For the chocolate chip cookie fans out there, you know there's an art to baking the perfect cookie. One that is perfectly made hits differently from the moment you bite into it. Unfortunately, not every chocolate chip cookie can replicate that euphoric feeling. How do you break through the clutter of mediocre cookies? Boston local Matt Shearer runs the Instagram account @chocolatechipboston, on which he rates every single chocolate chip cookie he has tried in the Greater Boston Area.

He decided to start his account once he found himself visiting cafes all around the Greater Boston area due to his job. He knew this was information he couldn't keep to himself, and took to Instagram to share his research. So far he has rated over 250 cookies. Which is the best, you ask? As of August 2019, his top 10 are:

How Are They Rated?

Ratings are done on a scale of 1 to 10. The top things he looks for when evaluating a cookie is texture, taste, and freshness. His favorite cookie from the South End's Cafe Madeleine has the perfect crunch on the outside and the top, but the bulk is soft and chewy, earning it a high rating of 9.5. The most surprising part? Matt wasn't going to try their cookie originally. The cafe closes for one month of the year, which is when he happened to visit. Fortunately, after enough people told him he needed to try it, he made the trip back there.

The North End, conversely, is home to his least favorite cookie. While he normally is able to finish them entirely, this one was a little more difficult to get through. He described it as "working through a piece of chalk". Its remains can be found on the bottom of the Boston Harbor.

A Changing Landscape

Social media has completely changed the way we interact with our food. Taste alone no longer dictates the quality of a meal. The introduction of Instagram to foodie culture has added an entirely new dimension – presentation. Making things "Instagrammable" means more exposure for an eatery, however there is a line. Just how taste alone no longer makes the cut, presentation alone doesn't either. Matt noted, "I think [Instagram] is kind of ruining food in a way ... The way that food looks is so much more important to chefs and to restaurants because it's free publicity; people are here to take pictures of it and post it online, but the people who are taking those pictures aren't telling you, 'how is it?'." 

So the next time you're tempted to try a chocolate chip cookie, don't get tempted by the biggest one you can find. The smaller one may end up packing a punch in terms of flavor. And of course, check out Matt's Instagram account for his expert opinion.