How to Become a Cynokoulourakiophile

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“No thanks! Do you have any My Doggy Cookies?”

Hello cynophiles! As you know, all My Doggy Cookies bear the Paw of Approval®, indicating that they meet or surpass the standards of excellence set by My Pet Enterprises’ team of approvers. We are always on the lookout for new team members with discriminating and impeccable tastes. Does that description fit you? Are you and your canine companions cynokoulourakiophiles?

For those of you who are not proficient in deciphering words of Greek ­origin, here’s a hint: “cynophile” means dog-lover (like “oenophile” means wine-lover), and “koulouraki” is the Greek word for cookie. We’ve blended the two words to make a brand-new expression. A “cynokoulourakiophile” is a dog-cookie-lover. [In addition to blending words to create new expressions, we’ll be blending ingredients to make new ­flavors of cookies in the near future — but that’s another story. More on that later.] True, at first glance the word looks almost impossible to pronounce, but if you practice it a few times, it rolls right off the tongue. Try it. Say: Sigh-no-coo-loo-rye-key-oh-file. Roll the “r” a bit. See? That was easy, wasn’t it?

If you aspire to learn how to taste and evaluate a My Doggy cookie like a sophisticated, erudite approver, here are the instructions for you and your dog to read together and ruminate over. To start out, grab a bag of My Doggy cookies, and then make sure you’re in the right tasting environment.

Ready? Look for a quiet space. The noise of traffic, television, or other barking dogs can be quite distracting and will affect your impression of the cookie. Find an odor-free zone that will not overstimulate your sensitive nose. Smells such as dinner in the oven, interesting garbage, or your fellow dogs can interfere with your ability to get a good sense of the cookie’s aroma.

Get Set: Make sure that your cookie presenter’s hands are washed and RINSED well. No smells of perfume, cologne, or soap should be allowed to interfere with the smell of the cookie when it is presented. Allow the cookies to reach room temperature before presenting them. The temperature of the cookie will also have an impact on its flavor, so, please, no serving of chilled or frozen treats!

Go! Once you have found a neutral environment for cookie testing, it’s time to learn how to observe and evaluate the Six B’s. Let’s get started.

1. Brown
First, observe the color of your treat. I know, you may not be particularly color-sensitive, but just note, is the cookie light or dark? Golden-brown ­cookies have just the right amount of sweetness due to their common ingredient — honey! Darker brown cookies are rich with molasses and feature savory, earthy flavors.

2. Break
Next, your presenter should break the cookie in half. Listen to how the cookie snaps to get an auditory reading of its soft-baked moistness. Note that the break will also help to release the cookie’s aroma.

3. Breathe
Now, it’s time to do what you do best—smell the cookie. Moisten your nose and breathe out first, clearing the way for maximum power sniffing. Inhale the scent of the cookie deeply. Is it sweet or savory? Can you smell honey? The scent of honey, also known to oenophiles as “noble rot,” is indicative of the very greatest of wines, so of course it is indicative of the very greatest of dog cookies. Do you note the layers of smell –- the fruit, the grain, the spices? Olfactory observations are prime ingredients in preparation to taste the cookie.

4. Bite
The big moment has arrived. Take a bite of cookie. It contradicts every ­instinct, but DO NOT immediately swallow. Think! This might be the one mouthful in your lifetime that is worth tasting and not simply wolfing down! Allow the full flavor of the cookie to unfold on your tongue. Did the smell give you an indication of the taste? Do peanuts or pumpkins present a ­pastoral component? Is there a hint of parsley? Are there notes of cranberry or apple? Do secondary essences come into play? Are all of the characteristics promised by the cookie’s flavor name present?

5. Bon Appétit!
Swallow and enjoy the cookie. Take a moment to note if there’s an ­aftertaste to the cookie. Observe that the lingering residuals of ginger can be quite invigorating. [Editor’s note: If desired, you can always “toss your cookie” and then eat it again. Forget manners and decorum – you’re a dog! Act like one.] Last but not least, remember, dogs are proud, but not too proud to…

6. Beg
We are certain that first taste left you wanting more. Go ahead and ask!

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