Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tim Tams

     One of the nice side benefits of life as an expat is that you get to experience not just the culture of your host country, but also the cultures of other expats' home countries. Since Australia is just a quick 12-hour flight south and practically in the same time zone as Japan, there are a lot more Australians here than I ever met back in the US. You'll find that a lot of the "British" products for sale in foreign-specialty grocery stores, like Walker shortbread and Cadbury chocolate, are actually made in Oz if you look at the label. And there are a few purely Australian classics available, too, of which the most noteworthy (in my sweet-toothed opinion at least) are the iconic chocolate sandwich cookies called Tim Tams.

Tim Tams are similar to fudge-enrobed Oreos in their basic concept: shatteringly crisp and light chocolate wafers sandwiching a Crisco-y filling and smothered in a waxy, cocoa-y coating. They taste absolutely perfectly fake, just as a good snack food ought to taste. The cream in the middle is oilier and less sickeningly sweet than the Oreo cream - it's much closer to the chocolate filling in Little Debbie cakes. The outside leaves little if any sticky-melty chocolate on the fingers, but experimentation has proven that it will melt eventually at sufficiently high temperature (this box, which I bought in the blazing days of August at the Don Quixote shop in Roppongi, a good 20 minutes' walk from home, actually got a bit disfigured and all the cookies ended up stuck to the package - but as you can see from the picture, the damage wasn't severe). Like all fakey cakey things, they are completely addictive. They come in several variations - Classic, Dark Chocolate and Raspberry, Caramel Chocolate - but I always get the Double Coat kind. The more waxy fudge the happier I am.

     And lest anyone be fooled by the Hebrew writing on the package ... let's hear it for honesty, mates!

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