I love a good banana split - who doesn't? So it was inevitable that I eventually get around to trying Blue Bell's version of this classic treat, an old flavor that they have been making since at least the mid-1990s. Banana Split is described as ... fresh sliced bananas, crushed pineapple, diced maraschino cherries and chopped, roasted almonds into a rich vanilla ice cream with strawberry sauce and chocolate sundae sauce. Sounds decadent enough so I was eager to plunge the spoon in.
Banana Split is a difficult flavor to evaluate, as there are so many things go on with it, some of which work and some of which do not. On the positive side of the ledger is the combination of the rich and creamy vanilla base and the strawberry sauce, which is tasty, and so evenly distributed that it makes it seem like one is eating a combination of vanilla and strawberry ice cream. The chopped roasted almonds are also a plus, something you can sink your teeth into while adding a nice nutty texture. Finally, the chocolate sundae sauce is another winner. It's really more of a chocolate syrup than a thick sauce, but it sure does taste good and gels nicely with the other ingredients.
But, Banana Split is not all to the good. While the label claims that the fruits are "fresh sliced", what we get is frozen. All three fruits are of the frozen variety, which is both unpleasant to bite and saps the fruit of their natural flavors. The bananas fare the best, as they tend to be large slices and hence have a soft, fresh core. But the cherries and pineapple are frozen through and through. Ugh. But, this is one case where mix-in stinginess is rewarded. The fruits are not provided in abundance, meaning that most of the spoonfuls lack them. And when that happens, the synergy among the ice cream, nuts, and various sauces produces a most pleasant sensation in the mouth.
Where Steve Found It: Winn Dixie
Steve's Grade: B