By Hannah Kaminsky – Trying new foods certainly requires an open mind, something that the less adventurous eaters among us may lack, perfectly content to eat the same old grub day in and day out. Those set in their ways might even fear the unknown, untraditional, and perhaps unconventional foods out there, preferring instead never to venture outside of their restrictive comfort zones. Everyone has a touch of this taste-bias. As for me, I would be hard pressed to enthusiastically seek out new hot peppers that sound about as tasty as putting lit firecrackers in my mouth.
Reviewing new products has truly expanded my palate in directions that I probably would never have investigated solo, and even led me to new favorites that may not have naturally sparked my interest otherwise. Thus, the fear for me doesn’t revolve around sampling new delicacies – Rather, I’m terrified to discover a product that I actually become taken with.
Sound strange? Yes, it does read as a curious statement, but the unfortunate truth is that the market works in mysterious ways, usually to my disadvantage. My bad luck ensures that new favorites don’t stick around for too long, quickly ushered off of the grocery store shelves just as soon as they were brought in. Even if the company doesn’t go belly-up altogether, it always seems like the one product that I’m always after manages to fall out of production, or simply never get ordered or stocked again. For some odd reason, my approval tends to be the kiss of death.
Knowing how much I loved Enjoy Life’s gluten-free cookies, I feared that it would be a treat sure to disappear in short time. Quite to the contrary, I was happily surprised to receive word that they weren’t fading away at all, but in fact rolling out new flavors in addition to their existing offerings! Breathing a sigh of relief, I knew that I needed to secure packages of these fresh flavors ASAP.
Making a fast grab for the flavor that sounded right up my ally, I had the package of Happy Apple cookies secured and ripped open in no time. Small domes of golden brown dough sat in a newly designed inner sleeve, which actually held them in a way that they didn’t stick together like their predecessors, much to my delight. Lifting one out of the protective package, it smelled so enticing that I found it difficult to stop and consider its appearance before stuffing it into my mouth. Strongly scented like a slightly tart green apple and melange of apple pie spices, I had high hopes as my teeth first pierced the soft exterior with ease. With the same soft and fantastically chewy texture of the older flavors, this one did not disappoint.
The apple flavor is pervasive throughout the cookie, with a bonus chunk of dried apple tossed in every now and then. This was mostly for textural interest, from what I could tell. Although they are very small pieces and made me feel a bit ripped off at first, I understood after a few more cookies that including larger pieces would have made these seem like just a piece of fruit. The minuscule size of the cookies would only accommodate smaller add-ins, especially considering the fact that each dollop of dough was about the size of a quarter. Like my old favorite of theirs, the Snickerdoodle, the cinnamon flavors had me singing Enjoy Life’s praises again. However, this one actually has the edge on the competition because the addition of fruit makes me feel less guilty about eating so many of them! I just may have a new favorite!
Enthused by this delicious discovery, I tore into the Lively Lemon cookies with just as much eagerness. Pausing briefly to puzzle over how these cookies still managed to stick together despite the innovative new packaging, I quickly wrote it off as an unimportant detail and continued with unwavering expectations. However, a closer inspection revealed a somewhat unappealing exterior, with strange, unidentifiable yellow chunks speckling the surface like some bad case of chicken pox. Trying to get a whiff to better know what I would be consuming, it was very difficult to identify any distinct scent at all, and only if pressed could I say that it was very vaguely lemony, like fading air freshener scent.
Flatter and floppier than the others, it should have come as no surprise that it had a very different texture, but I was saddened to experience this weird substance gumming up between my teeth. It wasn’t altogether unpalatable, I just had higher hopes for something carrying the Enjoy Life brand name, knowing their past success in amazing gluten free baked goods. The unknown yellow pieces did in fact lend to an interesting, toothsome mouth-feel, so I won’t write them off as a completely arbitrary addition. Still, the flavor was a bit hard to pin down… Perhaps they were just a little bit lemony, but more prominently did I taste the deep sweetness alone, as though they were simple sugar cookies, only made with brown sugar instead. A very pleasant flavor regardless, they still made for tasty treats… But I would be more inclined to call them Lightly Lemon, not Lively Lemon.
Perhaps I’ve just been spoiled by their previous gluten-free cookies and now even though this one is perfectly acceptable, it just doesn’t strike my fancy. Nonetheless, the apple cookies do live up to their name and make me happy every time I get the opportunity to savor another one. Hit or miss, I’m just thankful that this awesome company isn’t throwing in the towel any time soon; My pantry would be at such a loss without their snacks!
Hannah writes for Go Dairy Free and her own website, the Bittersweet Blog.
Where to Buy: Enjoy Life products are available in many natural food grocers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Distribution has also begun in Dillon, Fry’s, King Soopers, Kroger, Smith’s and Wegmans stores. See their website for a store locator or to purchase online.
Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.