Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Morinaga Oishii Soft Caramel Cookies
There are some questions that you never ponder until you start a snack blog and the issue presents itself. One of those questions is, what is the difference between caramel and butterscotch? It turns out that caramel is heated to a higher temperature (burnt sugar) and butterscotch to a lesser temperature. I also read that caramel uses white sugar and butterscotch uses brown.
This issue arose because these cookies don't actually smell like caramel, but rather they smell like butterscotch. I'm pretty sure the Japanese do not differentiate between these two flavors. That wouldn't be surprising since they have little (or no) indigenous baking culture and such subtleties probably escape the average person. I came from a culture with a lot of baking and it escaped me up until now.
My husband and I bought this up while shopping around a local market. They were on sale for about 150 yen ($1.52) and there are 10 cookies in the bag. Of course, they are individually wrapped. Each cookie is 4 cm. in diameter and 49 calories. The ingredients are vague because they include "caramel chips" rather than define what makes up the chips themselves. These are also made with shortening and margarine rather than butter, so they're likely made with damaged fats.
The cookies have a lovely texture. The exterior is slightly crispy and the interior soft and slight chewy. They're lightly sweet and the "caramel" flavor is not overwhelming or fake.
I really enjoyed these, but I'm not a huge fan of butterscotch (or caramel). I couldn't see buying them again of my own volition, but I definitely would eat them again if they were around and my husband wanted to buy them for himself. As a fan of both caramel and butterscotch, he really enjoyed these, so based on that, I gave this a "happy sumo" rating.