Monday, November 1, 2010
Lotte Ryoma Sakamoto Yuzu Cookies
I've had these cookies around for an incredibly long time. This is not a testimonial to the unpalatable nature of the cookies, nor necessarily to my laziness (okay, perhaps it's at least a nod to my sloth), but rather to the slow rate of my consumption of treats. There are 11 cookies in the box, and my husband isn't a fan of yuzu so I've had to slowly eat them all myself. I'm pleased to say that it was a task I enjoyed.
More of the Ryoma Sakamoto line of snacks has made an appearance in my area since I initially discovered them and reviewed the sweet potato cakes. While those who have forgotten what I said about him in the first review or never heard of him in any way may think he's a Japanese chef, he's actually a political feature. It's like America putting out George Washington pretzels, bubble gum, and Oreos (cherry-flavored, no doubt).
These cookies are flavored subtly with yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit which tastes like a cross between a grapefruit and a lemon. It has unique properties which I can't really convey, but it is a good citrus addition to a wide variety of snacks in Japan, both salty and sweet. In fact, it's one of my favorite flavors.
The cookies are tender and slightly soft on the inside, and a little crispy on the outside. They share this property with Country Ma'am brand cookies, though the textural contrast between the exterior and interior is less profound. Each cookie is 5 cm. (2 in.) in diameter and provides 47 calories. The cookies smell lightly and pleasantly of yuzu's unique scent and the flavor is lightly sweet. The citrus flavor is mild so that you can taste the qualities of both the cookie and the flavoring.
These cookies are really a delight, but I would caution that they are quite subtle. Their delights are as much in the texture as the flavor and they are not going to suit someone who likes more robust offerings. I found them to be really enjoyable with tea, and I'd definitely consider buying them to take home and share with people who may be squeamish about uniquely Japanese treats and flavors. They may not love them, but they surely wouldn't find them unpalatable, and there's a good chance they'd enjoy them as much as I have.