Monday, January 28, 2013

REVIEW: Publix Premium Southern Banana Pudding (Limited Edition)

At one time, banana flavored ice cream used to be completely irrelevant for me. For years I ignored options like Ben & Jerry's famous Chunky Monkey and others simply because of the banana base they were using. But lately my taste buds have taken a 180 degree turn in the opposite direction and now I can't seem to get enough of banana-themed ice creams. Publix Premium has been pushing out a slew of new, limited-edition selections lately and Southern Banana Pudding is one of their most recent releases. Described as smooth banana ice cream with swirls of vanilla cream and bits of buttery cookies, this will have some serious competition from Blue Bell and Front Porch's versions. At 170 calories per serving, this is in line with it's competitors, but still low for many of the small-batch flavors from Publix. After removing the lid, the pale yellow base is only slightly broken up with bits of buttery cookies and streaks of white vanilla cream. As I transfer the ice cream from the carton to a bowl, the consistency is fluffier than I was expecting, but remains substantial enough to retain it's frozen state for a while after being removed from the freezer.

After taking my first bite, the banana base seems a bit mild, but is intensified by the streaks of vanilla cream careening about. Adding a small textural difference as well, the flavors of the banana and vanilla cream mesh together tremendously, all the while creating that familiar taste of banana pudding. The real disappointment with this flavor comes in the form of the bits of buttery cookies that have been smashed beyond recognition. While both Blue Bell and Front Porch's versions had huge hunks of vanilla wafers, the cookie component of Publix Premium's flavor lacked the handmade feel of the others. Some of the larger pieces were able to attribute to a taste of authentic banana pudding, but the tiny fragments did little for the overall performance. Although this wasn't bad by any means, and I'll be trying some of the other limited edition flavors from Publix, this still sits at the bottom of the banana pudding totem pole.

Where I Found It: Publix
Grade: C

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