Monday, December 2, 2013

READER REVIEW: Mo's Review of Trader Joe's Pilgrim Joe's Pumpkin

I’m one of those people who looks forward to pumpkin season all year long. But this past October, I overdid it a little on the pumpkin front, so despite the fact that I’d picked up some pumpkin ice cream from Trader Joe’s well over a month ago, I decided to hold off on eating it for just a little while. This past weekend, however, I finally caved and decided that I had to try a little as a topping for my many Thanksgiving desserts. And in typical me fashion, one small scoop led to several larger ones over the course of the weekend.

When I first cracked open the carton, I was a little bit shocked at how, well, orange the ice cream looked. Usually pumpkin ice cream has a lighter tint, but this stuff was really, really bright. I almost wanted to do an experiment on it to see if it would glow in the dark.

Once I actually started eating the ice cream, I began to understand what gave it that notable hue. This ice cream absolutely screams pumpkin. Believe me, I’ve sampled my fair share of pumpkin ice creams, and this one has the strongest pumpkin flavor by far. Now I believe that there’s no such thing as too much pumpkin and therefore enjoyed this flavor immensely, but when I shared a few small scoops with some guests who are usually big pumpkin fans as well, their reactions weren’t quite as positive. One even went so far as to—gasp—throw some of her ice cream away.

Now I will say that while I appreciate the fact that Trader Joe’s was clearly going for a pure, unadulterated pumpkin flavor in creating this ice cream, I did miss my mix-ins for the contrast I generally crave. Especially given the strong pumpkin presence, this ice cream could’ve used some pie crust pieces or graham cracker crumbs to incorporate some crunch and enhance the flavor profile a bit. But all in all, I did enjoy this ice cream, and I especially think it works well when served along something non-pumpkin, like a cranberry crumble or pecan pie.

If you’re not afraid of being smacked in the face with pumpkin, it’s worth heading over to Trader Joe’s and seeing if they’ve got a few quarts left in stock. Otherwise, keep an eye out for this one next October. It’ll be an interesting experience, to say the least.

Where Mo Found It: Trader Joe's
Mo's Grade: B


  1. I love pumpkin, but like your guests found this to be way too strong. I tossed the entire carton!

  2. Ironically some of their (1,000 +) other seasonal pumpkin products like the pumpkin toaster pastry (pop-tarts!) don't taste much like pumpkin at all.


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