Friday, January 6, 2017

READER REVIEW: Stephanie's Review of Jeni's Thai Pumpkin Curry

Feeling lazy and glutinous on this chilly, drizzly fall day, I decided it was finally time to try the fall ice cream flavor I had been most coveting this year – Jeni's Thai Curry Pumpkin. When my dear friend Kyle sent me the Jeni's webpage listing their new flavors, I was blown away by all of the descriptions. But as a diehard fan of the spicy and sweet combination, with a hearty appreciation for seasonal pumpkin flavored treats, I was all atwitter with anticipation of trying what sounded like a truly delectable twist on the classic pumpkin ice cream.

Upon opening the pint, I observed Jeni's usual flawless texture. Fluffy, creamy, just enough air and nary an ice crystal in sight. Within milliseconds of the first spoonful coming in contact with my tongue, I was caught completely off guard by the overwhelming strength of the curry spices. They were true to flavors in a Thai curry dish – spicy, strong, earthy. The pumpkin flavor was genuine as well, but overshadowed by the intensity and bitter aftertaste of the curry. Though I usually enjoy a little bitterness or spice to offset a sweet flavor, particularly in ice creams with a non-chocolate base, the flavor in Thai Pumpkin Curry was simply too savory for me to enjoy in a dessert.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Tillamook Double Peanut Butter

After trying out some of Tillamook's seasonal flavors earlier in the month, I decided to head back and try one of their pints I hadn't tried out before. I was browsing my local Bashas and they had the Tillamook pints on sale for 3/$10. I decided to go with their Double Peanut Butter option. This ice cream is described as, "Silky peanut butter ice cream and creamy peanut butter sauce topped with tasty salted peanuts". Sounded like a peanut butter lovers dream!

I got the pint home and took off the lid. I have said it before, and I'll say it again. I really enjoy the containers that their pints come in. They are a bendable plastic pint with a plastic lid, and underneath the lid there is a tin foil top, too. Keeps the ice cream nice and fresh! I took off the lid and noticed the peanut butter sauce and the nice amount of peanuts on top. I took a bite into the peanuts first, and was impressed. They reminded me of the peanuts on top of McDonald's sundaes (both in taste, look, and texture). The only negative thing about this pint was the amount of peanuts. They were all on top of the pint in one clump. I kind of wished they were layered throughout, but even with them only being on top, as you will see, it didn't really hamper my enjoyment of the pint! I got some of the hardened peanut butter sauce and a decent scoop of the peanut butter ice cream. Wow! It really was a peanut butter lovers dream come true! The peanut butter ice cream was so incredibly smooth and rich! As far as base flavors, this was right up there with it being one of the best I have ever had from Tillamook. The "peanut sauce" was fantastic, too! It was a bit thinner than an actual peanut butter swirl, but thicker than a drizzly peanut butter topping (if that makes sense?). It was nice and smooth and provided great texture! It had nice layer on top of the pint, as well as a nice layer right in the middle, too! I happily made my way through the pint, and actually wanted more!

REVIEW: Blue Bell Cookie Two Step

Seeing Blue Bell products back in some of my grocery stores has taken some getting used to after the brand took such a long hiatus. The company wasted no time in getting back to their old ways of releasing monthly limited edition flavors with Cookie Two Step. This carton contained vanilla flavored ice cream with chocolate creme cookies and chocolate chip cookie dough, seemingly combining two of their best regular offerings, Cookies 'n Cream with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Monday, October 17, 2016

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Tillamook White Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Thanks to a low carb diet, the ice cream consumption has been pretty rare over the past few months. About a week back, I received an email from my friend Becky at Tillamook regarding their new Seasonal Flavors. She wanted to send them to me to sample. If you are going to break a low carb diet, might as well do it with some Tillamook ice cream! I came home Tuesday to find a box on my porch. Included in this box were 2 flavors. Pumpkin Cookie Butter, and White Chocolate Peppermint Bark.

After sampling the Pumpkin Cookie Butter, I scooped out some of the White Chocolate Peppermint Bark next. This flavor is described as, "White chocolate ice cream swirled with peppermint crackle and bark pieces." Sounded delicious! I am a pretty big fan of mint type ice creams so I was very excited to try this one.

I removed the lid and noticed the white chocolate base as well as some streaks of pink and a couple of pieces of chocolate peeking through the top. I scooped myself out a bowl and dug in! First was great! The peppermint really came through in the first bite. Not as powerful as the "pumpkin spice" of the other flavor, but the peppermint flavor was nice and cool and refreshing. Reminded me of eating a candy cane or an Andes mint almost. After the initial blast of peppermint, you could get a hint of the white chocolate. As usual, the Tillamook ice cream was incredibly smooth. As I was eating it, you could clearly see the pink swirls of peppermint in the base! It was visually appealing to eat the whole way through. Eventually, I encountered a couple of pieces of "bark" as well as some chocolate pieces. The bark provided a nice crunch and the chocolate pieces were rich and delicious. Like the other pint though, the mix in pieces (bark/cookies) were kind of skimp. I would have preferred more of them. Even without as many mix ins as I usually prefer, this ice cream was still fantastic! I liked it way better than the Pumpkin Cookie Butter! My wife liked this one a lot better, too!

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Tillamook Pumpkin Cookie Butter

Thanks to a low carb diet, the ice cream consumption has been pretty rare over the past few months. About a week back, I received an email from my friend Becky at Tillamook regarding their new Seasonal Flavors. She wanted to send them to me to sample. If you are going to break a low carb diet, might as well do it with some Tillamook ice cream! I came home Tuesday to find a box on my porch. Included in this box were 2 flavors. Pumpkin Cookie Butter, and White Chocolate Peppermint Bark.

I decided to try out the Pumpkin Cookie Butter first. This flavor is described as “Spiced pumpkin ice cream swirled with speculoos cookie pieces”. When my wife first saw this, she was incredibly excited. She is all about the holiday “pumpkin spice” type items. We opened this container and noticed the light brown base. I could see a few tiny pieces of cookies just below the surface. I took a bite in and was kind of overwhelmed. The pumpkin spice flavor was really, really strong. It put me off at first, but after eating a few more bites, it got better. Tillamook ice cream is always incredibly smooth, and this was in the same boat. I eventually got to the little cookie pieces. They were swirled in throughout the ice cream. They were very soft and provided a decent texture. I just wish that there were more of them. I made my way through my two scoops and that was plenty for me.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Review: Exploring Mochidoki

After being introduced to the ice cream novelty known as mochi earlier this year, we've been presented with the opportunity to try a few different brands and post our results. Our latest experience was with Mochidoki. Before we even broke into the box, we took a second to appreciate the packaging and take note of their slogan: imagination in every bite.

Mochidoki offers their products by flavor and collections. We were introduced to two collections -- the Taste of Thailand and the Tropical. The first carefully packaged box contained the Taste of Thailand. Each of these four flavors were carefully constructed around the Thailand theme and all bursting with flavor. My personal favorite was the Ginger Zing, but they were all bold in flavor and properly named.

The second was a collection called Tropical and focused around island fruit-filled ice creams. The Mandarin Orange Cream mochi was my personal favorite from this batch, had a nostalgic creamsicle feel, and was well constructed with proper high quality ingredients. The fresh, tart flavor of the Passionfruit variety ended up being the most explosive of them all, but every bite of each mochi was highly enjoyable. Eight total mochi pieces was just not enough! We will placing additional orders in the future in hopes of trying their entire lineup.

READER REVIEW: Steve's Review of Oak Farms Moose Tracks

The Blue Bell brand was the dominant ice cream in Louisiana, so when the listeria crisis knocked it from the shelves last year, it literally left a gaping hole in the ice cream offerings of Louisiana grocers. During that time, some stores filled that gap with Oak Farms ice cream, a brand that also hails from Texas. And even after Blue Bell's return, Oak Farms tubs have lingered on some shelves. So after months of hesitation, I decided to splurge on a tub of their "Moose Tracks" variety. That's because to me, Moose Tracks is like fried chicken, it's hard to mess it up! How do you not combine vanilla ice cream, fudge ribbons, and peanut butter cups in a way that doesn't taste good? So how does the Oak Farms version stack up?

Cracking open the lid, things look promising. The vanilla base has a nice shad to it, and you also see a nice thick band of fudge. No peanut butter cups poking through, but plunge in the spoon and you find those too. So far, pretty good. Alas, when you start to eat the ice cream, the tastebuds-reality doesn't quite live up to the visuals. The main culprit here is the vanilla base. This base looks and tastes more like a kind of ice-milk or non-dairy product than actual ice cream. It is fluffy, and lacks any real depth of creaminess. It just kind of melts on the palate like ice milk does. In contrast, the fudge ribbon tastes adequate enough, and the peanut butter cups I actually compare favorably to Blue Bell's "Happy Tracks" version. They aren't frozen, and they are large enough that you get a real peanut butter center that you can taste in your mouth. But even here, there is a problem, namely that the fudge ribbon and peanut butter cups are just not very much in evidence. In fact, after breaking through the first two or so inches of the tub, you then encounter a dystopian "core" of almost pure vanilla that permeates much of the midsection of the container. Not good!

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