With the exception of a few strawberry cheesecake creations, like those from Blue Bell or Ben & Jerry’s, strawberries consistently bring about bad memories when we’re talking ice cream. The rock-hard slices of fruit bring little to the table as far as taste is concerned and frequently hinder flavors from reaching their full potential due to their unpleasant texture when frozen. In an attempt to avoid the pitfalls of others, New Orleans Ice Cream Company has turned to the nearby city of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, the self-proclaimed Strawberry Capital of the World to assist with their ice cream. Since 1972, people have flocked to the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival in order to celebrate and consume Louisiana’s State Fruit and considering the 2013 festival takes place this weekend (April 12th-14th), I decided to indirectly participate by sampling some of their smooth & creamy strawberry ice cream bursting with the freshest Ponchatoula strawberries.
Along with the more complicated Mississippi Debris, this simple strawberry ice cream contains only 120 calories per serving; tied for the lowest in their lineup. The top layer is mostly white in color, but also features a pale pink swirl thanks to those special Ponchatoula strawberries. Unlike many of the flavors with such a low amount of calories, this avoids the gummy texture typical of lighter ice creams. New Orleans Ice Cream Co. focuses on the sweet ripeness of the strawberries and by blending them with their ice cream mix; they’ve created a smooth base that raises skepticism of the nutrition label on the rear of the carton.
The strawberry flavoring remains mild in most of the lighter-shaded portions and grows more intense as you reach the pinker parts; however even these highly concentrated hot-spots focus on the sweetness. Even when I eventually encountered some pieces of actual strawberries, their small size avoided the horrid frozen texture that tend to plague many fruit-based flavors. I hadn’t imagined that this could come close to living up to their Vanilla Bean, but this wasn't far behind and was the ideal way to usher in the Spring season.
Where I Found It: Ice Cream Source