IT’S FINALLY SPRING! Can you tell we’re excited? If it weren’t for my annoying pollen allergies, spring would actually have great chances at being my favorite season (taking into account how the duck and I dramatically suffer in the cold)!
Despite the varied approaches to determining the official starting point of spring, once the cherry blossom season has begun, it doesn’t matter who you ask, everyone will agree that spring has arrived (even if it’s still super cold or rainy outside). For us, the countdown to the beginning of this lovely, but painful (even with masks and allergy medicine), season started as soon as we saw the first spring themed snacks in the Konbini and grocery store shelves. When we discovered a pack of sakura (cherry blossom) flavored cookies back in February, the duck and I could not resist!
Spring also marks the new school and fiscal year in Japan (both start in April – which some see as the month for starting new things; April is Japan’s January for new year’s resolutions) and, more importantly, the season when matcha is a popular snack flavor everywhere, not only in Kyoto! Because of that, this time, we present you not one, but three(!) beautiful cookies that we’ve had the pleasure of trying in celebration of spring:
If spring had a flavor
… it would be pretty close to the following three beauties! Let’s start with the cookies that we’ve already mentioned:
Sakura flavored chocolate chip cookies
These cookies are of the soft variety (some might call it chewy), like most cookies from the popular Country Ma’am cookie line that also sports such flavors as (the seasonal) sweet potato or peach, as well as plain old (but pretty awesome) cocoa or vanilla.
Like the picture on the package suggests, the cookie has two distinct colors; while the inside looks like a typical vanilla cookie with white chocolate chips, the outside has a pretty pink tint. Of course, the ‘sakura‘ does not only show in the color of the cookie, but also in the taste; the ingredients list suggests that the added cherry flower extract distinguishes these beautiful reminders of spring from other Country Ma’am cookies. For us, unfortunately, the cookie was a bit too sweet overall, so that we couldn’t fully enjoy the sakura flavor – we would have preferred it to be slighter and less sweet. The rather fruity taste of the outer layer reminded of cherries and, weirdly, bubblegum which, as we have mentioned in our soy milk and autumn chocolate taste tests, we’re not really fans of.
Because of all that we have to say that we do prefer regular chewy chocolate chip cookies to these ones, though they are definitely worth a try, if not for the sake of trying as many sakura flavored things in spring as you possibly can, since it’s decidedly harder to come by them the rest of the year!
Taking the sweetness and interesting flavor into account, as well as our excitement for spring, the duck and I have decided to give the sakura cookies a very subjective 3/5 Ducks. We just love chewy cookies and seasonal snacks, even if they taste and look like bubblegum – and those cookies, when we tasted them in winter, definitely made us super excited for spring! Also, the packaging is just too cute!
Matcha flavored chocolate chip cookies
Since we loved the idea of spring flavored cookies and, if it weren’t for our peculiarity concerning fruit flavored snacks, actually enjoyed the Country Ma’am sakura cookies, we decided to give the matcha variety a shot (because, duh, it’s our favorite flavor!).
The first thing that distinguishes these cookies from the sakura ones is that they have almost the same pretty green matcha color throughout (the package does show two different colors, but the contrast in the actual cookie is by far weaker than the pink and vanilla color of the sakura variety) and, instead, show their duality with matcha and milk chocolate chips. The chocolate chips go well with the overall matcha taste and the texture of the cookies. However, the matcha was waaaay too weak for our tastes, so that, while they were generally very enjoyable, these cookies could not completely satisfy our matcha cravings.
We did like the taste of the matcha cookies much better, but, compared to the sakura cookies the packaging, held in typical green matcha color, was a bit less exciting.
Taking that and the (for our tastes) rather weak matcha flavor into account, we’ve decided to award these cookies a happy 4/5 Ducks because we just love Country Ma’am cookies and matcha, so these green cookies gave us great happiness!
More matcha cookies!
Those were actually the first spring-cookies that we bought, way back in early February, because they just looked so good in the grocery store shelves – and let me tell you about the taste!
These cookies from the Bourbon brand (that is also responsible for the Alfort cookies that were one of my first fun matcha cookie discoveries some years ago) are, as the packaging suggests, soft and moist and even a bit crumbly. There are no chocolate chips or fancy extra colors or packaging; the cookies sport a plain old matcha-green and all the frills come from their amazing matcha flavor, which is deep and not too sweet. For the matchaholics that we are, the strong flavor and pleasant aftertaste managed to satisfy our matcha cravings with just one cookie!
The cookies could come with fancier packaging and, to be honest, the duck and I did miss the chocolate taste that the other two cookie varieties had given us. However, the happiness that we felt when we found these cookies back when it was colder, reminding us that there will be an end to the cold, a light at the end of the tunnel, definitely justifies our Duck rating!
Because of their amazing matcha flavor, the Duck and I give these cookies a rounded up 5/5 Ducks as they are just sweet enough and make for a completely satisfying matcha flavored snack!
This concludes our spring cookie taste test. Prepare yourselves for many more spring-related posts on this blog. In fact, we just realized that spring actually might be our new favorite snack season, so, there will definitely be more taste tests where this one came from!
Check back in soon to see what else we’re up to and, in the meantime, have a look at our other taste tests if you like!
Matcha waitin’ for?!