One of the great things about spring cleaning is that you always find things that you’ve completely forgotten about, like this, a box of Maid Cookies.
Some of you newer readers may not know this, but I travelled to Japan for a month last year and brought back a bunch of goodies, this was one of them. I found this unique product in a store in Akihabara, in fact, almost all of the large anime stores were selling it. Prices ranged from 600-800 yen, but I can’t remember what I paid for it.
As you can probably infer from the name, this is a box of cookies. If anyone can read Japanese, maybe you could tell me what ingredients they used in this. I also noticed that these cookies have expired for quite a while now, just goes to show how long I’ve had it tucked away.
Before I get around to the actual cookies, lets take a closer look at the box because really, that’s the only reason why someone would buy this.
The font for “Maid in Tokyo” is some kind of stylized handwriting, the type you would expect to see when you think of high-class maids and butlers. Unfortunately, the name “Maid Cookie” and the flavours “Milk & Maple” don’t look anything special, taking away from the classiness of the box.
The main feature on the cover is this cute little maid cat girl, which was illustrated by famed artist Aoi Nishimata. Some of you may know that I am a big fan of Nishimata’s work from my artbook posts. Her most famous works are probably the characters from the eroge/anime Shuffle, but she has worked on other series including all of Shuffle’s spin-off series, Final Approach, and the currently airing Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai. If her name was not on this box, I probably would’ve walked right past it without a second thought, just like Clannad bread, Haruhi juice, and Evangelion candy.
If you have ever seen a collection of Aoi Nishimata’s works, you’ll notice that besides drawing cute girls, she also likes to draw these adorable cats. Anyone who has played or watched Shuffle should remember that Primula always carries around a cat plushie, which was probably added in due to Nishimata’s influence.
On the back of the box is also a short bio on Nishimata and the URL for her website. Sadly, I can’t read Japanese so I can’t translate what any of it says.
The sides of the box have the name along with the cat girl from the front.
After thoroughly examining the box, it came time to finally open it. Considering the rough handling this box went through on the flight back and all the dents on it, I was expecting to find cookie bits all over the place. I was pleasantly surprised to see this:
The cookies were all individually wrapped and nicely laid out in three columns. The inside cover of the box also included more illustrations (albeit line art) of the cat girl with diffrent expressions and of the cats.
Here’s a close-up of the illustrations. My favourite out of the bunch is the second from the right, on the bottom row. She has what I consider the most “moe” expression.
The cookies are separated into columns using two dividers, with 4 cookies per column. They’re also laid out in such a way that the rough-handling that this box got on the flight back didn’t toss them around at all.
There are two flavours that come in the box. The beige-coloured packes contain milk-flavoured cookies while the chocolate-coloured packages contain maple-flavoured cookies. The illustration is the same on both types, but I would have liked a bit more variety.
Now on to the cookies themselves.
The first package I opened had a cracked cookie, so I guess it didn’t come out of the flight back unscatched. It was a milk-flavoured cookie and had an illustration of one of the cats on the inside cover. While these cookies are past their expiry date, I figure they should be fine to eat. If I disappear tomorrow though, I probably died from food poisoning.
The cookie was a bit oily, but it smelled like fresh cookies and had just the right level of crunchiness, not so hard that you get crumbs all over the place, but not soft either. I was also shocked by the fact that it tasted just as it smelled, fresh. The “milk” flavour actually just means regular, because it tasted like a regular cookie.
Next up was one of the maple cookies. It looks exactly the same as a milk cookie except for the illustration on the top. It had pretty much all of the same characteristics as the first cookie. A notable difference was the smell of maple, though I didn’t actually taste it. In fact, the maple cookie actually tasted a bit burnt to me, not as good as the milk cookie. Both cookies left my mouth with an oily feel, so I’m assuming they used a lot of oil to make them.
So was this box of Maid Cookies worth the 600-800 yen? As a big fan of Aoi Nishimata, I say yes. The illustrations and the packaging are lovely and would make a nice display for guests at an anime meet or any other otaku-themed gathering. The cookies themselves aren’t bad either, they certainly don’t go stale after a year.