I freaking love banana, and I've been waiting for Oreo to release a chocolate banana themed cookie for years. The closest we've gotten are the Banana Split Oreo's, and even though those are one of my favorite limited edition Oreo's of all time, they didn't satisfy my craving.
The second I saw this on the shelves I immediately tossed it into my cart. I've tried a LOT of Meiji products in the past, but never their sandwich cookies. Even though this is an entirely new product for me, I'm going into this review with really high expectations. Let's hope that these cookies will finally fulfill my chocolate-banana-less Oreo life.
The packaging for these biscuits consists of a small cardboard box with lovely photo-realistic bananas scattered about, and some crisp and clean text. For the most part everything makes visual sense, but what's with all of the snowflakes? I'm guessing this is a limited edition winter item? In America bananas are often associated with summer and tropical fruits, but this packaging seems to be winter themed?
In Japan, Christmas is more-so for couples than it is for spending time with family. It's a romantic holiday when couples go away on trips, or go out to eat, and spend time together. Which is very different from the family-centric way it's celebrated here in America but, unless I'm missing something, it has absolutely nothing to do with bananas. I have no idea why these banana cookies seem to have a holiday theme, but I'm not really complaining. The layout and designs are crisp and clear, and even though I can't read the packaging, the context clues let me know that these are made with 70% real banana. (Which is awesome.) It might not be my favorite packaging design, but I do like it quite a bit.
Inside the box are three pouches containing individual servings of banana cookies. When compared to Oreo, which has a plastic tray filled with cookies, this is pretty skimpy. I think you get about 9 cookies total in the entire box. Since it's an imported item, the price is significantly more per cookie than it would be for a package of normal Oreo's, which makes my wallet cry a little, but they could taste amazing and be well worth it. (I hope.) Let's find out!
Inside each pouch is only two cookies?! What?! That's so few! So you're only getting 6 total cookies in this entire box? As an American who's used to entire packages of cookies, I'm a tiny bit outraged. Why so few? I'm a horrible glutinous person, and this entire box is like a single serving to me. I understand that this is a specialty item, and it's meant to be savored, but seriously? Only two? You show them being served at a party. What kind of party has only 6 cookies?! Okay, gotta calm down. Let's see if these 6 cookies were worth their fairly hefty price tag.
The cookies smell...deliciously authentic! It's so refreshing and surprising. The creme filling really does smell like actual bananas! Not that fake yellow-banana-Runts flavoring, but honest to goodness bananas. How do they do it? It smells the way that banana-based "healthy ice cream" tastes. Creamy, sweet, and fruity. Okay, maybe you were worth the money after all fancy banana cookies.
I took a bite....and I am in love. These are so incredibly good! Worthy of bolded-text. Nearly all CAPS worthy.
The chocolate cookie portion is crisp and crunchy, with a very mild chocolate flavoring. The cookie is definitely not the star of this show. It's not quite as chocolatey as an Oreo cookie, and the overall flavoring and texture reminds me of chocolate breakfast cereals I had when I was in Europe. It's not very strongly flavored, or sweet, but it's crispy and crunchy with a kind of whole wheat-like after taste. The cookie is okay, but that filling...that banana flavored filling is absolutely amazing.
This stuff tastes like banana ice cream! Or like my beloved Banana Choco candies. It's so creamy, smooth, and authentically flavored, I just...I love it. I take back all the things I said about you being expensive. These were well worth it.
If you love bananas, there is just no beating this. I can't imagine Oreo ever being able to do it better, and I'll be buying more packages of this on my next trip and stock piling them for sure. I don't know if the snowflakes mean this is a seasonal, or limited edition flavor, but I don't want to risk not seeing this again. Banana lovers, this is a must try. (Although I wish there were larger boxes, I could easily eat all 6 now and it's taking some willpower to prevent me from shoving the rest of these into my mouth.)
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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