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.
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/
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
Total Carbohydrate 16g
Dietary Fiber 1g