Sunday, January 26, 2014

READER REVIEW: Steve's Review of Blue Bell I ♥ Chocolate

When the Ice Cream Informant posted his recent Blue Bell "freezer find", a brand new flavor introduced for January called "I ♥ Chocolate", i almost pitched my cookies. The official description just seemed so scrumptious: I ♥ Chocolate is a smooth Milk Chocolate Ice Cream combined with luscious dark chocolate-filled chocolate hearts, chocolate-coated cake pieces and a chocolate icing swirl. Wow! So i immediately dashed out to several grocers to acquire a tub, only to be told this week's deliveries hadn't arrived yet. Finally, a stop at a local Target hit pay-dirt.


Tearing off the lid, I was met by an initially unimpressive sight: Basically a smooth surface of light-brown chocolate ice cream with a smattering of syrup, the alleged "chocolate icing swirl". But, this initial look proved to be prodigiously deceiving: As soon as the spoon dug through the top layer, this seemingly featureless sheen of chocolate ice cream quickly gave way to a maelstrom of mix-ins, a pile of the promised cake chunks, chocolate hearts, and icing!

This ice cream tastes as good as it looks. The base is a milk-chocolate, a flavor I am very partial too. This smooth and creamy base is an excellent background for the stronger flavors of the mix-ins. The hearts are large hard-shelled candies that give way to a softer chocolate center. The chocolate icing swirl has a strong caramel aspect, in both its chewy, elastic consistency and its delicious flavor. Best of all are the chunks of cake. These chunks are NOT the bland, small, seemingly machine-made disc-shaped pieces of cake that Blue Bell has begun to use in flavors like Birthday Cake, rather these are the massive, irregularly shaped chunks one finds in their Dessert Trio flavor (check out the second frame from right in the following picture for an isolated view of a heart and a cake chunk). These huge ragged chunks provided an aesthetically pleasurable chomping experience, as the crusty coating gives way to the soft moist chocolate cake within. And because these cake chunks and hearts are in such abundant supply, just about every spoonful has one or the other, and often both! This ice cream is crammed with mix-ins!


Overall, "I ♥ Chocolate" is an outstanding ice cream, right up there with Caramel Turtle Cheesecake as my favorite Blue Bell offering. The creamy milk chocolate of the base, the medium chocolate of the hearts, the richer dark chocolate of the cake, and the caramel-chocolate of the swirl create a chocolate smorgasbord in the mouth. I know that some aficionados will never agree that a 210-calorie per serving semi-premium ice cream can truly pack the same flavor punch as a 300+ calorie super-premium, but in my view this one does just that.


Where Steve Found It: Target (Baton Rouge, LA)
Steve's Grade: A

8 comments:

  1. I have "I ♥ Chocolate" and "Tin Roof" on my "hitlist". However, this review leaves me with a frustrating question: Why would Blue Bell introduce such an awesomely intriguing flavor like "Caramel Turtle Cheesecake", and then not make it available on a more regular basis?

    Maybe this has something to do with availability of ingredients throughout the year; but past flavors like "Caramel Turtle Cheesecake", and current ones like "Dessert Trio", deserve to be available more often.

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  2. I agree 100%! Would love to be able to have this flavor and CTC and DT available at ALL times. I certainly would never tire of them, LOL.

    It would be interesting to talk with a Blue Bell rep to learn about the marketing strategy that dictates making these great flavors available for very limited periods of time. Frustrating.

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  3. I agree that it's frustrating when Bluebell keeps some boring (in my opinion) flavors available all year round and not flavors like Dessert Trio and Caramel Turtle Cheesecake. I spoke to a Bluebell rep about Dessert Trio and she said that I <3 Chocolate was made this year instead of Dessert Trio. I haven't tried I <3 Chocolate so I can't compare the two, but I'm very sad that they're not making Dessert Trio this year. I've tried almost all of their flavors and it's my favorite by far.

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  4. Olivia, I love Dessert Trio as well and await its return. Still, right now Blue Bell has four excellent flavors available - I ♥ Chocolate, Happy Tracks, Tin Roof, and Chocolate Covered Cherries are all IMO very comparable to Dessert Trio and Caramel Turtle Cheesecake. So if you haven't tried some of those, I'd give them a shot. :)

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  6. Olivia, I, as well as you, am also disappointed about Desert Trio's (hopefully) temporary dismissal. However (!), Steve and Olivia, I think Blue Bell has "overheard" our conversations. When y'all get a chance, go check out Blue Bell's Rotational Flavors for February. I think y'all will be delighted; I know I am!

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  7. I have never tried blue bell but thanks to this review and a sale at publix I bought this flavor today. Thanks for the great review!

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  8. So sad I didn't get the chance to try this ice cream for the second time. I don't even like chocolate ice cream but this ice cream was AMAZINGLY delicious!!! Bring it back to FL please!! :)

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