When I make the trip to Target, it's usually to seek out the latest limited-edition or exclusive flavor from Haagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry's; but I tend to overlook many of their home-grown options. Although they offer a line of discount ice creams as a part of their Market Pantry brand, the premium products are labeled as Archer Farms. I've reviewed one of their ice creams, Monster Cookie, however lately I had begun to take notice of the shallow, rectangular containers of gelato. Ben & Jerry's Volun-Tiramisu (also a Target exclusive) and The Fresh Market's Tiramisu and Mascarpone had provided pleasant experiences for this flavor concept in the past, so I opted for their Tiramisu gelato to be my first. I was skeptical of the imported from Italy tagline, but my anticipation escalated after snapping off the top and seeing the cocoa-powder dusted first layer.
Most of the gelatos available from Haagen Dazs, The Fresh Market and Talenti are all calorie dense, so I was surprised to see that Target's version only contained 140 calories per serving; less than 1000 for the entire tray. Soon after sinking my spoon into the rippled first layer, I could tell this was going to be much different than any of the other store-bought gelatos. This blonde-colored base is much lighter and fluffier than anything from any of the aforementioned brands. The smooth, quick-melting gelato possesses a similar consistency to the actual dessert; especially after allowing the tub to sit out at room temperature for a few minutes. The unique texture makes this an interesting option, but the burst of super-sweet, tiramisu flavoring takes this up another notch.
Like others before it, this tiramisu base begins with the mellow taste of mascarpone that fades into a strong, coffee-flavored finish. The small, brown stripes that flow through the entire flavor act as the alcohol component of the actual dessert; bringing about some additional texture and hints of marsala wine to the rich gelato. When combined with the thick layer of cocoa powder, Archer Farm's interpretation of Tiramisu feels the most authentic of them all. This isn't able to compete with the actual pieces of lady fingers and premium ice cream from Ben & Jerry's Volun-Tiramisu, but especially for the calories; this is worth seeking out.