The origin of “Sprinkle Cookies” on RHONJ

Sprinkle Cookies is now a Real Housewives of New Jersey meme. Now even Teresa Giudice and her sister-in-law Melissa Gorga joke about sprinkle cookies, but they weren’t always so light-hearted about this holiday treat.

During Season 3, Episode 4 Teresa used a story about a gift of sprinkle cookies to illustrate a rift between herself and her sister-in-law Melissa Gorga. She told a group that included Caroline Manzo and Jacqueline Laurita: “Melissa came to my home Christmas Day. She brought me sprinkle cookies. I said to her, ‘Melissa, nobody touched the cookies you brought. I threw them in the garbage! You know what my favorite cookies are? Pignoli cookies.’ That’s what I said.”

This act of cookie waste was retaliation towards Melissa for writing her a note congratulating her on her “redone” home. She and Joe Giudice gutted and completely redid their lavish mansion, and even added more rooms.

A the time Teresa’s ego was wrapped up in the idea that the house was “brand new” and had not been lived in before. She famously said previously owned homes made her “skeeve” The fact that Melissa seemed to be calling out that their house was not built from the ground up really got under Teresa’s skin. In her mind, throwing out Melissa’s sprinkle cookie holiday gift was sufficient retribution for this slight.

Teresa’s brother Joe Gorga and his wife Melissa were introduced on the show during a time when they weren’t getting along with Teresa. In the very first episode of Season 3, Joe Gorga and Teresa’s husband Joe Giudice got into a physical brawl at the christening of Melissa and Joe Gorga’s youngest child Joey Gorga.

Teresa came over to congratulate Melissa and Joe at the christening and kissed them both on the cheek, but Joe felt like Teresa was being fake for the reality TV cameras and told her to walk away. The fight escalated until Joe called Teresa “garbage.”

Teresa asked why he invited her, and Melissa’s sister told Teresa it was a “technicality” that got her invited. Joe Gorga then started pounding the table (it must run in the family,) and eventually both of the Joes started physically fighting.

Kim DePaola claimed (on the Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald podcast) that Teresa had just found out the night before that Joe, Melissa, and her cousins Kathy and Rich Wakile had been cast on the show and that the christening was going to be filmed. Kim claimed Melissa was upset about all of this and called her in the middle of the night. The cameras showed Teresa and Joe Giudice getting ready for the event and they were both stressed. Joe Giudice was so wound up he had stress-induced diarrhea.

As Season 3 progressed Teresa and Melissa tried to work things out and exposed a lot of petty slights that had come between them over the years. Melissa said in a talking head interview that she had been down with Teresa the day Teresa got upset that Melissa had used the same photographer that Teresa uses to take pictures of her children.

Last year Joe Giudice dropped some more information about the discord between the Gorga siblings, which runs a little deeper than petty squabbles. He claimed that Teresa and Joe Gorga’s parents Giacinto and Antonia Gorga lost their home because of Joe Gorga. “He took money from his dad. The parents lost their home because of Joe Gorga,” Joe Giudice said in an April 2021 interview with Celebuzz.

By Season 10, “Sprinkle Cookies” had become a family meme for the sisters-in-law. Melissa Gorga brought Teresa some Sprinkle Cookies as a gift for Easter Sunday, 2019. The sisters-in-law are often in harmony, and recently appeared together on Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip. They mostly got along on the trip, but Teresa was a little salty that Melissa was there. She claimed Melissa had begged producers to be included, but Melissa claimed that the producers DMed her first to ask her to join. Instead of allowing the disagreement to blow up, they agreed to disagree and went on to enjoy their trip.

Comedian Andrea Lopez does a perfect Teresa Giudice impression, and she was kind enough to lend her genius to do a “Sprinkle Cookies” performance for TikTok.


It’s Sprinkle Cookie SZN 🎄 #teresagiudice #sprinklecookies #melissagorga #joegoega #rhonj #newjersey #italian

♬ original sound – Brad Goreski

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