Saturday, June 7, 2014

READER REVIEW: Steve's Review of Blue Bell Strawberry Cheesecake

It's summertime in the south, so Blue Bell is rolling out its fruity flavors. While Strawberry Cheesecake isn't an official summer seasonal, it seems to appear around this time every year, and after having had great luck with their excellent Blueberry Cheesecake offering, I decided the time was right to try this. Also, I noticed that while the Ice Cream Informant reviewed this flavor two years ago, the nutritional value has changed from 150 calories per serving then to 170 calories per serving now, indicating that perhaps the flavor has been enhanced. Blue Bell describes Strawberry Cheesecake as rich cheesecake ice cream with cheesecake pieces, succulent strawberries and swirls of delicious, strawberry sundae sauce. Just about all of this sounded good, so I was eager to dig in!

Plunging in the spoon, I quickly realized that Blue Bell has a winning flavor on its hands. The base ice cream is the same excellent cheesecake ice cream used in their blueberry and cherry cheesecake varieties: rich, creamy, and both sweet and savory like a good cheese. The sundae sauce is provided in reasonably generous quantity, and has a juicy strawberry flavor, with tiny seeds that lend it a taste of authenticity. The best mix-in are the pieces of cheesecake. These are chunks, thick squares of real cheesecake, and they are provided in plentiful quantity! The one wild-card here are the so-called "succulent" strawberries. Blue Bell's one real weakness has been that fruit mix-ins tend to be frozen like blocks of ice, tasting like chunks of popsicle rather than succulent fruit. Most of the strawberries in this tub were not frozen, and indeed had a juicy fresh fruit flavor. However, I did come across a couple of big strawberries that were pretty much frozen, and this despite my practice of letting the ice cream melt for a while to soften it up.

Overall, I really liked Strawberry Cheesecake. The few frozen fruit chunks were not enough to detract from the generally outstanding flavor of the strawberry sauce, cheesecake chunks, and rich and cheesy base. No, this isn't in Blue Bell's topmost tier, and if the Ice Cream Informant allowed for such shadings, I'd assign it an A- or B+. But forced to choose between and A and a B, I'll go with ....

Where Steve Found It: Target
Steve's Grade: A

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