Le Jardin d'Orante Pomme et Speculoos Applesauce

After a busy few days, I'm back in the saddle again, so to speak. I have spent most of my week at school and at SIAL, a biannual international specialty food show that just happened to be in Paris this year and at this time. I wish I could tell you that I planned this all in advance, but I am just not that smooth. And I didn't plan the Salon du Chocolat taking place next week, either. Needless to say, it's been hectic, but amazing- I have so many wonderful new products to show you!

For starters, there's this thing. A burgeoning food trend in France (can anyone tell me if this has extended to the rest of Europe?) is slapping speculoos on pretty much everything, as I've mentioned. I have never been so happy, or so secretly ashamed, to tell you that literally 13% of my refrigerator contains speculoos-infused items. This coming from the girl who "forgot" to buy toilet paper this week after seeing a 2-for-1 deal on mint-flavored water. Pathetic, but I wear it with pride.

This little number is the Le Jardin d'Orante's applesauce receptacle, nothing new there, crammed with exactly one speculoos cookie as per the package's diagram. I wish all ingredient lists came with rebus-like easy math. The applesauce is thick and sweet, your basic Mott's-esque flavoring, with a smooth texture and slight pulpiness.

The problem lies in the speculoos. It's not chunky and doesn't make its presence known from a textural sense. It's a lot like flavored water or seltzer- the essence of the flavoring is incorporated into the base, but it's indistinguishable in appearance from its non-screwed with equivalent. However, I can't in good faith attribute any of the resounding complimentary flavors- cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, and ginger, with speculoos. The cookie itself is greater than the sum of its parts. Without that inimitable texture and crunch, it's just spiced applesauce. I applaud the ingenuity on part of Le Jardin d'Orante, but if I'm craving applesauce and cookies, will stick to the old-fashioned, albeit gross method of mashing them in applesauce with my bare hands.

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