Thursday, May 26, 2016

REVIEW: Mr. Mochi Ice Cream

Along with a few pints of Mr. Green Tea Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla from Mr. Green Tea, they also wanted us to try out a new novelty item they have introduced to the public: Mochi Ice Cream. So first things first, what exactly is mochi ice cream?

This would serve as our first experience with mochi ice cream, so we asked a few questions to the VP to get some things set straight. Mr. Green Tea has been selling these to restaurants around the country for about 30 years, but only began to sell them to retail starting February of 2016. Another benefit of Mr. Mochi: since the dough on the outside is made out of rice and not wheat, every piece of Mr. Mochi is 100% Gluten Free; a big benefit to some consumers. Couple that with Mr. Green Tea's top notch premium ice cream and we were ready to try this new-to-us ice cream item.

We started our taste test with the Green Tea version, a flavor that earned top marks in our initial ice cream only taste test, and went from there. Each box of Mr. Mochi contains six individually wrapped mochi pieces. Depending on how long the mochi had been exposed to room temperature determined the exact consistency of the sweet rice dough exterior. After just a few minutes of thawing out, the outside became pliable and developed a chewy feel with a slightly sweetened taste. When combined with the premium green tea, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice creams, the result was something new, exciting, and very fun to eat when compared to a traditional pint of ice cream. Here's how we ranked each of the four flavors.

Green Tea Mochi Rank: 1st

Chocolate Mochi Rank: 2nd

Strawberry Mochi Rank: 3rd

Vanilla Mochi Rank: 4th

Sunday, May 15, 2016

REVIEW: Mr. Green Tea Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla

Back in September of 2015 I had the pleasure of performing my own Mr. Green Tea taste test on the six available flavors including incredible creations such as Ginger and Fortune Cookie. Our initial experience with this New Jersey-based creamery showed us first-hand the effectiveness of their choice to use only rBGH free milk & cream, pure cane sugar, hand-picked tea leaves, imported azuki beans, fragrant baby ginger & authentic chai spices. By using top-notch ingredients, you get top-notch ice cream. More recently this company started making the flavor shown above, Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla: all natural ice cream made with pure bourbon vanilla.

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Haagen Dazs Belgian Chocolate (Destination Series)

Decided to pick up another pint of Haagen-Dazs "Destination Series" today and I went with the Belgian Chocolate pint. This one is described as "Our Belgian chocolate combines rich, velvety chocolate ice cream with finely shaved Belgian chocolate for a uniquely textured experience". I took the pint out to my car and dug in. Here is how it was............

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Tillamook TCHO Double Dark Chocolate

I made my way through the first 3 pints I received, and saved this one for last. TCHO Double Dark Chocolate Gelato is described as, "TCHO, 70% dark chocolate gelato and thick chocolate fudge, topped with dark chocolate fudge pieces". Sounded like a winner. Here is how it was............

I unwrapped the pint and noticed that there was a top layer of goodies! It was very similar looking to their other pint I had (Chocolate Covered Strawberry). It looked like chocolate chips as well as a fudge type coating. I dug my spoon in and noticed that the top fudge layer was dense and thick (kind of reminded me of magic shell, but firmer). I got a bite of the fudge chips, some gelato and some of that fudge crust. It was a great first bite! The gelato was smooth, and the chocolate flavor was intense! It kind of reminded me of Molly Moons "Melted Chocolate" flavor up in Seattle. I'm not the biggest fan of dark chocolate in bar form, but in ice cream form, it tastes less bitter and is way more appealing IMO. I did notice that once I got past this top layer, it was mostly all gelato down to the bottom 1/4. Once I got down to the bottom 1/4 of the pint, there were some nice layers of thick, creamy fudge mixed in. Not sure if Tillamook intended to do this, or if it was a one off and that is the way the pint kind of settled? If the fudge topping, chocolate pieces etc was layered throughout, it would have been better than it already was. Saying that, I made my way through that pint in no time at all.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Tillamook Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee

So, I am making my way through the 4 pints I acquired, and the next one up was the Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee. This flavor is described as, "Silky-smooth ice cream blended with Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee for the ultimate coffee lover." I am a big fan of coffee ice cream, and this sounded right up my alley. Here is how it was.........

I took the lid off the pint and noticed the light brown base. Tillamook touts this ice cream as "extra creamy ice cream". They aren't lying about that! My first bite in, I loved the smooth texture of this ice cream on my tongue! It kind of had the same texture as their gelato products, but this might have been even more smooth. It was almost like eating a soft serve type custard! The incredible coffee flavor immediately hit my taste buds, and it was mighty fine! I could definitely see why, too. Tillamook partnered with Stumptown Coffee Roasters! Stumptown is a Portland based coffee roaster that makes its cold brew coffee without heat, steeping it for over 12 hours until its smooth and sweet. This pint is very "basic" looking with no coffee ground flecks, no mix ins etc, but don't let that mislead you. This pint is pretty much just pure goodness of coffee flavored ice cream. This flavor was excellent! I mowed through this pint in record time.

Monday, April 18, 2016

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Tillamook Chocolate Covered Strawberry

After a mighty fine pint of Tillamook's California Pistachio ice cream, I decided that I would try out their Chocolate Covered Strawberry pint, next (No, I did not eat 2 pints of ice cream in a row...I ate this one the following day lol). Chocolate Covered Strawberry is described as, "Sweet mascarpone gelato with Oregon strawberry sauce and dark chocolate fudge pieces." Sounded like another tasty flavor. Here is how it was..........

I removed the lid of the pint and was bombarded with a beautiful sight of tons of chocolate chips, a nice white base, and even some strawberry sauce around the edges. At first, I thought this pint might have been a mistake and had been layered all wrong where everything rose to the top. As you will see later, this was not the case. This was just a nice "showcase" of said ingredients to come! I took a bite of the chocolate chips first. They were nice and crunchy and had a decent chocolate flavor. The problem with that first bite was that all I could taste was chocolate chips. I didn't even get a hint of the mascarpone base. Once I cleared off that chocolate chip section, I was able to sample some of the mascarpone gelato was well as the strawberry sauce. The mascarpone gelato had a nice mild flavor to it. It's like a ricotta type cheese in a way. Mascarpone is made from cream and usually has some acidic substance added to it. It was pretty tasty and worked well for this type of flavor combo (chocolate and strawberry). I got to some of the strawberry sauce next. This was fantastic! It was nice and sweet with a jam type texture. It was layered a little weird, almost like a parfait, throughout the pint, but it was definitely my favorite part of the entire pint. I kind of mixed up the pint with my spoon to evenly distribute that strawberry sauce so I could get a little in each bite. All the way down the pint, there were plenty of chocolate chips, too...not just a massive pile that you saw on top.

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Tillamook California Pistachio

I had recently seen that they started selling Tillamook products in pint sized containers! I was extremely excited since Tillamook is one of my favorite brands of dairy products. I was able to get my hands on 4 pints of their new flavors (Thank you, Becky!). The first one I decided to try was the California Pistachio Farmstyle Gelato. This product is described as, "Creamy, nutty and truly indulgent pistachio gelato with the perfect hint of sea salt." Sounded great! here is how it was............

First off, I would like to say how much I enjoy the new pints. They are in a plastic container and are double sealed. They have the lid on top, and then a pull off tin foil cover, too. Great way to insure freshness! So....I took off the lid and noticed the greenish yellow tint and a whole bunch of little speckles. I dug in and took a bite. First impression was a positive one. The gelato is super duper creamy and had a great feeling on the tongue and in the mouth. The pistachio flavor is a bit subtle at first, but once you let it dissolve in your mouth, it tastes exactly like the aftertaste of eating a handful of pistachios! I was a little bit surprised that this pint did not have any actual nuts in it (never had a pistachio ice cream without nuts in it before), but it was delicious even without. The sea salt was a nice touch, too. This pint almost reminded me of a good sea salt caramel ice cream but replace the caramel with pistachios. I finished about half the pint and wanted to save some for later.

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