Wednesday, July 17, 2013

READER REVIEW: Dominique's Review of Steve's Southern Banana Pudding

The base has a unique banana flavor, just like an old-fashioned banana cream pie. It’s what cheap imitations, like Runts banana candies, are always trying to capture but can’t. What impressed me the most is that you can actually see little brown banana threads throughout the ice cream, just like in banana bread – visual proof this is the best banana ice cream out there (unless you want something that tastes like biting into the fruit, which this does not).

The mix-ins couldn’t complement the ice cream better. Nilla wafers are thought of as a bland cookie for good reason, but these wafer pieces – baked by Pies-N-Thighs – are flavorful. Part of what makes them so good is the real, rich vanilla flavor, which gives the two versions of banana something to play off of. But the really genius thing about these are the fact that it’s a wafer crust, not wafer cookie pieces. They’re moist and tender, not soggy. They start off as dense but break apart into crumbs when crushed between teeth, a pretty neat trick, if you ask me.

The pudding swirl functions exactly as it’s supposed to, adding a second layer of fruit flavor. While the base is rather light and super creamy, the pudding is rich and dense with banana flavor much in the same way as is a good banana bread. The flavor profile ends up like a simple sandwich: banana cream on top, vanilla wafer in the middle, banana pudding on the bottom. And the sum is definitely more than the parts.

One bad thing in a sea of creamy goodness: My pint was not well-mixed enough. The bottom had way too much of the wafer crust, which means I was really missing out when I ate the first half! By the end the ratio wasn’t working as well for me at all, but the flavors were still just as insanely delicious.

This is one of the best ice creams I've ever had, particularly of the pre-packaged variety, and it's far and away the best Steve's flavor I've tried so far.

Where Dominique Found It: Associated Supermarket (Brooklyn, NY)
Dominique's Grade: A

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