Snack Review: Late July Vanilla Bean with Green Tea Cookies

Is there any question that the Oreo is the quintessential Chocolate Sandwich cookie?

Ok, I mean I get that some people are religiously partisan to the old Hydrox brand — and that others love their local grocery store’s version – but for me, the classic Oreo cannot be duplicated in terms of taste or texture. It is, dare I say, cookie perfection in all its artificially goodness.

The One and Only

It is, also, not the healthiest thing in the world. And while a couple of Oreos here and there are about as dangerous to my health as walking outside without sunscreen, a daily feeding frenzy on the iconic cookie probably isn’t the best dietary choice I could be making. With this in mind, I couldn’t help but snag a version of what I presumed to be a “healthier” chocolate sandwich cookie in Late July’s Organic Vanilla Bean with Green Tea cookie.

I won’t lie and say that this wasn’t one of those impulsive “on sale” buys on my part. While the claim of containing vanilla “harvested from a beautiful orchid” and a “hint of sweet organic green tea” didn’t hurt ‘em, I really bought these cookies because the 4-count snack pack I saw on the shelf of Safeway was only .39 cents. I think anyone who has read this blog happens to know I could care less if something is made with or without High Fructose Corn Syrup, and last I check organic palm oil was probably just as bad for me as the generic stuff.

That all being the case, I wasn’t expecting much from these cookies. On first inspection I wasn’t really impressed either, as they seemed compressed compared to the regular Oreo. It bothered me — a longtime twister — that the top refused to easily twist off, but an initial sampling of the chocolate did reveal a more intense, cocoa-butter infused flavor than my beloved Oreo. While I happen to really like the cookie base of Oreos, Late July’s version was exceptional, and I liked the density of the crunch and the more defined chocolate taste. The cream filling was different too, and quite enjoyable. It struck me more as “cream” than oily frosting (again, something I like, but for different reason), and had a much smoother, full bodied taste than what I wasn’t expecting. I don’t know if I could taste the “organic” element, but the vanilla was extremely pronounced, making each bite seem decadently rich and flavorful. There was almost a sweet “spice” element in the filling that you wouldn’t get in a regular sandwich cookie, and despite my natural twister impulses, I quickly found myself chowing down on the entire cookie in one swift bite. I even detected an element of mint, which tasted fresh and quite good.

The outside of the cookies are a bit crumbly, while the interior doesn’t have as much cream as the regular Oreo, but I have to say that Late July’s rendition of the sandwich cookie is mighty good. I wouldn’t say it’s better than the Oreo because the flavors are different (plus, Oreos of a nostalgic flair that makes their artificial taste enjoyable), but I really appreciated the quality of the vanilla, which was was stronger and more pronounced than any vanilla flavor I’ve ever encountered in a prepackaged cookie. I didn’t buy these because of the “organic” ingredients or the claim of having antioxidants or 4 whole grains, and at 230 calories a and 5 grams of saturated fat per four cookies, it’s not like they’re that much healthier than regular Oreos. But if I ever see these cookies on sale again I will definitely buy them, if for no other reason than the pronounced and creamy vanilla bean flavor.

Pros: Strong, authentic vanilla bean flavor. Rich chocolate cookie base. 4 grams of whole grains. Organic (if you're into that sort of thing.) Hoozah for on-sale food finds.

Cons: Kinda small and compact. Dislikes attempts at twisting, while vanilla flavor would be ruined by dunking. Writing "organic" next to every ingredient (including palm oil) is a pretentious turn-off. Will still make you fat if you try to get your day's worth of whole grains off only cookies. Donde esta el green tea?

Price: 0.34 cents (on sale at Safeway)

Overall GrubGrade: 8.75 (Very Good)

More Info: http://www.latejuly.com/
Nutrition Facts:
Late July Vanilla Bean with Green Tea
Serving Size: 2 Cookies (24g)
Calories 110 Calories From Fat 50
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 2.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 80mg
Total Carbohydrate 16g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 8g
Protein 1g

10 comments on “Snack Review: Late July Vanilla Bean with Green Tea Cookies

  1. Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

    Some people like Oreo and some people like Hydrox, but I swear by Rippin’ Good.

    The best sandwich cookies in the world.

  2. I love how everyone is adding green tea to anything they can, I fail to see how green tea could enhance a cookie, at least taste wise.

  3. skippymom says:

    Jason is right – eventhough green tea is supposed to have health benefits and be an anti oxidant is there really an appreciable amount in a cookie to make a diff?

    They do sound good – but I will continue to nosh the heck out of my Oreos and enjoy the kids asking “Where did all the oreos go?” It is the only snack food I can truly out-eat them on.

    I knew there was a reason I liked you so much Grub – you are an oreo fan like me. :D

  4. Amy says:

    I’m usually not much for new flavors or new versions of the classics. The may come out with improvements, but usually companies are just overreaching. However, I have to say that I enjoy the Golden and the Mint Oreos too :)

  5. Justin says:

    I just puked.

  6. Jessica J. says:

    I always preferred the Whole Foods Market brand of cookies that are like Oreo’s, but better. These Late July cookies sound truly delicious and I look forward to trying them!

  7. robin says:

    whole foods ‘oreos’ are the best! but i want a pack of these just for the pretty packaging!

  8. maxchain says:

    Y’know what? They’re great when mixed in as part of some ice cream dealy, but I’ve never been in love with the exact taste of Oreos. Maybe I’ll try to track these down.

  9. Adam says:

    Jessica and Robin,

    Do you girls eat ‘regular’ cookies that often, or just the natural/organic stuff? I only ask because I find that often people prefer one to the other, but trying these kind of opened me up to the possability of trying some non-artificial treats haha. I hate to say it, but organic cane juice might be growing on me!

    • Jessica J says:

      I live in a small town without an organic grocery store, but I typically don’t eat any cookies unless they are homemade. Occasionally I will buy fig newtons, and I love the new raspberry fig newtons. I get to buy the Whole Foods brand of sandwich cookies whenever I venture to the closest large town, which is only about 45 minutes away. I go about once a month. I love them so much! They have this wheaty, gluteney taste that reminds me of something from my childhood that I can’t quite put my finger on.