Jul 18, 2005

Got Peek Freans?

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It's more humid than a hippo's armpit in NYC today. Sweating bullets, but blogging nonetheless. Just a quick note about something extraordinarily mundane to the casual reader in search of something more substantial about diasporadic dilemmas. Sorry, but I can't think in this oppressive climate. I'm all for green buildings and renewable energy, but I really need to partake in some deep, energy depleting A/C saturation right about now. I am not a big fan of fans.

Anyway, bring on the trivial!

I have noticed in the past 2 years of grocery shopping that an old favorite cookie of mine, the Peek Frean fruit creme, has disappeared from the shelves of all area grocery stores. I don't know when this happened, or why, but I can't find their standard, butter cookie surrounding red fruit center with delectable creme filling (of a kind unparalleled in any other cookie I've had, even my other favorite, Vienna Fingers). In recent years (before the untoward disappearance), I found Lime, Mango, and Lemon variations on this theme, and discovered that a co-worker was also a huge fan of the cookie (though she preferred to refrigerate them, turning the center into a harder, chewy substance that rivals most candies of the same consistency).

What happened to these cookies? I can't find anything from the company on the shelves in Brooklyn, and I don't know if they have stopped supplying companies here, or what the deal is. Thanks to the internet, a few passing moments of realization and then contemplation are now replaced with overzealous fixation, resulting in some partial answers, but still no cookies.

I found out that Peek Freans was a British company established in 1857 (what a year), and that there is in fact a desi connection (their first "international" factories were created in Calcutta in 1924. Great. Even in my hazy, sugar-craving dizziness, I can't believe that this was a "nice" company to the local folks). Anyway, they've since been swallowed up by Nabisco.

I haven't asked my local grocers what's up (though I don't remember seeing the cookies on these shelves at all, so I may have to see if they ever carried them). I plan to email the company to see what gives, but meanwhile, I've found that they are not available on Fresh Direct or Peapod, either, so I'm fresh out of ideas. Got any to spare?

22 comments:

someone else said...

I love those cookies!!! I'm going to assume some other company makes them too (I'm not sure what brand I love--I think the one with the long rectangular boxes with the nice letteriga nd pretty pictures--is that nabisco?), because I would be really angry if they went off the market. I would start portioning them out like Today's Sponges to only the cookieworthy.

Not that I eat them anymore anyway--that "delectable cream filling" always made me feel like I was moving up my date of death by days to weeks with each cookie.

Rage said...

I think that it's the same kind. They were the best, and I am not prepared to mourn them yet. Check out the pictures here. It's now Nabisco owned, but the brand remains the same.

Come on - an outstanding Peek Frean cookie tops 10 oreos anytime.

Nice Seinfeld reference, by the way.

DesiDancer said...

GROSS seinfeld reference. Now I'll be thinking of Today sponges as I chew the fruity peek frean center. blech.

I'm not sure about BKLN, but in QNS I have spotted a variety of flavors! Those and those killer digestive tea biscuits. yum yum.

Rage said...

REALLY??? WHERE IN QUEENS?!

I have to have them to take the edge off of this heat... Do tell!

DesiDancer said...

I think the relatively-new Stop N Shop off Union Turnpike (east of Metropolitan Blv) and the Trade Fair at Metropolitan past Lefferts both had them.

Next time I'll make a mental note.

Fresh Direct sucks. Don't even get me started. I could open my own blog and rant on that for months.

Rage said...

Okay - I have to go there, TODAY. definitely let me know if there's any other location. I really thought that they'd been banned by Bloomberg or something (maybe as a result of London winning out for Olympics 2012).

Haven't used Fresh Direct, and didn't realize that it's a NYC thing only (was looking for friends elsewhere). Do feel free to share your horror stories, though. :)

DesiDancer said...

well. If your NY friends don't count! ;)

the problem is, there are no proper grocery stores in the city. Maybe the sole thing I miss about living elsewhere in the country, nice, clean, big, wide-aisled, varied-stock grocery stores...and helpful little old men in the produce and deli areas. sigh.

Every time I go to the local place it's like gastronomical roulette. Never ever will I find the same product twice, so I've learned the buddhist skill of not becoming attached to a favorite product.

But Stop n Shop doesn't have any decent ethnic groceries. Hello, we're in Queens?! I can't live on triscuits alone...

As for FreshDirect? One word: Fuckers.

Rage said...

I hear you on the large grocery stores, but I definitely prefer getting my produce in NYC - there are cheaper, less waxed options, especially in the Chinese, Korean, and desi markets.

FreshDirect seems like a losing proposition all around. I don't like it because driving around all the trucks in my quaint-streeted neighborhood is really tough, not to mention that it seems to stamp "yuppie" on the forehead of the receiver, and I'd rather support the local immigrant grocers anyway.

someone else said...

How do the cookies help you deal with the heat, rage? For me, it would be more like heat-->aggravation-->anger-->desire for self-destructive fatty cookies with scrumptious not-quite-jelly filling (you could substitute any number of things from cookie dough to kathi rolls here).

DD, I'm surprised your grocery store experience has been so horrific. I think I have lower standrads (I was always grateful that someone would sell me food; I also lived on take-out cheese enchiladas for a year :).

I think the trick is to always be shopping if you're picky (i.e. you actually cook regularly). See a desi store, grab the haldi. See a Mexican store, grab the chocolate. etc. etc.

I'm looking forward to the Fresh Direct blog. I promise to help you name it if you promise to start it. I'm good at naming things--and in particular at coming up with acronyms for potential social justice organizations that spell out my friends' names.

someone else said...

I have good news and bad news for you rage. The good news is that, at some point, the Kraft website will allow you to purchase your cookies online (assuming they don't stop manufacturing them). The bad news is that you can't do that yet.

The surreal news is this:
http://www.kraftfoods.com/peekfreans/
Click on USA and then look at the bottom right. It seems vaguely threatening for a cookie manufacturer (esp. if you click on the link and read some of what's there).

Rage said...

I like naming things too! The cookies themselves don't do anything for the heat (save when I freeze them, mmmm, frozen fat).

Great. Cookie lawyers. Just what I needed.

DesiDancer said...

Jeez. I might have to get my lawyer to take a look at that and issue an addendum.

Who knew the fruit creams could be so risky?! Do I need CGL for that?

as far as blog- I so enjoy both of yours, and I am secretly insecure that nobody would give a shit about my regular rantings. I'll stick to my random freelance bolly-snark, commenting on Rage's sweet tooth, and beating up on people who aren't down with the term "south asian"

Rage said...

Well - thank you for tuning in, and hopefully we'll be a little more interesting in the future, but you should write! We're consistently amazed that anyone tunes into our stuff, though it would be tremendously intimidating if more people started tuning in and I couldn't keep up with demand...

someone else said...

No one gives a $hit about what I think either, but that doesn't stop me. Blogging is like running for President--only people temperamentally incapable of not doing it will continue beyond the point at which it becomes clear that it's fruitless. And yet I plug on, telling everyone about completely inane things in my life and my random thoughts about Edith Clement.

someone else said...

Which is to say that a Desi Dancer blog would be most welcome and, I'm sure, read. But commenting on blogs is much more fun than writing most of the time.

Rage said...

Agreed. But commenting definitely is more fun, unless you have a brilliant revelation (or rant) that spews forth with great gusto.

DesiDancer said...

true, true. But then I could just ask you 2 fine fellows with blogs I love to indulge me in a large rant :)

Rage said...

All of this talk about cookies lately prompted me to bake some chocolate chip cookies today. Wish I could share, since I'm going to have carrots instead...

dd: Name the rant, and I'm sure that we'll oblige.

someone else said...

not me. i only allow rants that focus on:

a) cookies
b) The Department of Homeland Security
c) obnoxious monolithic forms of identity politics imposed on me and others for no particularly good reason other than other people's self interest and
d) The Mets.

You'd have to fit in one of those categories or make a compelling case (there should be a compelling case exception to almost everything, particularly given that Our Beloved Leader Who Art In Washington used to be a cokehead (or some such thing)).

Rage said...

Okay then... I'll say that guest rants are MOST welcome on this blog - we can even make it a guest entry or something. :)

DesiDancer said...

I'll blog about why Salman Khan feels the need to take his shirt off in every movie he comes in, and that he seems to think nobody notices his Costco hairplugs.

And Raspberry Milano cookies.

Rage said...

Mmmmm... Salman Khan, er, I mean, Raspberry Milanos...