Today I finish off the latest batch of products sent to me by J-List, with a review of one of the more unusual offerings I have received from them yet. Now, despite having previously come across oddities such as the sweet potatoe and green tea flavoured Kit Kats, these Fujiya Country Ma'am Rich Chocolate Cookies struck me as something really very different. As you can see from the photographs above, Fujiya's Country Ma'am brand is a Japanese interpretation of one the all famous Western delicacies - the cookie. Admittedly the whole concept of the Japanese making cookies isn't all that wacky, but as I will go in to below it was the look and feel of the product that really struck me as quite odd.
The packet sent my way included 20 pieces, each of which was comparable in size to a Maryland/Chips Ahoy cookie. When I said the look and feel of the product came across as unusual, I was of course speaking mainly about the packaging - which I'm sure if you look above will similarly come across as looking a bit odd to you. I think it is the mix of the very traditional, American design style, clashing with the Japanese text which makes it look somewhat peculiar. As weird as it looked, it didn't really make me develop any sort of positive or negative feelings towards it - my feelings were really quite passive in that regard. One thing I did look upon favourably however, was the way that each of the cookies was sealed in an individual foil packet. This not only kept them looking great, but it also maintained a wonderful smelling set of fresh chocolate cookies scent within each.
Having rattled on about the packaging and presentation for two paragraphs, it is probably about time I told you about the actual product proposition - 'rich chocolate cookies, with white chocolate chips'. In theory they sounded great, but the question that begged to answered was whether the Japanese could pull off the American cookie experience? With a taste test score of 8 out of 10 (I know you have looked already :P ), I will be upfront and tell you that to my surprise they did, and with room to spare. The first thing that struck me about these cookies was how soft and fresh they felt out the packet. Each cookie had a crusty outer portion, however closer to the centre each piece was wonderfully soft and melted really nicely in the mouth. As I have referred to already, In addition to being pleasant in texture, they also tasted pretty superb, and certainly passed my expectations. At the heart of each cookie there was a shortbread like appeal with strong notes of butter, brown sugar and salt present throughout. Whilst these flavours were a constant, the original premise of the product was also delivered with the chocolatey cocoa flavours coming through with a decent depth of richness in every bite. In regards to the white chocolate chips, I was hoping for a little bit more in terms of cream based flavour bursts, though they still did a job in adding a bit of further moistness to the soft innards.
Overall these cookies really proved themselves to be a bolt out of the blue - I was no way expecting them to be as good as they actually were. As I said in the above I did find the packaging and presentation somewhat confusing with the mish-mash of Japanese and American cultural influences, but one thing that was perfectly clear was that these were some damn fine tasting cookies. I don't know what the going standard of cookies is like in America, but what often annoys me about many cookie products here in the UK is that all of them are rock solid in terms of texture. In fact, I can't think of a single mass produced brand offering here in the UK that can boast to have the same sort of 'fresh out the bakery' soft feel that these cookies had. If you factor in to the equation just how much distance these travelled in air miles, that claim becomes even more ridiculous sounding doesn't it? I never in a million years expected to be saying this, but thumbs up to Fujiya for making some top notch American style cookies - they have put us Brits (and probably many US brands) to shame.
7.9 out of 10
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