at the cash register all of whom are friendly and treat you as if you had just been there an hour ago even when a year may have gone by.

Their Panettone (winter time), Carnival sweets, Pan dei Morti (November time) are outstanding.

Their prices are on the high side.

They also prepare gastronomic dishes and do some limited catering.

Worth more than one visit even if you have to break your piggy bank.

Don't forget to visit the Ruins of the Roman city of Mediolanum which is literally 20 yards away behind the Marchesi house.

Note California Bakery listing. When you’re in Midland and you get a craving for a good hamburger or other American food head for the California Bakery, just like the locals do.

More foodie stuff from Milan.

A Guide to Italian bakery cookies. A good Milanese bakery may offer a hundred or more different kinds of biscuits and cookies but in reality there are only about a dozen different kinds. The quantity is in the details of the ingredients. Best bet, ask a friendly clerk for one of each time, grab a espresso or a gelato and have at it!

Milanos and Wine

Many wines go well with chocolate including some liqueurs that are made with dark chocolate.

Milanos and Music

The Flower Duet from Lakme by Delibes

Verdi/Toscanni /Peerce Hymn to the Nations (1944)

Verdi/Levine/Pavarotti/Hymn to the Nations 1995

The Cookie Monster

That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

One final thought: If we took a survey among players of Diplomacy and asked them what image comes to mind when you see the word “cookie?” Would they pick a cookie like a Pepperidge Farm Milano or a HTTP cookie.

The Cookie From Hell or HTTP

Excerpted from the Wikipedia article on HTTP cookies:

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user's web browser while the user is browsing that website. Every time the user loads the website, the browser sends the cookie back to the server to notify the website of the user's previous activity. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember stateful information (such as items in a shopping cart) or to record the user's browsing activity (including clicking particular buttons, logging in, or recording which pages were visited by the user as far back as months or years ago).

Although cookies cannot carry viruses, and cannot install malware on the host computer, tracking cookies and especially third-party tracking cookies are commonly used as ways to compile long-term records of individuals' browsing histories—a potential privacy concern that prompted European and U.S. law makers to take action in 2011. Cookies can also store passwords and form content a user has previously entered, such as a credit card number or an address. When a user accesses a website with a cookie function for the first time, a cookie is sent from server to the browser and stored with the browser in the local computer. Later when that user goes back to the same website, the website will recognize the user because of the stored cookie with the user's information.

Other kinds of cookies perform essential functions in the modern web. Perhaps most importantly, authentication cookies are the most common method used by web servers to know whether the user is logged in or not, and which account they are logged in with. Without such a mechanism, the site would not know whether to send a page containing sensitive information, or require the user to authenticate themselves by logging in. The security of an authentication cookie generally depends on the security of the issuing website and the user's web browser, and on whether the cookie data is encrypted. Security vulnerabilities may allow a cookie's data to be read by a hacker, used to gain access to user data, or used to gain access (with the user's credentials) to the website to which the cookie belongs (see cross-site scripting and cross-site request forgery for examples.


AC Milan is 2nd in world cup titles and the team is owned by Silvio Berlusconi. You remember him, right? If you want to have fun in Milan just casually mention that you’re a Juventus fan. Then run like mad! Or tell them that your team Novese (1921-1922 Champions) will be making a comeback any time now. But whatever else you do don’t admit to being a fan of Rome or the Internationalze.


Zinger Alert: In the chocolate and wine section I mentioned Godiva’s article on appropriate parings. What I didn’t mention was that just as Pepperidge Farm is owned by Campbell Soups, so was Godiva for years until they sold it to a Turkish zillionaire who wanted to make sure his supply of Godiva’s didn’t dry up. In a side note during this period, Pepperidge Farm in August 1971 was given responsibility for managing Godiva Chocolatier, Inc., which Campbell Soup had acquired in 1966. This arrangement ended in August 1987 when Godiva became an independent Campbell subsidiary.

The Final Question: We know that Margaret Rudkin found Milano’s on a trip to Belgium and Goldfish crackers on a trip to Switzerland but what if, instead of wandering around Europe looking for foodie things that might appeal to Americans she’d stayed closer to home and perhaps wandered up to Cambridge, MA in the early 1950s and come across a man named Allan B. Calhamer? And what if she’d convinced him to use cookies instead of wooden blocks in his first 500 Diplomacy games? What a different hobby it might be today.

Larry Peery

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