Panda Express’ fortune cookie is the fast food chain’s default dessert. It comes with every order, but it’s not the best way to end your meal, especially if you happen to get a stale one (which has happened to me on more than one occasion) or you get a fortune that reads, “Keep your expectations reasonable,” after expecting to get a crunchy fortune cookie.
If you’re a regular Panda Express eater, I imagine you’ve had dozens of these fortune cookies and, at some point, wished there was something better to consume post-meal. Well, my Orange Chicken or Eggplant Tofu-loving friend, there’s something much better now — Panda Express’ Apple Pie Rolls.
The dessert features apples and fall spices in a crispy rolled pastry that’s finished with cinnamon sugar. An order is just one roll for two dollars. The warm treat is about six inches long and three-fourths of an inch wide, and it looks like it rolled through the Sahara Desert if the Sahara Desert was cinnamon sugar instead of sand.
The fried exterior has a nice crispiness, but underneath that are unfried pastry layers that give some resistance when trying to bite through the roll. But once you get past that minor opposition, the combination of the cinnamon sugar, slightly snappy apple pieces, and gelatinous goo the fruit is floating in is a delightful treat. This is as great as McDonald’s Fried Apple Pie (which we still have on these rocks in the middle of the Pacific Ocean). It has all the flavors of an apple pie, but without the need of a fork to eat it.
I liked it so much that when one of the halves above rolled off my cutting board and onto the floor, I growled at my dog as she charged towards it to keep her from snatching it, picked up the piece, ignored the five-second rule, and ate it. Then, I had to clean up a mess of cinnamon sugar off the floor.
Its price is the only issue I have about it, and I feel this way because I have something to compare it with. McDonald’s Fried Apple Pie goes for $1.69, and although it lacks a cinnamon sugar coating, the McDonald’s one is about the same length and noticeably wider. It’s a minor issue, and you can get Apple Pie Rolls cheaper if you purchase a large order of six pieces for $11.40.
So if the Panda Express cashier attempts to upsell you an Apple Pie Roll, I’d suggest you plunk down the extra two dollars and get one.
Purchased Price: $2.00
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 roll) 150 calories, 3 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.