Monday, July 1, 2013

Careme Quattro Fragrant White Cookies

I recently watched a lecture by a priest on addiction. You might ask yourself, "why is a priest talking about addiction?" You might also say, "this is a Japanese junk food blog, why on earth are you talking about priests giving lectures on serious topics?" This are all good questions and I have a good answer. He was talking about how there are certain things that we are born enjoying and, as children, we like things that are sweet because our genetic heritage has inclined us to do so.

When it comes to things like coffee and booze, we have to actually learn to like them. Part of how we do that is to adulterate them with more pleasant-tasting things like sugar, milk, or juice. We add something we naturally enjoy to something we find less pleasant in order to acclimate ourselves to bitter or harsh flavors. Once you get addicted to caffeine or alcohol, you can let go of those things which make them palatable and focus on what you need to get you high.

As this priest talked about how kids like one thing and adults like another, I thought about adult tastes and how we tend to separate them from those that children enjoy. Alcohol, by virtue of the illegality of consuming it at younger ages, at least outside of ritualistic practices, is something that we associate with adult tastes. However, sometimes, even adults don't enjoy the taste of alcohol. We have to learn to like it.

This cookie is part of an adult tastes line-up of the Quattro cookie line. I'm sure that this is an idea that they ripped off from Nestle Japan with their popular "adult sweetness" line of KitKats. What does "adult" taste like? It appears that it tastes like rum raisin as that is what the goo inside of these little biscuits is highly reminiscent of. One must ask why they didn't simply name them "rum raisin". It could be that I'm wrong about the flavoring or it could be that "mystery meat" sounds more provocative than "meatloaf".

I picked up this box of 6 cookies for $2.29 at one of the many Japanese markets in my general area. This is my second review of one of the Quattro line of cookies. The first one was an orange chocolate one that I loved so much that I sent a box to my sister. I won't be sending a box of these to my sister.

There is really nothing "wrong" with these cookies, but there are several things that they didn't exactly get "right". One was that the chocolate cookie portion is so flavorless as to practically be a plain cookie. I think more chocolate bitterness would have balanced out the almost cloying sweetness of the white chocolate. Sandwiched between the white chocolate and the bland cookie is another layer of slightly off-white chocolate that is supposed to be cheese flavored, but not much of that comes through. The dominant flavor is what I perceive to be the sweet white chocolate and the rum raisin sauce.

I like the textural mix of the crispy cookie, soft-ish chocolate and the jelly-like filling, but that's really not enough to overcome the fact that rum raising is one of those "adult" flavors that I never developed a strong affinity for. I'll finish the box, particularly since, at 43 calories per cookie, these aren't the most calorific sweets in the world, but I wouldn't buy them again.

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