I could’ve sworn the Neapolitan resurgence was over. After Peeps, M&M’s, and Cocoa Puffs did their best to revive the tri-flavor palate earlier in the year it felt like a done deal; but never leave out sneaky stylish Trader Joe’s when it comes to cashing in on a new trend. Last year the company released two of the best new sandwich cookies with Matcha Joe Joe’s and Mocha Joe Joe’s both being incredibly strong contenders holding their own against the handful of gems Nabisco dropped amid their flurry of Oreo’s. A quiet cookie drop to mark the last month of summer feels like a fitting way for Trader Joe’s to ease into the holiday insanity they’ve become known for. Neapolitan Joe Joe’s combine one chocolate wafer with one vanilla wafer and a strawberry crème filling.
As usual with Joe Joe’s, the box is trippy and dope and filled with all the colors to get your brain ready to go in on some Neapolitan goodness. The muted stripes of brown, white, and pink perfectly conceal the tri-colored cookies inside, which greet my nose with a sweet strawberry aroma mixed with smooth vanilla.
Biting in reveals a number of interesting feelings. First of all, and most importantly, the texture of the wafer is notably softer and crumblier than in the two solid new releases from last year. Not that the cookies were incredibly hard before, but they’ve always been a bit crunchier and heartier than Oreo’s and these feel closer to Nabisco’s style. The balance of flavor is pretty on point, and surprisingly the often intimidating chocolate doesn’t overpower the softer vanilla and comes through as more of a complimentary secondary note.
The best aspect to these cookies by far is the strawberry crème filling. Much like a good strawberry ice cream it’s bursting with authentic sweet yet slightly tart berry notes and is entirely devoid of the artificial strawberry flavored that dominated last months Strawberry Shortcake Oreo. You can even see little specs of freeze dried strawberries making up the bulk of the flavor and the way the crème operates with the two cookies is harmonious.
Neapolitan Joe Joe’s are a good cookie. They feel like the sophisticated option on a kid-centric dessert tray that should be complex enough yet classic enough to please most palates. They’re not on the same level as the Matcha or Mocha, which both had bigger bolder flavors, but they’re certainly a much more reasonable and less insanely sweet version than Oreo’s Triple Double Neapolitan from years ago, and a box I’ll have no problem finishing.
Found at: Trader Joe’s ($2.99)