Subject #10: Vertigo Gourmet Cookies
Hey, my tenth cookie review! Finally, I got around to trying these cookies, which were recommended to me by Andrei back in November. The Vertigo Gourmet line of products originated with Vertigo restaurant here in Tallinn. Vertigo (which I’ve never visited) is a restaurant of one of Estonia’s major celebrity chefs, Imre Kose, and the Vertigo Gourmet line of products seems to be unique and high-quality. I was really looking forward to giving these cookies a try.
They’re pretty expensive for cookies– 60 EEK (slightly over $5) for 5 cookies. A dollar per large cookie (10 cm across) would be reasonable in a bakery, where I know the cookies are totally fresh, but these are a product from a grocery store shelf and I couldn’t find any indication of when they were baked on the package. Also, I technically should not be including these in my chocolate chip cookie reviews, because (and I discovered this only after buying them) the lighter cookies have RAISINS in them, not chocolate, and the chocolate-flavored cookies have no inclusions. Dang! But, be that as it may, I decided these cookies were still special enough to get a review. So here goes.
Opening the cellophane package, I was greeted with a nice buttery scent. That was promising. I tried the lighter cookie first. The edges were crisp and crumbly and so was the top, and the very center of the cookie underneath the crisp top was softer, chewy. In my opinion the texture contrast could be greater between the edges and the center, but it was all right. The cookie had a very strong, creamy vanilla flavor that reminded me of buttercream icing. There were also oats in the cookie, contributing an extra bit of chewiness to the texture. When J tried a piece, he actually mistook the oats for coconut, which made sense– the buttery flavor and chewiness could very well have been coconut. The cookie was OK, but a bit too sweet, and something about the vanilla struck me as artificial. Reading the ingredients told me that the vanilla flavor comes from vanilla sugar, not vanilla extract (like in the cookies I bake). I didn’t really like that. These cookies probably would have been far better with the deeper taste of real vanilla extract.
A few words on the chocolate cookie too, just for fun. It doesn’t smell like chocolate at all. Upon first bite I thought the chocolate taste was way too mild, but on subsequent bites the chocolate-ness sort of increased. It’s actually a fairly deep chocolate taste and not too sweet, but I’d hesitate to call it rich because of the somewhat dry texture– there wasn’t as much of a soft area in the middle of the chocolate as there was in the light cookie.
Don’t get me wrong– these are good cookies, far better than the other store-bought ones I’ve tasted. They’re made with real ingredients, unlike processed snack foods. They didn’t have all the characteristics I look for in a cookie, but they weren’t a total disappointment either. I’m not sure if I would buy these again, but that’s due to the high price, not an issue with the product itself. Overall, a pretty good job by Vertigo Gourmet.