Thursday, May 21, 2015

REVIEW: Graeter's Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chip

A few times a year we exchange emails with Greater's marketing team and get updated on all the new products being pushed out. This time we received a package containing some of their new, exciting gelato flavors, along with this pint of French pot ice cream called Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chip. Over this blog's existence, we've had over a dozen Graeter's ice creams paired with their signature chocolate "chips", but none have used any type of alcohol additive to derive more flavor.

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Steve's Salty Caramel

This would be my 4th pint of Steves Ice Cream. Two were great (Strawberry Ricotta and Brooklyn Blackout), one was just okay (Sunday Morning), and I was hoping that this one would be awesome! Steve’s Salty Caramel is described as “Sweet Caramel Ice Cream Rounded Out by a Savory, Sea Salted Caramel Swirl”. I had this pint in my freezer for about a week and decided to bust it open last night. Here is how it was………….

I took the lid off the pint and noticed something different. This pint of Steve’s had a protective little seal on top. All of the other pints that I have had, were naked and I could immediately see the ice cream. This one had a little tin foil seal. Safer? Probably. Did it do anything special to the ice cream (prevent freezer burn or iciness? Not really. Once I peeled off the tin foil, I noticed the light color of the ice cream as well as a teeny swirl of the caramel. I took a bite of the ice cream and was satisfied. Steve’s ice cream has a certain texture to it. It’s really rich and smooth and you can tell immediately that it’s made with premium yet simple ingredients. I got to a little swirl of the caramel. It kind of reminded me more of a butterscotch type swirl rather than a rich, dark caramel swirl. It was tasty, though! I took a few more bites of the ice cream and the caramel flavor really shined through. The sea salt flavor was extremely hidden. I almost had to specifically hunt for it with my taste buds. This can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. If you love the salt aspect of these type of desserts, you might be a little disappointed. If you like minimal salt, this is right up your alley!

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Talenti Caramel Cookie Crunch

I had a pint of Talenti’s Caramel Apple Pie Gelato a few weeks back and found some aspects of it delicious (base and caramel), while other aspects of it (apples) not so delicious. I was in the store today and decided to pick up another pint. Caramel Cookie Crunch sounded good. From their website, its described as “It’s Cookies and Cream all grown up and putting its best self forward. We blended a whole bunch of chocolate cookies together and mixed them into our dulce de leche gelato, the luxurious friend any dessert would happily be paired with”. I took the pint out to my car and dug in. Here is how it was………..

I opened the pint and noticed that it was a little icy on top. I could see some specks of cookie pieces as well as a tiny swirl of the caramel. I dug my spoon in and took a bite. The gelato itself was nice and rich. It was white/vanilla in color but the taste of it was of a sweet cream/caramel style ice cream. It was good. The base was the best part of the pint. I soon encountered some of the cookie pieces. These provided just a tiny bit of texture but they were way too blended up to offer any “crunch” per say. I would have liked to have seen bigger chunks of cookies. These little teeny pieces didn't work well. I kept eating the pint and noticed that the caramel portion of the pint was a little bit skimp too. I only hit 2 or 3 little pockets of caramel. The caramel I did get to, was great! Sadly, there was not much of it throughout the pint. I finished the pint but was left wanting something more.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Tea-rrific Chamomile

I saw this brand of ice cream at my local store and was intrigued by it. A tea based ice cream? Sounded a little weird, but, who knows? It could be delicious? I was able to get my hands on some of this ice cream today (Thanks, Mario!) and I decided to sample the Chamomile one first. The Chamomile flavor is described as "Notes of Apple and Honey from Egyptian Chamomile Flowers". Turns out that this Chamomile flavor was also a SOFI (Specialty Food Award) finalist! Pretty impressive! Now, how would this ice cream taste? We would soon find out!

I took the lid off the pint and noticed the light yellow/greenish tint to the ice cream. I also noticed that this pint was pretty frozen solid. While I was letting the pint thaw out a bit, I read the label and their story. They use only natural ingredients like hormone-free dairy, cage free eggs, organic cane sugar etc and when all is said and done, they incorporate loose leaf and herbal teas into the mix, too! My pint was sitting out for a few minutes and I then decided to take my first bite. Wow! Totally not what I was expecting (in a good way)! The base of this ice cream is a sweet cream flavor. I immediately got a nice hint/taste of the apple, too! It tasted kind of like an apple pie filling but more subtle. This ice cream was super smooth and had a great texture on the tongue. This pint came in at 880 calories so it is plenty rich but not super duper heavy. I'm not a big tea drinker, so I don't know exactly what I was looking for as far as a "tea" taste. I guarantee the stuff was in there though and it was mighty delicious! My last bite was just as good as the first and I finished off that pint pretty quick!

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Ben & Jerry's That's My Jam Core

I’m a big fan of fruit/berry type desserts. There aren't a whole bunch of fruity ice creams out there (can’t recall seeing a raspberry one to begin with) and I was excited to see this “core” flavor at my local Fry’s. I had been meaning to try it out for quite some time and finally made the purchase today. I took it out to my car and dug in.

That’s My Jam Core is described as “Chocolate & Raspberry Ice Creams with Fudge Chips & a Raspberry Core”. I peeled off the lid and noticed the chocolate ice cream, the raspberry ice cream, some fudge chips poking through and a little bit of the raspberry core. I went straight for the core first! This was a rich raspberry core. It was really thick, kind of like jelly, but more dense and compact and really smooth. A jelly fudge almost? Hard to describe but it was damn tasty. It was just sweet enough and had little seeds throughout which provided a great texture. Besides the core in “Peanut Buttah Cookie Core”, this was my favorite core that I have encountered from Ben & Jerry’s. I scooped into the ice creams next. The chocolate base was smooth and in this particular pint, the chocolate was the dominant flavor. Nothing wrong with that, though. If you like Ben & Jerry’s chocolate ice cream, you will like this. I got to the raspberry part next, it was good. It reminded me of Cherry Garcia a little bit. Similar flavors at least. Not overpowering like the chocolate but it had a great, smooth raspberry taste. The typical rectangular fudge chunks were scattered throughout the pint. I went through big pockets with no chunks in some bites, and then some bites had a few chunks in them. They weren't too evenly distributed but it didn't ruin the pint.

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