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Thursday
Jun262008

Papadopoulos Metropolis: A Cookie Adventure in Astoria, Queens

Papadopoulos Cookies
In a faraway place called Greece, there grows a unique and magical tree which yields not lemons, not olives...but cookies. Gorgeous cookies which are straw-like in appearance, and comprised of thin wafer curled around layers of rich creamy filling. They call these the Caprice cookie.


Papadopoulos Cookies
Of course, if you haven't been to Greece to prove our story wrong, you'll know that the next best place to find all things Greek is Astoria, Queens, where these magical cookies are available at various bakeries, packaged under the company name Papadopoulos. True, technically the cookie is called the Caprice, we can't help but lovingly think of them as "the Papadopoulos Cookie"--a fact possibly influenced by our own Cake Gumshoe of the same name, James Papadopoulos. And who better to follow (and talk to) on a mission to discover the Papadopoulos cookie? Head Spy Jessie recently picked his brain on the subject while riding to Queens on the back of his scooter in pursuit of the famed cookie; here's what she learned:
(Cakespy Disclaimer: For full disclosure, no, James is not actually an heir to the Papadopoulos cookie fortune. Or so he says.)

 

 

Cakespy: How does it feel to be the heir to the greatest legacy in the world: the Papadopoulos cookie?
James loves his Papadopoulos CookieJames Papadopoulos: It's humbling, really. When I walk down the street people sometimes stare, but they're always too shy to say anything. I can see it in their eyes, though -- they know.

 

CS: Can you describe what a Papadopoulos cookie is, exactly?
JP: A Papadopoulos cookie is many things (technically when I say "Papadopoulos Cookie" i mean a "Caprice" cookie, Hazelnut or Praline, made by the Papadopoulos cookie company...) but most specifically, it's one of the most delicious, delicate, and memorable cookies I've ever eaten.... seriously. I have different ways of eating them depending on my moods. Usually, I'll take it in my mouth like a cigar, start chewing and feeding it into my mouth until I've got the whole thing eaten in one fell swoop.

Dipping a Papadopoulos cookie in Diet Coke CakeCS: Can you tell us your first Papadopoulos cookie memory?
JP: I think it was when I was around 4 years old, I had eaten the last of the cookies on a hot summer day, and the filling had melted down onto the corrugated paper liner at the bottom of the tin. I realized that there was enough there to equal almost another cookie's worth of filling. It was a happy time, and I ended up covered in chocolate.

CS: What is the largest quantity of Papadopoulos cookies you've ever consumed in one sitting?
JP: I refuse to answer this question. I don't have a problem. You don't know me!!!!!


CS: What is the best thing about Papadopoulos cookies?
JP: When you think the can is almost empty, you look and find that one has broken in half and both halves are still there. Unexpected yum! The best kind!

 

Cookies from QueensCS: Can people who are not of Greek descent really enjoy a Papadopoulos cookie in the same way you can?
JP: Honestly, I don't think we'll ever know. It all goes back to that existentialist question of "are the colors I see the same as the colors you see?". But to answer your question, no.

CS: You cite Hazelnut as being the finest Papadopoulos cookie flavor. What makes it so superior to, say, chocolate or praline?
JP: Well hazelnut and praline are the filling in the chocolate wafer tube. The hazelnut has a much better flavor, in my opinion, to the others. That brings us to the next question though...

CS: Papadopoulos cookies kind of resemble Pirouline cookies. How do they stack up for you, as a Papadopoulos?
JP: Pirouline and other "wannabe" Papadopoulos cookies pale in comparison. They may LOOK the same, but the amount of creme inside, the crumbly texture of the outer cookie shell, the construction, and overall taste of a Papadopoulos cookie is light-years ahead of anything you'll ever come across.

Titan, Astoria, QueensOmonia, some fried and honey soaked dough = delicious 

CS: When we were in search of Papadopoulos cookies, we hit up two Queens bakeries: Titan and Omonia (examples of their other baked goods are pictured respectively above). If you had to suggest just one of the two to our readers, which would you suggest and why?
JP: Well the bakery at Titan is more of a supermarket type bakery. They make a lot of different confections and do it pretty well and at a reasonable price. I'd have no problem getting something for myself from there. Omonia, though, is where I'll go if I want to get something to bring to a friend's house or when Greek family visits -- there's a little more attention to detail, especially when it comes to cremes/ fillings, and even packaging. Luckily for us, however, Papadopoulos cookies are the same no matter where you buy them :)

 

Papadopoulos CookiesCS: Any final words to add on the joy and beauty of the Papadopoulos cookie?
JP: Yeah, I just finished the last one in the tin we bought during our adventure in Queens (seriously.. just now, not kidding). When do we get more?

Postscript: James also added in a later conversation: "There's talk on the internet that Hazelnut and Praline papadopoulos cookies are, in fact, the same thing. Complete and utter #$%&*!#."
Interested in buying the Caprice (Papadopoulos) cookie? Though they seem to taste best when purchased and eaten in Astoria, they are available online; click here to check 'em out. 
Interested in visiting the bakeries mentioned? Titan can be found at 2556 31st St.,
Astoria, NY; (718) 626-7771.
Omonia (pronounced "Ammonia") is located at 3220 Broadway, Astoria, NY; (718) 274-6650 .
Interested in finding out more about what a real, live Papadopoulos does? Check out James' website at jamespapadopoulos.com.

 

 

 

Reader Comments (21)

I used to eat those cookies all the time, but never really knew what they were - I love James' description of them: "It's one of the most delicious, delicate, and memorable cookies I've ever eaten.... seriously." Perfect!!

June 27 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

I'm just bopping around the house singing "Papadopoulos"....
"Papadopoulos"...."Papadopoulos" :)

When I was younger my family moved into a new house that had a second fridge in the garage. The only thing left in it when we arrived? Cans of these cookies!

June 27 | Unregistered CommenterEB

I LOVE this blog title, very musical...then I read EB's comment....really funny!

June 27 | Unregistered CommenterRockerJewlz

I've had "knock off" versions of the Caprice cookie. They are good too, so I can only imagine if I were to try the real thing and if I were Greek, how even better they would taste!

June 27 | Unregistered CommenterAnali

I'll I've had are the Piroulines, so now I'm feeling like I've been cheated all my life.

June 27 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

Three words: I WANT SOME.

That is all.

June 27 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia

Trader Joe's has tins of these sorts of cookies...the name is escaping me at the moment...that are really, really good and pretty inexpensive.

I've also had cookies in this style in Japan. I had no idea they originally came from Greece :D

June 27 | Unregistered CommenterOwl Chick

this sounds like it was a particularly fun interview to conduct! greeks rule, and i wish i could claim such an ancestry. :)

June 27 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

These ARE the best cookies... Chocolate with chocolate filling is my fave! Great for entertaining too.

P.S. This is such a cute interview, as always!

June 27 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-Marie

Do you have any idea how tempting it is to go to Queens right this very second? Trouble is, it's "only" 10 hours by car and 1 1/2 hours by plane from me...:(

June 27 | Unregistered Commentergiz

Veggiegirl: Yup, that James... ;-)

EB: HA!!! What a lucky thing to find!!

Rockerjewlz: Thanks! Glad you liked it :-)

Anali: So true, if only I were Greek I might know! Oh well, we can still eat them and try to understand.

Deborah: Let's change that stat!

Alicia: I want some more!!! I am back in seattle now and am missing them (and James too!).

Owl Chick: Secret: This particular cookie type might not originally be from Greece. I am not sure. But--don't try to tell that to the owners of these places in Queens! :-)

Grace: It was a fun and delicious interview!

Anne-marie: So true! Good for entertaining if you don't go through the tin before the guests arrive!!

Giz: Pretty tempting to me too! Luckily they can be had via internet! :-)

June 27 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

Having read this, I realize I've only eaten the "wannabes" in the past. I MUST have the real thing!

Cakespy: Your "secret" just reminded me what the name of these cookies are at TJ's...

...Corinthians. How very Greek of them! ;)

I don't know if they carry them year-round or not, but they were pretty tasty at $1.99 per container!

June 28 | Unregistered CommenterOwl Chick

Dang, I wonder if there's a vegan version.

These look soooooo delicious!

June 28 | Unregistered CommenterGirl

Hahaha ahhhhh yesss... I saw those "cookie trees" everywhere when I was in Greece last Fall!!


:)

OMG, LOVE piroulines, so I MUST MUST MUST try these! Thanks for the "tip!"

July 3 | Unregistered CommenterBethany

A few days ago I randomly bought some of these at my usual grocery store. I can't decide if it was a good thing or bad thing, because now I fear I may be addicted! The wafer so light can crispy, the filling so creamy.

July 31 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Qué rica que es esa porquería!!! ;-)

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