Saturday, September 13, 2014
As the warmer months comes to an end, we've decided to visit one last summer-sounding flavor in Pineapple Coconut from Haagen Dazs to close out the season. Haagen Dazs writes this on the side on the side of the carton, "pure, sweetened cream, tropical pineapple distinctive flavor of delectable coconut are crafted into a bright yet relaxing flavor combination." We were skeptical if this could hold up to some of the incredible coconut ice creams we've had lately, but following our first bite those worries were put to rest.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
I’ve been contemplating for weeks what ice cream I should write my first review on. Should it be my first taste of a new brand or flavor, or should I simply indulge in one of my favorites. I tend to be a mix- in junky, so my freezer is generously stocked with Ben and Jerry’s at all times. For this one I reached for a flavor that has remained in my top 5 since the first time I tried it. Ben and Jerry’s What a Cluster is described as Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Caramel Cluster Pieces, Marshmallow Swirls & Peanut Butter Swirls. At 320 calories per serving it packs a punch, but it's not unexpected given that peanut butter is present in both the base and mix-ins.
Upon removing the lid, 3 of the 4 components are already making themselves known. Having had this flavor countless times before I knew what to expect, but I dig in the peanut butter base by itself to build the base line. The base has a light brown hue and a faint, but distinguishable, nutty aroma. If you’ve never had Ben and Jerry’s peanut butter base before get in the car and remedy the situation right now. No I’m not joking. This review will be here when you get back. In my opinion they have the best peanut butter base available, and aside from arguably their milk chocolate is the best base they offer. It’s smooth and packed with peanut butter flavor. Notes of both sweet and salty play off one another without either being predominant or overbearing. It’s truly art in ice cream form. The peanut butter swirls themselves add another level to the decant base. The hard, brittle texture offsets the base perfectly and adds a more intense salty peanut butter flavor. The caramel clusters were abundant upon removing the lid, but after the initial layer the ice cream becomes littered with them.
Passing by my local Winn Dixie I noticed a Blue Bell flavor I'd never seen before: Mexican Praline, a regional release Blue Bell says is available for the next three months in the southern areas of four states- Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana. So for example in Texas you probably can't find it north of Austin. Blue Bell describes Mexican Praline as praline flavored ice ream with Mexican praline candy, pecans, and praline sauce. Being from Louisiana, I love pralines of all varieties, so I was very eager to get this tub home so I could sample its pleasures.
Cracking open the lid, I saw evidence of everything Blue Bell claims this ice cream packs. There were flecks of pecans, a swirl of caramel-type sauce, and signs of a praline candy or two, all embedded within a vanilla base. Digging in, I quickly found the praline candies. These Mexican candies have more than a hint of cinnamon to them, and also a creamier texture and taste as compared to the New Orleans pralines I am familiar with. I found these pralines to be outstanding, clearly better than the ones used in Blue Bell's Pecan Pralines and Cream flavor. The creaminess and cinnamon provides a warm spiciness to the candy that was delectable. Best of all, some of these candies were gigantic, among the largest mix-ins I've ever encountered in a Blue Bell flavor. The praline sauce was also very tasty, chewy and rich but not overwhelmingly sweet. In fact, that is one of this flavor's outstanding qualities: Unlike say the recent Mocha Madness and arguably even Magic Cookie Bar flavors, which are so stuffed with sweet mix-ins that they are almost too sweat, Mexican Praline doesn't overdo it. The pecans and pralines are fairly plentiful, but not so abundant that they wipe out the flavor of the base. If Mexican Praline has a weakness, it is this base, which is not one of Blue Bell's premium vanillas, but when eaten in isolation comes across as rather a less rich and creamy vanilla.
Friday, September 5, 2014
We've had somewhat of a frustrating experience with High Road Craft Ice Cream on this blog. They're creativity and willingness to experiment seems is only rivaled by a few other companies, but in today's time of ice cream buying a seven dollar plus pint of ice cream without any mix-ins is hard to swallow. The times they do include large, gaudy bits of additional goodies typically receive a very high rating, but when we open up a pint like French Toast and only get a simple base ice cream, we can't help but want a little more. We had the same initial excitement about Sticky Toffee Pudding which High Road had this to say about, "This is an homage to a culinary classic; where jammy dates are mashed with dark brown sugar, plenty of butter and a good pinch of salt before being spun into a luxurious ice cream."
Thursday, September 4, 2014
After weeks of voting, the results are in. Blue Bell will be bringing back their Hot Fudge Brownie flavor: a creamy vanilla ice cream loaded with chunks of rich chocolate brownies all surrounded by a thick fudge sauce. Even though we could have appreciated a bit more creativity, we'll still be on the lookout for this flavor early next year.
Need some ice cream suggestions? Click on what component you're craving for further assistance!
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