Friday, January 3, 2014

Lil' Dutch Maid Dutch Wafer Rolls

I have blogged about "American" things in Japan that were not in any way American. Most of the time, these were what the Japanese believed was American-style, but was actually a distorted version that was modified to suit the tastes of the Japanese market.

This often applied to coffee, which Japanese folks think is super weak if it's "American", but also to things like pizza. The American-style pizza varied from place to place, but it could be anything from frankfurter to French fry toppings on your pie. One thing that it never was was heaping piles of cured meat with great lashings of cheese. That would have actually been closer to what you'd find in the average American pizza place, but it also would have been unpalatable to the Japanese.

At the local big lots, I believe I found some very unDutch Dutch wafers. They lured me in with the illustration on the box which brought to mind Kinder sweets like the Bueno or the Happy Hippos. These are chocolate-hazelnut cream filled wafer treats which I can occasionally find in shops in my area, but generally at a premium price. I figured that these might be a knock-off version of the Bueno, and I was willing to take a chance on them for a mere dollar for a box of four.

To be honest, I had no idea what made these Dutch in any way. Ferrero SPA, which produces the Kinder line, is Italian, so the oncept was seemingly taken not from a Dutch company. I did a little investigating and found that the Dutch part literally applies to the wafers themselves and not the way in which they are rolled, filled or coated. I should have been thinking "stroopwafels" or waffle cones, not Happy Hippos.

I didn't attend to where there were made, but when I got home, I learned that these "Dutch Wafer rolls" are made in Mexico. Uh-oh. No matter. Just because they aren't actually European does not mean that they can't be good. I tried to remain optimistic, but when I broke one in half for a picture of the inside, more than a little pessimism creeped in. It was much more "wafer" than I was lead to believe and far less creamy filling.

Unlike the lovely illustration showing a full great filling with lashings of Nutella-like filling, When you bite into it, the first hit is full-on cheap milk-chocolate-covered peanuts. The wafer adds nothing to the flavor profile at all, but does add a crispy texture. The filling creates a very slight sense of richness and a deepening of the chocoalte flavor, but whatever hazelnut aspects are in it are totally overwhelmed by the peanuts in the coating.

In no way would I say this isn't enjoyable as long as you like milk-chocolate-coated peanuts. In fact, I rather liked this, but it was far from what I expected based on the illustration and my, perhaps, unrealistic expectation that I was getting a cheaper version of a Bueno. Each piece is individually wrapped in a plastic-foil packet, is about 4" x 1" (10.2 cm x 2.5 cm) in size, and is only 110 calories. As an accessible, somewhat moderate bit of candy, it's not bad at all. It's not high quality, but it is more than serviceable if your tastes don't run consistently toward the high end. At the Big Lots price of a box of four for a dollar (about 100 yen), I'd pick this up again. I wouldn't buy it all of the time, but I could imagine a revisit or two in the future.

1 comment:

BunnyOne said...

I've never seen anything like that here in the Netherlands. The wafer part resembles more those cheap "wafer cookies" with the incredibly sweet filling than a stroopwafel.