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Hawaiian Animal Cookies

Hot on the heals of The Ultimate Fish Sticks™, we have yet another classic also considered “fun” with these here animal crackers.

Actually not exactly crackers, but a hybrid cookie. Actually, breaking it down, they’re not even animals, but sea creatures. Getting even more specific, they’re comprised by shape of 2 species of fish, 2 mammals and one cephalopod. Even more specifically, a shark, moonfish, dolphin, humpback whale and octopus. Even more specifically than that if you wanna’ call them Hawaiian, a Mano, Opah, Nai’a, Kohola and He’e. He he.

Here’s the back of the package where it identifies which is which…

How did I find this product? Standing in line at the checkout in the Kaheka Don Quijote. How else? You think I went out lookin’ for it? lol Nope. I was there waiting in line, when among the gazillions of candy, magazine and tabloid trash, stood these here cookies on clip strips. As soon as I seen “Animal Cookies”, it immediately reminded me of the Fish Sticks I recently reviewed. It also looked “fun”. lol

So I bought all three flavors to try, which include MAUI SUGAR shown above, as well as ORIGINAL…

and CINNAMON GRAHAM with Hawaiian Honey…

Is there really a Hawaiian Honey, besides that 6 feet 5 Polynesian drag queen in hot pink mini skirt that hangs out on the corner of River Street every night starting at 1:37 am sharp? I didn’t know that. Learn something new every day!

So this includes what’s supposed to be shaped like a Moonfish, Shark, Humpback Whale, Dolphin and Octopus. But do they really resemble that? You be the judge…

Top row: Shark (Mano), Dolphin (Nai’a); bottom row: Humpback Whale (Kohola), Octopus (He’e), Moonfish (Opah)

I’d say they all fit the bill in a cookie-cutter kind of way. But the Octopus almost looks like some kind of animal claw. Also, while the dolphin is supposed to be breaching, it looks more like it just ate something bad and is about to throw up. lol

At least the Humpback Whale and Opah have a happy ‘n smiling face. That’s always fun.

Well they all pretty much look fun and encourage me to now hit the beach, but how do they taste? Let’s have a closer look at each flavah..

Top to bottom: Original, Maui Sugar and Cinnamon Graham Hawaiian Animal Crackers

Notice the large grains of Hawaiian Cane Sugar speckled on the Maui Sugar flavor. You can also readily see the speckles of Cinnamon in that one.

They taste basically like a slightly sweeter version of Diamond Bakery’s Royal Creme Cracker. They’re also very crispy and dense, with a snap to them. My favorite is the Maui Sugar due to that extra burst of sweetness that hits your tongue from the large specks of sugar that’s slightly caramelized at the base from the heat when they’re baked. I’d recommend this one over the other two. The graham cinnamon tastes like described, but too me it’s a little to bold. I prefer the more subtle accent the Maui Sugar one has.

In fact that density helps them when they hit the drink…

Hawaiian Animal Crackers swimming in a bowl of 2% Fat Milk

See, these are sea creatures, and therefore they should be able to withstand floating in milk. And they did. Unlike the land-lubbing original Animal Crackers…

Barnum’s Animals® Crackers swimming (more like drowning) in a bowl of 2% Fat Milk

Notice, especially the wolf, is like, really sinking. And dogs are said to be decendants of wolves, which explains why they’re ill-equipped to swim, hence they struggle to stay afloat even in real life while frantically doggy-paddling. lol But don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. We have four of them at Mom’s house.

One thing lacking with the Hawaiian Animal Cookies that Barnum’s Animals® Crackers have is detail…

Barnum’s Animals® Crackers: (top row) Sheep, Polar Bear, Kangaroo, Wolf; (bottom row) Gorilla, Camel, Tiger and Monkey (I’m a monkey!)

I especially appreciate the effort put into the wool-like texture of the Sheep. Also, I know that monkey is supposed to be eating a banana, but it still looks kinda’ disturbing. lol

But you know what? I got ripped off! Look at what’s shown on the Barnum’s box…

It shows a Tiger, Hippopotamus, Giraffe, Zebra, Lion, Polar Bear, Gorilla and Elephant. But no, what do I get? Besides the Tiger, Gorilla and Polar Bear, I get a friggin’ Kangaroo, Wolf, Camel, Monkey – and pouring salt in my wound – a damned Sheep. A Sheep! What the hell?!!!! lol

I’m especially upset I didn’t get the King of the Jungle. I’m gonna’ file a formal complaint to Nabisco about that. lol

Seriously though, you know what I really dig about Barnum’s Animals® Crackers is that cool box. Especially the wheels and the handy-dandy tote strap it sports…

While that would look very cute in the hands of a toddler, in the hands of a grown straight man such as myself, this looks clearly, utterly GAY. lol

When I told my girlfriend I was gonna’ walk, hop, skip and jump down Kalakaua avenue carrying this box of Barnum’s Animals® Crackers by its tote strap, she just said don’t come home with another man and/or, dont’ get arrested. lol

Here’s the top of the box…

Notice there’s only one of each animal, so they obviously aren’t bound for a voyage on Noah’s Ark. Unless all these animals are gay. lol But also notice they’re headed in the same direction, which is west-bound. So I’m guessing they’re headed for a boat or plane bound for Hawaii to join our friends the Mano, Nai’a, Kohola, He’e and Opah.

I was tempted to make Tako Poke out of the Octopus-shaped Hawaiian Animal Cookies, but I knew it would suck.

And I was thinking of sauteeing the Opah-shaped Hawaiian Animal Cookies in an infused ginger-soy glaze, but I knew that would suck too.

And I was gonna’ eat all the Humpback Whale Hawaiian Animal Cookies, but they’re still considered an endangered species, so I’ll save them for later.

The dolphin was almost too cute to eat, so to cure my guilt, I put on an Episode of Flipper® to make me feel better. In a dolphin’s voice, “Wa’a’a’aaaaa, wa’a’a’a’a’a’a’a’aaaa”.

And every time I picked up one them shark-shaped Hawaiian Animal Cookies, that haunting JAWS movie theme song would start banging in my head… da-dun, da-dun, da-dun da-dun dadundadundadun. Besides, it’s also my Aumakua, so kapu (forbidden or off limits) eating that one.

What? Hawaiian Animal Cookies
Who makes it? Diamond Bakery
Where did you buy it? Don Quijote Kaheka branch
How much did it cost? $1.29/2.5 oz. bag
Big Shaka to: All shapes depicted on bag are included in the bag. Shapes are close enough to resemble what they’re supposed to represent. Crispy with a snap to them. Tastes like a slightly sweeter Royal Creme cracker. “Maui Sugar”. “Hawaiian Honey”. They can swim better than land-lubbing Barnum’s Animal Crackers. Fun-looking package design. Made in Hawaii. Hawaiian names for sea creatures. Tako Poke. Sauteed Opah in an infused Soy-Ginger Glaze. Playing with food. Fun-sounding food. Playing with food. Flipper. Humpback whales. Squidward (Spongebob Squarepants). Shark Tales (the movie).
No shaka to: Octopus shape is kinda’ iffy. The dolphin looks sick. The package doesn’t include wheels or a tote strap. Getting attacked by a shark. Endangering species. Cookies that don’t take well to being mixed with Shoyu, Mirin, Ogo Green Onions, Maui Onions and Hawaiian Chili Pepper or being sauteed in a pan with an infused Soy-Ginger Glaze. Playing with food.
SPAM Musubi Rating: 4

What? Barnum’s Animals® Crackers
Who makes it? Nabisco
Where did you buy it? Walmart in Mililani Towne Center
How much did it cost? $1.19/2-1/8 oz. box
Big Shaka to: Classic and very cool box design. Includes tote strap and wheels for easy portability. Creme crackers are fresh and crispy out of the bag inside. Good source of Calcium (so it says). Highly detailed compared to Hawaiian Animal Cookies. Lion King. King Kong. Ice Age. Jumangi. Congo. Blue Zebra. Tony the Tiger. Noah’s Ark.
No shaka to: Animals depicted on box aren’t all included in the form of cracker/cookies in box. Animals can’t swim in milk. Drowning animals. Smelly animals on a plane or ship. Tote strap can’t be used by grown, straight adult men. Wheels depicted on box don’t roll. Raining for 40 days and 40 nights. Not having a female companion.
SPAM Musubi Rating: 3


11 thoughts on “Hawaiian Animal Cookies

  • January 18, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    LOL! I was thinking the same as Nate while reading this post but he beat me to it. This is by far the “most cutest” post I’ve read on any blog. Love it!

  • January 18, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Susan and Nate, glad you liked the post. It was just as fun writing it.

    I forgot to note, the reason the Barnums Animals® Crackers “drowned” was because they’re lighter and more delicate, which made them absorb the milk much quicker than the crispier, denser Diamond Bakery Royal Creme-based Cookies.

    By the time I finished placing each Barnum’s Animals® Crackers in the bowl of milk, take a few shots, then try to fish them out, they were already at the point of no return and literally melted into the milk. So I ended up just drinking the cracker/cookie-infused milk. Wasn’t that bad actually. Tasted kinda’ like cereal milk.

    The Diamond Bakery Hawaiian Animal Cookies on the other hand were quite resilient, still being crisp on the surface above the milk, allowing me to still fish them out intact. Still wasn’t crisp enough to eat though, so ended tossing them.

    Actually none of them are good with milk but better by themselves. I’ll stick with good ‘ole OREOs for milk dippin’.

  • January 18, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Wish could buy some here in San Francisco but no just regular animals cracker.

  • January 18, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Betty, Diamond Bakery’s website has eCommerce, so you can get it from there.

    If you do go that route, might as well maximize the shipping cost by getting Diamond Bakery’s other favorites too, including the Saloon Pilot, Soda Cracker, Saltines and Coconut Royal Creem Crackers. All good stuff!

  • January 18, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    I am ROFL’ing! I bet you had FUN writing this whimsical post and the animals “in the drink” is just too priceless. Hilarious visual!

  • January 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    You had a good time with this one, didn’t you? :)

  • January 19, 2009 at 5:06 am

    Hawaii has some of the best honey! Check it out at the Farmer’s Market over by Diamond Head. Every trip we make to Oahu, we bring it back to Minnesota with us.

  • January 19, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    John, I think “she” works at some corner of Front Street in Lahaina starting at 2:37am sharp every night. lol

    Gwyn, glad you liked the milk presentation. Cookies are always better with milk. Even better when they look like they can actually swim in it.

    Jenny, thoroughly. :-)

    Ken, that would be the Farmer’s Market at Kapiolani Community College’s parking lot. Never been to it (yet) but will try to get there soon and check it out!

    Hawaii Kai also has a Farmer’s Market across the street from Roy’s in the Bus Depot Parking Lot on the weekends. A plethora of hidden gems, and great photo opportunities too!

  • January 20, 2009 at 1:23 pm


    Pomai, you are in total kolohe mode. Love it!

    I can’t believe you haven’t been to the KCC Farmer’s Market. Must get the pastries at the BaLe vendor.


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