Friday, October 5, 2012

Noodle House Industrial Sesame Cookie Rolls

I love the name of the company that makes these. It seems slightly scary that a food is made by a company which has "industrial" as a part of its name. It reminds me of the episode of the Simpsons in which they go to Japan and the translation they use of various Japanese companies includes "concern" like "Osaka Fish Concern." It makes me wonder if the Chinese equivalent is "industrial".

My experiences with Chinese snacks is rather limited. It's not that I have little interest in them, but rather that, as someone who lived in Japan and operated based on what I could purchase there for many years, I didn't have many opportunities. The Japanese are in an intense rivalry with China and prefer to avoid supporting their businesses, but the food issue is related to perceptions of safety. There were several instances in which Chinese food was reported by the mass media as dangerously contaminated by chemicals, the most widely known of which concerned pot stickers or "gyoza". Businesses in Japan were unlikely to carry Chinese food as consumers didn't trust it based on such suspicions.

These cookies came to me courtesy of a guest who is of Chinese descent. She told me that they were her grandmother's favorites and that she picked them up at a Chinese bakery in San Francisco. The company that makes them makes noodles (surprise, surprise) and dried seafood as well as moon cakes, almond cookies, and other Chinese traditional sweets. Despite my best search efforts, I could not find an online seller of these cookies. However, there are sites which will allow you to inquire about buying them.

The cookies come in a large tin in order to protect their delicate nature. However, despite some plastic inserts for padding, they did tend to break up quite a bit from being transported. I didn't really mind the fact that they broke up a bit as these are very large cookie rolls. I'd guess each is about 5-6 inches long (12.7-15.2 cm). Eating a smaller piece isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The first thing you smell when opening the tin is the scent of coconut. The ingredients list is flour, butter, sugar, egg, sesame, coconut powder, and vanilla. Given that butter is second, it is no surprise that these have a buttery flavor, though the coconut element is the strongest. The sesame is actually eclipsed to a fair extent by the coconut, but it is still quite present. Because they are so fatty, they leave a slightly oily sense on the tongue after you eat one so it is best to have one with tea or a hot drink. They are very crumbly and have a delicate crispy texture which nearly melts in your mouth.

These are thoroughly enjoyable cookies and at 107 calories per large cookie, not too hard on the diet. However, I do think that the oily residue it leaves may be quite off-putting for some people. It didn't bother me, and I would be happy to buy a tin of these for myself some day if guests fail to bring me another one as a hostess gift. ;-)

1 comment:

miyazaki said...

I'm sure there are companies in China that are making fine cookies and such but my unfamiliarity with any brand there leads me to be suspicious of quality and safety. I buy Japanese products on the belief that they have high standards and regulations protecting the consumer. Maybe some day China will have this reputation but I don't think it's there yet...I'm old enough to remember as a kid that the expression "made in Japan" was a slam on them for making crappy things.