Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Careme Cacao Time Quattro Orange
When I was a kid, we only received three television channel's signals - ABC, CBS, and NBC. We were located in the boonies and our old wire antenna was too far away from the Pittsburgh transmitting station to get the PBS channel or the really cool channel that showed re-runs of Star Trek (TOS) and the best repeats of old shows. Occasionally, we'd get a grainy PBS show, but that was usually just Mr. Rogers. Due to my television deprivation, I didn't grow up with Sesame Street. Being deprived of that seminal show means that I wasn't exposed to the Cookie Monster.
While I haven't done a psychological study on the emotional impact of being deprived of the Cookie Monster during ones formative years, I speculate that my general lack of enthusiasm for cookies relative to other types of sweets is a result of not being able to get PBS on the tube when I was growing up. My husband certainly is a lot crazier for cookies than me, and he grew up in Silicon Valley with all sorts of television viewing options.
Despite this lack of indoctrination into the way of the cookie, I was intrigued when I saw this box of orange chocolate cookies at the local 99 yen shop. The main thing that dissuaded me upon first viewing is that each cookie is 57 calories and they're quite small at 5 cm (2 in.) x 3 cm (1.2 in.). This makes them more candy than cookie. That doesn't have to be a bad thing, of course.
Thee are three layers to the cookie - a bland, crunchy little butter-cookie type biscuit, orange-flavored chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate. There's also an orange "sauce" in the middle of the chocolate layer. You can smell both the orange and chocolate when you give it a sniff. The bittersweet chocolate and orange flavors are intense and blend very well together. The cookie portion is mainly there for texture and is a fairly hard. One of the big points about these cookies is that they are made with Valencia oranges, and the flavor does taste real.
I really liked this and would definitely go for them again. That being said, the strong flavors might be off-putting to some, especially if you favor milk chocolate. I love strong flavors when they are in good quality ingredients, and both the chocolate and orange appear to be so.
Kabaya, which makes the Careme brand, offers these in other flavors and shapes as well. The other two types listed on the web site are caramel and chocolate and bitter chocolate and white chocolate. Oddly, the orange chocolate version is not listed on their web site. If you'd like to download a wallpaper of their mascot, you can find a few choices here.