Thursday, September 30, 2010
Morinaga Rare Cheese Dessert
There are two words that should serve as red flags to anyone seeking a snack treat. One of those words is "drink". If you find something which is called "orange drink" or "grape drink", you know that qualitatively you're going to be getting something which is closer to a lollipop in flavor and nutrition than the fruit the drink is based on. The other word is "dessert".
You'd think I would have seen this red flag, but I must have been colorblind and seen green instead when I picked up this box of "rare cheese dessert" at Yutakaraya for 189 yen ($2.22). I think that I was paying more attention to the 79 calories per serving rather than the product name. I was thinking "low-calorie cheesecake," rather than cheesecake-like substance. Silly, silly flower girl. Incidentally, "rare cheese" is what the Japanese use to describe New-York-style (unbaked) cheesecake.
Each tub contains what can best be described as cream-cheese-flavored gelatin. It's not quite as firm as American Jell-o, but it's also not the least bit creamy. The flavor is right on though. It does have all of the taste of the filling of cheesecake, but there is something which seems very "wrong" about it. Until you eat something with all of the flavor and none of the texture of cheesecake, you don't realize how integral the velvety, fatty goodness is to the experience. This tastes good, but ultimately doesn't satisfy. It is like semi-liquid sweetened cream cheese.
I don't mean to regard this product unfairly by giving it an "indifferent" rating. Morinaga did a very good job of approximating the flavor of cheesecake filling without the fat, calories, and crust. This was likely no small feat. However, I'm not sure the world really needs cream cheese gelatin, and I'm certain I won't buy this again.