Friday, May 13, 2011

Nanao Vanilla Golusia Gaufrette

I've never been to Europe and my first experience with European food is largely through living in Japan. As someone who grew up poor in the deep boonies of western Pennsylvania, I really didn't find much in the way of sophisticated imports, or unsophisticated ones, for that matter. American-made Cadbury chocolate was about as close to "European" as I ever got.

Gaufrette, which is a thin, lightly sweet cookie which is similar to a crispy waffle, is a French creation that is very popular in Japan. While a dictionary of cuisine says they are usually "fan-shaped", they're usually round here and sold most often as souvenirs in stations and department store basements (where food is usually sold). I used to be given these on a semi-regular basis when I worked in a Japanese office and when I saw this box of them on sale at the local 100-yen shop, it was my sense of nostalgia that motivated me to toss them in my basket.

 There's nothing like a cookie to make your life comfortable.

The cool thing about these Japanese-style gaufrette cookies is that there is almost no difference between the more expensive ones that you get in department stores and these cheap versions. The main reason for this is that the cream is very thin in the middle and lends very little to the flavor. Most of the taste comes from the crispy waffle cookie exterior, and it's pretty hard to mess up.

The exterior has a deeply baked waffle flavor. It's like a waffle cone, but less intense in flavor due to the thinness. It is lightly sweet and makes a good accompaniment to tea or coffee. It would also go very well with ice cream. If you want to actually taste the cream, which is very subtle in flavor but richly fatty, you need to slide the cookie apart and place the inside against your tongue. This is what I do, and fortunately the cookies slide apart as if they were stuck together with butter.

These cookies are easy to like, but not so easy to "love". They are mainly appealing for their texture. They are crispy in a way which is very gratifying and also have a pleasant flavor. For 100 yen ($1.24) for a box of 8 cookies slightly smaller than the size of your palm, they're a nice thing to have around for a light tea time treat. They're also only about 45 calories per cookie and that makes them light on the hips. If you're a fan of subtle, crispy cookies that work well with a beverage, I'd say they're worth your shelf space.

1 comment:

Ikkin-bot said...

I adore these thin wafer type cookies. They are also very good with pudding (which I also love).