Passing by my local Winn Dixie I noticed a Blue Bell flavor I'd never seen before: Mexican Praline, a regional release Blue Bell says is available for the next three months in the southern areas of four states- Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana. So for example in Texas you probably can't find it north of Austin. Blue Bell describes Mexican Praline as praline flavored ice ream with Mexican praline candy, pecans, and praline sauce. Being from Louisiana, I love pralines of all varieties, so I was very eager to get this tub home so I could sample its pleasures.
Cracking open the lid, I saw evidence of everything Blue Bell claims this ice cream packs. There were flecks of pecans, a swirl of caramel-type sauce, and signs of a praline candy or two, all embedded within a vanilla base. Digging in, I quickly found the praline candies. These Mexican candies have more than a hint of cinnamon to them, and also a creamier texture and taste as compared to the New Orleans pralines I am familiar with. I found these pralines to be outstanding, clearly better than the ones used in Blue Bell's Pecan Pralines and Cream flavor. The creaminess and cinnamon provides a warm spiciness to the candy that was delectable. Best of all, some of these candies were gigantic, among the largest mix-ins I've ever encountered in a Blue Bell flavor. The praline sauce was also very tasty, chewy and rich but not overwhelmingly sweet. In fact, that is one of this flavor's outstanding qualities: Unlike say the recent Mocha Madness and arguably even Magic Cookie Bar flavors, which are so stuffed with sweet mix-ins that they are almost too sweat, Mexican Praline doesn't overdo it. The pecans and pralines are fairly plentiful, but not so abundant that they wipe out the flavor of the base. If Mexican Praline has a weakness, it is this base, which is not one of Blue Bell's premium vanillas, but when eaten in isolation comes across as rather a less rich and creamy vanilla.
Nevertheless, the base does work, because it isn't eaten in isolation, but in combination with the praline components of this ice cream, and together they have a strong synergy. Mexican Praline isn't Blue Bell's best offering, and those who demand a barrage of mix-ins might dissent, but I appreciate the way the moderate quantity of mix-ins work effectively together to create a very tasty Mexican treat on one's palate, enough to merit a grade of A-minus. If you are lucky enough to live in the southwestern strip of land between and south of Baton Rouge, LA and Phoenix, AZ, give this a try.
Where Steve Found It: Winn Dixie (Baton Rouge, LA)
Steve's Grade: A