Saturday, April 20, 2013

REVIEW: New Orleans Ice Cream Co. Praline Crunch

Ice creams based on the popular praline confections tend to do pretty well on this blog up to this point. Both Praline Coastal Crunch from Front Porch and the Walgreen’s exclusive Pralines & Cream made by Haagen Dazs took praline pecans, caramel sauce and a vanilla ice cream to make up their versions. New Orleans Ice Cream Company decided to take a completely different approach with their Praline Crunch: a delicately flavored praline ice cream with crunchy whole caramel pecans. Seeing as how the city of New Orleans is synonymous with the coveted candy, it makes sense they’d have the advantage with this particular concept. After peeling back the purple lid, the base ice cream glows a beautiful beige color and already appears to be a better choice than a simple vanilla.

The 220 calories per serving that Praline Crunch contains lands right in the middle of the lighter offering from Front Porch (170 calories) and the super-premium version from Haagen Dazs (270 calories). After scooping out my first bit of the praline flavored base, this still has many of the dense characteristics of a super-premium product. This thick, slow-melting ice cream is even more unique than I had anticipated. By incorporating the taste of sugary pralines directly into the base, every single bite is loaded with sweet, caramel nuttiness and hints of brown sugar. Even though Praline Crunch doesn’t include any type of swirl, the complexity found inside the ice cream provides plenty of taste to keep your taste buds occupied.

The smooth feel of the praline flavored base is only broken up by the crunchy whole caramel pecans that were generously thrown inside. These sugary nuts are dense, require chewing to break down and release the perfect complimentary tastes to the similarly-flavored ice cream. The caramel infused sugar coating on the exterior of these roasted pecans complicate the texture; something you won't find with any flavor featuring nuts as a mix-in. Although this isn't quite on the level of the super-premium Pralines & Cream and it's absurd amount of dulce de leche caramel swirled in; if you're a fan of pralines, you won't want to miss out on this unique version from New Orleans Ice Cream Company.

Where I Found It: Ice Cream Source
Grade: A

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