Napolitanke, Wafers of the Gods
When I read any review, be it a book review, movie review, album or restaurant or city review, I expect a certain level of objectivity and balanced reporting before I can trust it. Now that I’m writing my own review, on a cookie at that, I find objectivity impossible. Hyperbole and ecstatic praise fall within acceptable boundaries as I try and describe this delicious, crunchy, rich and addictive cookie.
Napolitanke is a product made by Croatian company Kras, the Nestle and Hershey of the Slavic, pre-Yugoslav region, with dozens of popular snacks that both kids and adults heartily devour. There’s Bananko, a sweet made to resemble and taste like a tiny, chocolate covered banana; Jaffa, jelly-filled cookies with a sponge base; and Bajadera, their special brand of chocolate. However, none can come close to usurping Napolitanke as the king of confectionaries.
What is Napolitanke? A cookie where layers of thin wafer rest on top of each other, connected by a cream filling. The filling varies from flavor to flavor, including lemon-orange, mocha and rum. I repeat: rum-flavored wafer cookies. That’s just too crazy ridiculous a flavor to be made up. Rum cookies. Let that soak in your mind for a while.
My favorite flavor, though, has to be the chocolate-covered Napolitanke, where Kras decided, screw it, we’re just going to smother the whole thing in the richest, softest, most orgasmic chocolate ever created from cocoa. You eat two, three, maybe even four, and they go down smoothly, without heartburn or indigestion. And because they’re small enough and tasty enough, you inevitably decide that, hey, the first four were really good, four more wouldn’t be that bad.
And they’re not. That’s the key here: while other snacks leave you stuffed, worn-out and crabby after eating huge amounts, Napolitanke always leaves room for lunch or dinner or whatever meal you eat afterwards. You can go work out and not feel like a total slob. In short, Kras has perfected the holy, infallible wafer.
Granted, there are some characteristics of Napolitanke that can be construed as “flaws.” For example, once the box is opened, the cookies grow stale after only four to five days, at which point the holiness is lost. The soft texture disappears, replaced by stone. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem, however, as once a Napolitanke box is opened, the supply is usually finished in two to three days. The addiction ensures none of the sweet taste goes wasted.
So where can you find Napolitanke? In the United States, they’re limited mostly to ethnic food markets and the occasional local grocery store. However, Kras sells all the Napolitanke flavors on Amazon, and while it might seem strange to order a brand of cookies off the Internet, trust me when I say exceptions can be made for Napolitanke.
Whatever channel you use to obtain Napolitanke (legal or otherwise), make sure to buy several boxes and share them with your friends; bring them to parties. They might look unsuspecting with their formal boxing and unassuming appearance, but once you take a bite, you will understand why I have deemed Napolitanke the “Wafer of the Gods.”
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