Thursday, July 2, 2015

READER REVIEW: Matthew's Review of Handel's Hand Packed Cake Batter

I have been meaning to try Handel's ever since I found out there are two in this part of Indianapolis that I moved to a few months ago. Heck, one is right next door to my gym! Yesterday, on the way home form work, I made the decision to swing by and see what flavors were rotating right now. I had my heart set on the Caramel Pretzel, but unfortunately it's currently not on menu. Several caught my eye, but there were a few I saw that Handel's had been gracious enough to email me nutritional info on a few weeks prior. One being a personal favorite flavor of mine: Cake Batter. The girl behind the counter was sweet and courteous. I literally almost salivated when I saw the amount of dense ice cream they were packing into my pint! I quickly drove home in hopes I wouldn't have any refreezing issues.

This morning after my workout, I sped home in excitement to try my first offering from Handel's. I cracked open the pint. No refreeze, awesome. Not much to see, as this flavor does not have a swirl or mix-ins. I smelled the pint (you may find this odd, but I feel like smell is a factor in the experience) and the aroma is wonderful. I quickly tried a spoonful in my impatience. Wow. This is going to be good.

For nostalgia purposes, I put some sprinkles on top and then tore into my pint.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of Tea-rrific London Mist

Finally...the final pint of Tea-Rrific ice cream! I had made my way through the previous 5 pints and was pleased with most of their flavors. I probably should have done this pint before the Chunky London Mist pint, but I wasn't paying attention and didn't realize that they were the same flavor, except one had mix ins. Oh well! I decided to bust open this pint tonight. London Mist is described as "Malty and citrusy notes of Earl Grey tea with a hint of vanilla".

I took the lid off the pint and noticed the light brown/tan color of the ice cream. I took a bite and the first thing I noticed was the hint of citrus. It is very, very subtle and if you aren't paying attention, you may miss it. If you look for it though, it can be found. Kind of reminded me of some citrus type beers...the flavor doesn't overpower or even take the lead, but it's still present and an interesting surprise! The base is smooth and melts perfectly in your mouth with a very clean after finish. The main component that you can taste right away is the malty aspect of it! It is delicious! Like their other flavors, the combo of tea and ice cream is extremely unique and unlike anything else out there right now. I finished the pint in no time.

READER REVIEW: Caitlin's Review of maeda-en's Red Bean Azuki Flavored Ice Cream

With my birthday approaching soon, my father and I decided to drive to the H-Mart together which is located about 50 minutes from our house but is the closest Asian grocery store. Our goal was to find and purchase Taro ice cream (which was successful), but we had both also noticed the heavy prevalence of Red Bean flavored treats. Having never tried Red Bean before, we decided to splurge on a pint of maeda-en's Red Bean Azuki Flavored Ice Cream, which we already lost the receipt for but was priced between $3-4.

Upon opening the pint, I noticed red bean pieces across the top and as I began dishing some out there was definitely no doubt that they were very generous with the amount of bean mix-ins. After taking several close whiffs to the ice cream, I was unable to successfully pick up any scent.

The first four ingredients listed are milk, cream, sugar, and cooked red beans, so this seems like a pretty high quality, authentic pint of ice cream. Upon scooping it there's also no doubt that it's very creamy, smooth, and dense, despite being only 140 calories per 1/2 cup serving.

Friday, June 26, 2015

REVIEW: The Hop Ice Cream Cafe's (Asheville, NC) Altamont Brewing Company Red & Black IPA Ice Cream

I recently had time to stop by and pick up a pint of ice cream from a landmark here in Asheville, The Hop Ice Cream Cafe. The Hop has been in business for over 35 years and was even recently named as one of the 12 best ice cream shops in the United States to visit. Taking their experience and success into account, it was only appropriate that I try a flavor that really incorporates a local flair -- craft beer. Asheville, NC has seen its name associated with Beer City, USA on more than one occasion and I enjoy exploring the creative flavor combinations local breweries come up with. One of these breweries, located very near The Hop, is Altamont Brewing Company.

Naturally The Hop had to chose a "hoppy" beer to pair with their sweet, homemade ice cream. They settled on Altamont's Red & Black IPA. Considering beer isn't something typically associated with ice cream, my taste buds remained dubious; that is until I scooped out my first bite. The consistency of all the dairy ice cream flavors from The Hop are full-bodied and full-fat, but that's what I'm looking for if I'm buying ice cream from a scoop shop -- no low calorie or frozen yogurt for me.

The flavor of this ice cream is not only difficult to describe, but probably isn't for everyone. As an adventurous eater, I was immediately a fan. Each bite began with the simple sugary sweetness you'd expect from a super-premium ice cream. but the back-end flavors are where things got interesting. The hop-filled flavoring of the India Pale Ale balanced out the sweetness of the sugar, to a level where both ice cream and beer could be enjoyed simultaneously; something that I was skeptical of from the start. I will certainly make checking out their ever-rotating selection of ice creams a more common occurrence.

Where I Found It: The Hop Ice Cream Cafe (Asheville, NC)
Grade: A

READER REVIEW: Caitlin's Review of Arctic Classic Cookies and Cream

When some people think about ice cream, they may find themselves lost in some day dream about a super luxurious, organic, all natural ice cream brand they turn to for comfort during times of need. I, on the other hand, think of ice cream as a dirty little secret I turn to for comfort when I've hit rock bottom, and let's be honest, rock bottom isn't always pretty. This is exactly why I've decided to do what it appears no one (correct me if I'm wrong) has dared to do on this website yet: review an ice cream brand from a retailer most people wouldn't even think of to buy edible foods from; this retailer is the Dollar Tree.

READER REVIEW: Timothy's Review of New Orleans Ice Cream Co. Ponchatoula Strawberry

I only have about 3 pints of New Orleans Ice Cream left in my freezer. Tonight it was time for Ponchatoula Strawberry! This flavor is described as "A smooth & creamy strawberry ice cream bursting with the freshest Ponchatoula strawberries".

I removed the lid and noticed the whiteish/light pink base with a few strawberries trying to peek through. I took a bite and immediately liked the texture. It was nice and smooth and creamy. The first initial impression was that this tasted like a Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt. It was more savory than sweet for an ice cream. I like strawberry yogurts, so this was fine with me. Throughout the pint, I ran across a ton of actual pieces of strawberry. Halfway down the pint, I ran into a huge half of a strawberry. It was a welcome sight. The strawberries are just sweet enough to keep you interested down the whole pint.

Friday, June 19, 2015

READER REVIEW: Caitlin's Review of Great Value Cotton Candy

Before I begin I would just like to point out that although this carton of ice cream mentions it being a "New flavor," it most definitely is not! I have been keeping my eye on it for the longest time now, but have never been able to convince anyone in my family to try it with me. I would like to point out that my review may be partially biased since Cotton Candy is hands down my favorite ice cream flavor (especially from Cold Stone - I'll mix it with every other flavor, and as long as Cotton Candy is the base it always tastes good to me). My family, on the other hand, absolutely abhors Cotton Candy because of its typical overpowering sweetness. I finally caved and purchased it anyways since I will be having a root canal and needed something cold afterwards... although as I sit here impatiently writing this I may possible have to run to the store and buy more if I like it enough, because there's no way I can wait until after the procedure to try this.

To be honest, I'm pretty impressed with its ingredients. The first three are milk, cream, and sugar, and as I proceed through the list I don't notice anything that makes me feel uncomfortable (an added bonus for them keeping it clean of partially hydrogenated oils, or trans fats as we all know them by)! It also has 12 half cup servings per container, making the $2.97 price point a bargain.

Upon removing the lid, I took a whiff of the ice cream and noticed a sweet, clean, unmistakable cotton candy scent bringing me back to amusement parks as a child as I tore pieces of cotton candy and tried to lick them off my sticky fingers. There were also some shiny bits of confetti candy pieces evenly distributed across the top. The base was a nice swirl of pastel pink and blue (the different colors tasted the same, but blue cotton candy has always been my favorite anyways).

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