Friday, September 9, 2011

Vanilla Wafers

The Preface
It seems I can't go much longer than a couple of weeks at work without seeing a box of Vanilla Wafers sitting on either Katherine or Jessica's desk. They love the little yellow cookies, and whenever they offer me some, I realize that I, too, quite like them. But despite the fact that there are a lot of brands out there, Katherine and Jess always got the same one, never knowing whether what they were eating was truly the best. To help them, and you, set their minds at ease, we decided to do a test test to determine:


The Competitors
Keebler ($3)
Western Family ($2)
Nilla (Nabisco brand) ($4)
Market Pantry (Target brand) ($3)
Kroger ($2)
Trader Joe's ($4)
Great Value (Wal-Mart brand) ($2)
Bud's Best (found at Dollar Tree) ($1)

The Participants

(ran out of bowls...)
The Methodology
To make it a blind test, I assigned a number to each cookie, and placed them in bowls. As each person tried each cookie, they scored each one on a scale from 1 to 10, judging solely on which one tasted best. If there was anything specific or unique about a particular cookie, we made note of it as well.

The Results
After each person submitted their scores, we averaged them and examined the results. Our nine person panel of testers determined that the best Vanilla Wafer is:

The scores were:
1. Nilla - 7.44
2. Market Pantry - 6.11
3. Great Value - 5.56
4. Keebler - 4.78
5. Trader Joe's - 4.44
6(t). Bud's Best - 3.78
6(t). Kroger - 3.78
8. Western Family - 2.44

So it turns out Katherine and Jessica have been eating the best all along. Nilla Wafers have been their wafer of choice, and for good reason. They were soft but not too soft, and were just very yummy. I think everyone's probably had Nilla Wafers before, so they don't need much describing, because they're just good. Or as it says on the box "simple goodness" which is actually very appropriate.

The Market Pantry was quite good, as well, and some said it had an almost fruity flavor to it (perhaps the sweetness of it reminded them of the sweetness of fruit). To me, when I tasted it, I was immediately reminded of vanilla ice cream, the only one that really came out and tasted like actual vanilla.

The Trader Joe's brand was interesting. It was a much darker color than the others, some said they seemed a little burnt, but I didn't really taste that. Three people gave it a 1, while most others thought they were either ok (7s and 8s) or amazing (10).

The Wal-Mart and Kroger were stale, which led to a lot of broken cookies. Surprisingly dissapointing were the Keebler, which had a very strange after taste.

Lastly, the Western Family were super hard, super crunchy, and not very good at all. However, one person actually said they were the second best, giving it a 6! Weirdo! Someone else commented that he'd rather eat the box they came in than have another cookie. And speaking of the box, it was terribly designed with terribly ugly pictures of the cookies, only adding to the absolute disaster that is the Western Family Vanilla Wafer.