Thursday, February 25, 2010
Takenoko no Sato Strawberry Tart Cookies
Recently, I heard a new word and that word is "wankle". I came by it via Cheap Eats, a blog that I have read for quite a long time. The term is of Brian's own invention, and I believe all of us reviewers should do our best to put it into the mainstream. The thumbnail explanation is that it is when you start a review talking about something unrelated to the product at hand. I would also say it relates to talking about things that have nothing to do with the product as you get deeper into the review as well.
Personally, I go out of my way to "wankle", especially on products which I have reviewed dozens of times before like KitKats. There are only so many ways that you can talk about taste, texture, and aroma before it all starts to get pretty boring. Of course, if I can find some trivia or history about the product, I don't need to wankle, but once you've talked about a company once or twice, you're out of material.
After reading Brian's post, I wondered how my readers feel about wankling. Do they prefer that writers just get down and talk about the food or do they want to hear insane ramblings in order to up the amusement quota of the post? Personally, my favorite reviewers are the ones who wankle the most like Brian at Cheap Eats and Marvo at The Impulsive Buy.
The thing is that I feel that I wankle the most on products which are really pretty boring because they aren't unique or interesting in any way to write about, but may be appealing to eat. These strawberry tree-shaped cookies, for instance, are just another food float in the parade of nature-shaped cookies that are part of this line of products. They're shaped like trees. They're individually wrapped. That's pretty much it.
My husband was the driving force behind the purchase of thse cookies. He paid about 150 yen ($1.67) for a 40 gram box (about 10 little cookies, I didn't count) and you'll pack in 220 calories if you each them all. They smell faintly of strawberry and the texture is very crispy with a softer top coating of white chocolate. The cookie is very bland and a little hard with a "generic" cookie flavor. The strawberry is nicely sweet strawberry with very little tartness.
As is often the case with this line of cookies, eating them is mainly a textural experience with a little strawberry chocolate sweetness to add interest. The ingredients include "butter oil" and "shortening". That's two likely damaged fats. Now I'm not health nut or I wouldn't be doing a snack blog, but I want something a little more for my efforts than a crunchy, sweet biscuit. These were certainly nice enough, but not worth a revisit. They were sweeter than I would have liked and the "custard" portion of the "tart" flavor didn't come through in the taste at all. The other point about this is that I'm really unhappy with the fact that these tiny little cookies each come in their own foil packet. It's just immensely wasteful for something which is not particularly fragile or in need of that sort of protection.