Wow! Mardi Gras season down here in Cajun country doesn't start until January 6th, but I was pleased to pass by my local Walmart and notice that Blue Bell has gotten a jump start on those festivities by releasing Mardi Gras King Cake, a flavor exclusive to the Gulf Coast region, stretching from the Florida panhandle to east Texas. Blue Bell says that this is a Cinnamon ice cream with pastry pieces, candy sparkles, and a cream cheese swirl, which by my reckoning hits the major King Cake ingredients, and since I always enjoy a good King Cake, I plunged the spoon in eagerly.
This ice cream is pretty delicious! The best part is the base, which tastes like the same rich cinnamon concoction that works so well in their Gingerbread House flavor. Also noteworthy are the pieces of pastry, which are really round chunks of cake. While these do not have the consistency and taste of classic King Cake pastry, their cinnamon spiciness is welcome, they are provided in generous quantity, and combine very nicely with the thick green cream cheese sauce that winds its way throughout. Unlike in some Blue Bell flavors, the candy pieces are substantial, they add taste and are not just window dressing, but they do have the aesthetic effect of reminding you that this is a "King Cake" offering.
Overall, the combination of the cinnamon base, pastry/cake pieces, and cream cheese sauce adds up to a very satisfying treat. I was initially unsure how cinnamon ice cream might combine with cream cheese, but the impact on the taste buds is pleasurable. I rate this flavor a half-notch below the top level but still, this is well-worth grabbing if you live in Mardi Gras territory in the deep south.
Where Steve Found It: Walmart
Steve's Grade: A