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Baltimore’s Berger Cookie Could Crumble Amid Federal Trans Fat Ban

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The federal government has announced its intention to ban artery clogging trans fats from prepared foods.

Mike Schuh reports that it’s causing great concern for a historic Baltimore bakery.

Every Monday through Friday, 25,000 cookies are dunked in the secret chocolate fudge which makes a Berger cookie a Berger cookie.

But the feds want to ban what’s in the heart of these cookies.

“It’s hydrogenated oil, and that’s in anything that we use that contains fat. There’s only fudge and cookie in a Berger cookie,” said Charles Debaufre, owner.

Fudge uses margarine. The cookie uses margarine.

“It’s what does everything to it. It’s what gives it the creamy taste,” Debaufre said.

These have been made in Baltimore since 1845, and the owner bristles at what he says is government intrusion.

“You don’t like it, don’t eat it, don’t buy it,” Debaufre said.

Some reports say this cookie is in jeopardy and to a point, the owner agrees.

He’s experimented with substitutes.

“I just know that when we tried the substitutes,  without making any additions ourselves, it tasted nasty,” Debaufre said.

But with the holiday rush in full swing, he doesn’t have time to fiddle with a new recipe. He’s just trying to get cookies out the door.

“Oh no, no, no. We don’t have, no, there’s no time,” he said.

The ban could begin next year. That’s time enough he says to save the day.

“Reports of the Berger cookie’s demise is premature, a little bit,” Debaufre said.

But, if you’re a purist, get them while you can, while they taste the way you remember.

We’ll know sometime early next year if the cookie crumbles.

The owner doesn’t know what his predecessors used back before trans fats became widely used.

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