A staple in many people’s homes is no longer available in the Hudson Valley and some fear it could be gone forever.
There are some foods that you grow up with that become a part of your life. No matter how old you get, one taste and you’re instantly transported to a simpler time when a bite of your favorite dessert could make all of your troubles melt away.
In our family, there are certain food traditions that have been passed down through the generations. We’re still making recipes for my son, allowing him to enjoy foods my grandparents enjoyed when they were kids. These culinary connections through time keep our family memories alive and are a way to remember those who came before us.
One of these recipes that has been in our family for generations is the icebox cake. In our family, we call it “cookie cake” and it’s made by whipping up fresh cream and putting it between a specific cookie. The rows of cookies and cream are iced with even more whipped cream and set in the refrigerator for a day until the cookie absorbs the moisture of the cream and becomes a cake.
Since the 1920s, families have been using Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers as the main ingredient in their icebox cakes. These thin, dark chocolate cookies have a taste and texture that are completely unique and are the key to making an authentic “cookie cake.”
Unfortunately, as time has passed, these cookies have not been treated kindly. Changes in manufacturing over the past few years have left customers complaining that the cookies they once loved were no longer the same. Inconsistent quality control has led to thinner than usual cookies that crumble into dust before they can be made into a cake. Some regions have reported that the cookies have just suddenly disappeared from shelves.
I can report that here in the Hudson Valley, the cookies have completely vanished. After hoping to make the cake for my son this month, I visited five different supermarkets and couldn’t find one box of the Famous Chocolate Wafers. Not only that, but the shelves where they are usually stocked no longer have a price tag for them, leading me to wonder if they’re permanently discontinued.
Facebook is filled with complaints from customers around the country who are also wondering why they can no longer find this key ingredient anymore. Amazon appears to be offering boxes, but at outrageously high prices taking advantage of the lack of inventory.
Nabisco’s parent company hasn’t replied to our questions about whether the cookie is actually discontinued or not, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted if we hear more. In the meantime, I’ve resorted to substituting the wafers with Goya’s Maria Cookies. These cookies are thicker and have more of a cocoa flavor. While not the same, they’re the best we can do right now.
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