Now I love Pepperidge Farms, they are about as close to homemade cookies as you can get without that lingering smell of burning dough and hair that never seems to go away. You could generally depend on PF to provide safe, tasty, processed cookies that filled your belly without draining your wallet.
Then Pepperidge Farms hit puberty and, like any college student, started experimenting with every flavor it could get its hands on. The results have been mixed, and the company has essentially been moving from one limited time product to another for the past few years. Luckily they haven’t gone the route of Pop Tarts or Oreo to see just how far the gag reflexes of their customers can be tested, the flavors are pretty tame.
Who can hate Pepperidge Farms? The very container conjures up a wondrous memory of childhood, it’s like staring at a recreation of my grandmother but filled with cookies and not chain smoking cigarettes while watching soap operas and cursing the younger generation. You know, let’s leave that analogy for another day.
PF’s Strawberry Cheesecake cookie is described as:
In the mood for a rich, luscious cake? These soft dessert cookies made with ingredients like real cream cheese and dark chocolate chunks are deliciously reminiscent of the real thing.
Well that’s a blanket description for their cookie line. You get eight cookies per box for $3.49, your mileage may vary, with each one about the size of your palm if your hand is as big as mine. The bottom of the cookie is nice and not uniformally toasted, the kind of thing you want when your product is supposed to feel hand-baked.
The cookies themselves are moist and just the right consistency. I find chewy Chips Ahoy to be a little too far on the firm side, but these just break apart and melt in your mouth like a delicious cheesecake. I really wanted to give this product perfect marks, I really did, but it’s missing one very important thing:
One thing you won’t find in this product is strawberries, incidentally, making the Shameless Consumer ask a simple question: What the hell, food industry? You’re selling me a strawberry cheesecake cookie and there is not a single strawberry in it? Oh, there’s fruit, but it isn’t strawberry. It’s cranberry, sweetened with elderberry juice.
Only in the snack industry can you advertise something and provide absolutely none of it in the actual product, not even artificially. Strawberry cheesecake with no strawberries, watermelon drinks with no watermelon, it’s all crap and makes me wish I’d gone to law school or learned Jujitsu. This would never fly in any other industry, the companies behind it would get their pants sued off (I think they’re hiding all of the strawberries in their unsued pants).
The cheesecake aspect of this cookie is spot on, thanks to the use of actual cream cheese. The strawberry not so much, thanks to the lack of actual strawberries. If they had pushed this as cranberry cheesecake, I’d have no problems and the thing tastes pretty damn good. Instead, Pepperidge Farms fed me a burger only to tell me halfway through my meal that I was actually eating horse. It’s not what the product is, but the fact that you lied to me.
So I have to dock points for blatant lies and effectively fraudulent advertising. Delicious simplicity my ass.
Verdict – 2/5: Remember when a strawberry cookie would actually come with strawberries? Pepperidge Farms doesn’t, apparently.