|NCookieAA: Round 1, Flight 1|
|June 19, 2014|
Oh my god, we're finally back, you guys. I can't even tell you how long it's been since Bunting and I first tried to bracket the NCookieAA, but what happened between now and then is: Dr. Mathra and I moved, I wrote a book, we re-elected a president, I potty-trained one kid, and then because we still weren't ready to really commit to the NCookieAA, I went and had another entire kid. You know, just to keep busy meantimes.
Pepperidge Farm Brussels
Pepperidge Farm Bordeaux
Pepperidge Farm Milano Slices Salted Pretzel
Girl Scout Samoas
Pepperidge Farm Milanos Double Chocolate
Carr's Lemon Ginger Creams
Stella D'Oro Swiss Fudge
Pepperidge Farm Blueberry Cobbler
Pepperidge Farm Milano Slices Sweet Toffee
Lazzaroni Amaretti di Saronno
Snackwell Devil's Food
Pepperidge Farm Pirouette
Pepperidge Farm Milanos Original (Dark)
Entenmann's Chocolate Chip
Barnum's Animal Crackers
So, hey, this is a tough start with all these Pepperidge Farm contenders, yeah? I had to look up what these "Slices" were and okay, they're not as weird as I thought and they're not at hoarfy as the Farm breakfast-pastries-cum-cakey-grossosities (Sorry, Bunting), but I don't think they can beat the Farm classics like Brussels, Bordeaux, Milanos, or even Pirouette (aka the cookie ice cream parlors like Farrell's always stuck in the top of sundaes). I definitely see at least one of those making it through this time. Maybe even two.
I will, however, be supremely bummed if the sugar wafers -- which MUST come in a thin plastic tray containing the Neapolitan combo of strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla -- don't make it through. How can you not love their completely flavorless wafers which have a texture that would not be incorrect to describe as very finely sliced Styrofoam? And don't forget their completely dry and sweet "filling"! Man, I doted on these as a kid. We used to dissect them. We'd carefully remove one wafer, set it aside, scrape the filling off with our teeth, set that wafer on top of the first and move on to the next cookie. Filling expedited, we were left with a thick stack of wafers that was incredibly satisfying to bite through all at once. (Our bites were usually followed by my sister running after me to blow puffs of wafer dust in my face because those cookies are seriously dry and god I miss them.)
But oh fortune cookies! I don't care if they are stale or bendy or flavorless. I just love fortune cookies. And the Loacker Quads, which I first discovered on some dusty shelf in a tiny Boston-area spa and tore through like I had never seen cookies before in my entire life! AND THE CARR'S GINGER LEMON BISCUITS BECAUSE WHEN EATING DELICIOUS ENGLISH COOKIES YOU MUST MUST SAY BISCUITS! And I can't even with the Amaretti's because they are so addictive and also because I will never stop trying to successfully light their wrappers on fire.
(Fair or not, Snackwell's will forever be in my mind and on my tastebuds as "diet" cookies so: no.)
Barnum's Animal Crackers, though rather meh, do have such a universal appeal that I'm calling it for them along with Girl Scouts Samoas, the Entenmann's and probably Milano's original and some other cookie I can't predict but hope in my heart of hearts is one of my favorites.
--Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic
Welcome to the first round of the N Cookie AA! You know, in between "food fights," I miss doing them: reading up on the demise and phoenix-like return of Archway, buying birthday-cake Oreos "for research" (spoiler: blerf), trading "crumby" puns with Keckler.
Then we get to the first round, and I compose half a dozen melodramatic "goodbye, cruel brackets!" emails to Keck in my head while planning to wander into traffic with a box of Regina pignoli and a gin and tonic, because I GODDAMN HATE HAVING TO CHOOSE. Why, WHY do we do this to ourselves?
As you know, the flight selection is random. We whittle the entries down to a reasonable number and enter the alphabetized list into an online randomizer; this is what happens sometimes, that a single flight is packed with classics and I feel the tears of regret welling up as I have to leave the voting space next to original Milanos or black-and-whites blank.
...Okay. I will vote for the following probably-hopeless cases: the Carr's (I can crush a whole sleeve Thin-Mints-stylee in about 10 minutes; something about the super-tartness of the lemon makes them almost refreshing). Bahlsen Hits, for the almost cakey biscuit of the chocolate-outside-white-filling version; I should take points off for the aggressively stupid packaging, but won't. Quadratini, for the bite-size almond verzh and also because it's fun to help kids stack (and by "help," I mean "even out a Jenga situation by eating"). Fortune cookies, because I legit like the taste, and also hoard the fortunes to make art. And the PF Pirouette, which may be used to slurp vanilla pudding (note: professional glutton; do not attempt).
Do I think any of my personal selections stands a chance? No, I sure don't. Well, maybe fortune cookies, but I see Samoas, original Milani, Entenmann's chocolate chip (the best cookie : bite ratio in the bidness), and good old animal crackers sailing through. What's the fifth? Could be a genre classic like B&Ws or sugar wafers. No wrong choices here in the opener -- just tough ones.
--Sarah D. Bunting