Monday, March 17, 2008

Nice Cup of Milk and a Sit Down, part 2

(Continuing apologies to Nicey and Wifey.)

The original Girl Scout cookie plan was amended when a box of late birthday presents arrived from Wombatarama's West Coast legal office. This permitted the review of one more newfangled cookie (to come later, as we've got too many open boxes of cookies now) as well as a comparison taste test.

Girl Scout cookies are baked by two different companies. So along with our local box of Do-si-dos, we have a box of west coast Peanut Butter Sandwiches. They appear to use different recipes. The ingredient lists are different, and they look different. Do they taste different? Will this be yet another reason for me to bemoan not living in California, sitting by the pool under the palm tree in a t-shirt in March eating Peanut Butter Sandwiches with a glass of milk with a paper umbrella in it?

An interesting accidental experiment occurred at the start of the taste test. I got distracted and didn't realize that I was eating the West Coast cookie (the lighter one, on the left) when I meant to eat the East Coast one first. And at first I didn't know anything was wrong.

But when I tasted the East Coast cookie afterwards the difference was obvious. It's much richer in flavor and more peanutty. Going back to the West Coast one afterwards it's clear that the taste of that one is more dominated by sweet, and much less by peanut and fat.

This makes sense when you read the ingredients. The West Coast lists sugar first, before even flour, and shortening is above peanuts. (Everyone knows that ingredients are listed in order of quantity, right?) The East Coast cookie has the reverse proportion of both pairs, so less sugar and more peanut. It also uses peanut butter rather than peanuts, which I suppose might also matter.

Such a relief. It's nice for the East Coast to win out in the food department once in a while, although it doesn't really make up for the Japanese and Mexican. And the accidental experiment shows that if I did live in California I might not consciously realize what I was missing in the peanut butter cookie department. I might just eventually stop bothering to go look for them in cookie season after a couple of years without realizing exactly why I'd decided they weren't worth the effort. Which would probably be for the best, after all.

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