DAY 12: Milan-O’Clock

Before I get into today’s review, I want to say thank you to everyone for their kind texts/messages since I posted this blog publicly. I really appreciate all of the feedback and the food recommendations you have offered, and I hope that you subscribe and continue to stick with me on the rest of the journey (the link is at the top of the page!).

Let’s get to it.

Looking back on all of the products that I have reviewed so far, I was a little surprised when I realized I have only tried ONE dessert. I decided to change that today, and finally get to have some chocolate while I’m at it.

DAY 12: Milan-O’Clock
Item: Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Milanos
Cost: $3.69
Purchase Location: ShopRite

“Pepperidge Farm Milano Pumpkin Spice cookies are the perfect balance of exquisite crispy cookies and luxuriously rich chocolate with a classic fall flavor.
...Fall in love with flavor.”

As I did my background research for today’s review, I learned two interesting facts about the Milano cookie. The first is that they are an American creation that have nothing to do with the city of Milan, Italy. The second is that they were created by accident!

The Milano itself came about after shipping issues with a different cookie, the ”Naples”. The Naples was basically a one-sided Milano, only the cookies kept sticking together during transport in warmer climates. So one day, the fine people at Pepperidge Farms decided to cut out one step and sandwich the cookies together during manufacturing, and an iconic cookie was born. As for the name? It was just a clever bit of marketing to make the cookie seem fancier.

Milanos come in a whole host of flavors, so I wasn’t surprised when I saw a pumpkin spice version for sale.

Before opening the package, I decided to read through the ingredients to see how they flavored the cookie. I was stunned to find out that these cookies have neither pumpkin nor any pumpkin spices! I was shocked. At the bare minimum, I expected some cinnamon or nutmeg, but this only had “natural flavors”. I decided to keep an open mind, hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

Opening the package, I was greeted with the fragrance of pumpkin spices as you would regularly expect (even with none in the ingredient list!). The cookies themselves look like regular Milanos, except with a thin orange layer (the pumpkin spice flavored cream).
At first bite, the pumpkin spice flavor hits, and not in a good way. It tastes entirely artificial/chemically, and left me with a bad aftertaste. The chocolate is fine as usual, and the cookies have a great crunch, but the pumpkin is a real miss.

I decided to wait a few minutes before giving the cookies a second chance, so I brewed some Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Tea for dipping purposes. Once brewed, I gave my PS Milano a nice dunk, said a prayer, and took another bite.

Still no. The pumpkin spice just tasted too artificial to enjoy. It hit the palate hard and lingered long after I finished the cookie.

I found myself wondering if the taste issue was a result of the recipe lacking any real pumpkin or pumpkin spices. PF relied heavily on flavorings here, and their flavor profiles are entirely different than the real thing.

In the end, I was really disappointed in these cookies. Pumpkin and chocolate is a good combination, but I guess that it only works when you actually have pumpkin in the recipe.


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