Search This Blog

Friday, May 10, 2019

Trader Joe's Benne Wafer Cookies

I had to look up "lowcountry." I was thinking it was a nickname for the Netherlands or Belgium or some other sea-level European nation. Turns out it's actually South Carolina...or several counties in South Carolina, at least—mostly the area around Charleston. 

I lived in North Carolina for a year, and during my time there, I only made it into South Carolina once—to the Myrtle Beach area. But fortunately, Sonia and I got to visit Charleston briefly a couple years back on our trip through the South. I don't remember hearing the terms "lowcountry" or "benne wafers," but I do remember the city having a certain colonial seaport charm as well as a unique look and feel. We didn't get to spend a ton of time there. On our way back north, we opted for a path that took us through Columbia, another fascinating, and perhaps less touristy, locale. Like the Georgia Pecan Cookies, these too are produced in Savannah, GA. Close enough to the lowcountry, I suppose. 


Apparently that whole southern coastal region has been snacking on benne wafers for centuries. They're basically the offspring of salty sesame crackers and sweet sugar cookies—a fact I was oblivious to up until the moment I popped one in my mouth. No, I didn't read the bag first. I like to dive in blind with no expectations if I can.

The sesame flavor is significant, detectable immediately when you bite into the cookie. I almost wrote "I'm surprised how much I like these" just now, but what I really mean is I'm surprised how much I don't dislike these. If I had read the bag before the purchase, I probably wouldn't have even bought them. I don't really think of sesame seeds as dessert-ish. I'm fine with a few of them on crackers or rolls. They work well on salty foods, generally. But in a cookie?

Yes, I must admit that somehow sesame seeds work just fine in these particular cookies. It's another unexpected sweet+salty combo that I probably wouldn't seek out unless I had a particular craving, but Sonia likes them significantly more than the pecan cookies. Between the two of us, we probably won't have much trouble finishing this bag.

Texture-wise, they're very similar to the pecan cookies. They're brittle, crispy, crumbly, and it might just be a psychological thing, but I feel like they're a little crackery, too—as in, you know, cracker-like. 

Score-wise, we're looking at three and a half from me and four from the wife.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

2 comments:

  1. Even in South Carolina these are hard to find in the stores except at gouge-the-tourists prices.It's more of a home-made thing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. just discovered this cookie and was blown away--dangerous. lol.

    ReplyDelete