Tuesday, August 18, 2020

SNACK CRATE CANADA: Vachon Apple-Raspberry Super Passion Flakie

This is the first review in a one-off bonus series covering the items in a Snack Crate subscription box, which found its way to my parent's mailbox. For more details on this, check out the introductory post.


Well doesn't this look like a dry, uninteresting "treat"?
One quick note: I love how bi-lingual Canadians are: having both English and French on every packaged good from there is actually pretty cool; I wonder how many people learned French (or vice-versa) just from reading labels, and basically having the translation right underneath it. (I know an increasing number of products in America have Spanish translations, but French is much cooler, no offense to the Spanish.)

Anyway, I gotta be honest here that this product kind of terrifies me. I do not have high hopes for it at all…if it’s anything like mass-produced American pastries, I have a feeling this is going to be too dry for its own good. But let's crack it open anyway to get a better idea of what we're dealing with.

Hmm…okay. The one thing that stands out to me based on appearance is how “sparkly” the exterior of the pastry is, thanks to a light dusting of sugar. This does give me a little bit of hope, though, because on top of being dry, I always equate these kind of “flaky” pastries with “dull” and “boring” in the flavor department. It might still be, but at least it should have a little bit of sweetness to it, instead of being the bland pastry I was expecting going into it.
Well shit, maybe this isn't as boring as it initially appeared...
Wow, this isn’t at all what I was expecting…in fact, it’s better in almost every way. One kind of downside is that most of the pastry is hollow…I kind of imagined the middle of these to be like a toaster pastry, you know, the ones that you drizzle icing on when they’re fresh out of the toaster. But it’s not at all like that: instead, there’s a pretty thin layer of the apple-raspberry combination, and then above that, a layer of white cream which is just extraordinary, and rather unexpected. If you’re a huge fan of apple-raspberry, I’m actually not sure how much you’ll enjoy this; I feel like the pastry and cream spend more time in the spotlight than the thin layer of apple-raspberry jam. You do get some of that flavor in every bite, and it's good, but there's a lot less here than I thought there would be.

The “flakie” in its name isn’t just hyperbole: this bitch likes to shed itself all over the place. One bite alone dropped what seemed to be half of the damn pastry all over the damn desk I was eating on. But outside of that little issue, the texture is incredible for a mass-produced pastry…I honestly can’t recall an American one that blends everything together so well. It's ultra-flaky without being dry, and also ultra-flaky without being utterly boring...somehow this avoids the two main issues that typically plague mass-produced flaky pastries.

If I had to pick one thing out of that box to get again, this would easily be it; not only is it the biggest surprise out of the entire box, but it's just flat-out the best item in the box, period. 

Overall: 7.5/10. This gets my vote for “most surprising item” within Canada's Snack Crate, bar none. The pastry somehow isn’t overly dry—something almost all mass-produced pastries suffer from—and, true to title, is incredibly fragile: one bite in the wrong place will send pastry shrapnel in every direction. But where it really nails it—at least for me—is in the filling: the apple-raspberry is confined to just a small layer; the real star of the show is the white cream above it, which is kind of reminiscent of the white filling in American donuts. It adds an extra layer of unexpected richness to a product that I was expecting to be nothing but dry and boring. Can we get something like this in the U.S., please?


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