Sunday, December 14, 2014

READER REVIEW: Elliot's Review of McConnell's Winter Cranberry Chip & Egg Nog

I was able to get ahold of a couple of wintery seasonal flavors online at www.McConnells.com. Their seasonal offering covers a broad spectrum ranging from previously reviewed Pumpkin Pie, Cardamom & Swedish Ginger Snaps, Burnt Caramel Apple, to Peppermint Stick (no review yet), Winter Cranberry Chip and Egg Nog.


In the spirit of providing a broad flavor spectrum year round, McConnell's produces a perennial pint featuring cranberry and Guittard chocolate called Winter Cranberry Chip. It represents a bright, tangy berry flavor, which is a nice contrast against the predominantly minty seasonal winter flavors.


Winter Cranberry Chip is the winter seasonal flavor in their line-up of beloved "chip flavors" made using their unique molten chip process. I've loved each one of their flavors featuring Guittard chocolate chips. Double Peanut Butter Chip won gold in the "Outstanding Dessert" category at The 2013 NY Fancy Food Show.


Chef Eva Ein, one of the owners of McConnell's, makes the cranberry preserves in Winter Cranberry Chip as she does for several flavors. Milk Chocolate & Raspberry Jam is one. Their popular summer themed pint, Eureka Lemon & Marionberries also showcases her talent.


The tart/sweet cranberry/cream/chocolate combination is something I've never encountered nor imagined. I can see this flavor profile taking a bit for some people to come around to, as it did for me. There's just no other flavor like it. I'm thankful they had the gall to leave the cranberry out past Turkey Day and sprinkle in Guittard chocolate to give us a uniquely creamy, bitter, sweet and sour treat. It's a very cool combination.


Where Elliot Found It: www.mcconnells.com
Elliot's Grade: A


When I received a holiday pack from McConnell's, I was a little apprehensive about scooping the Egg Nog pint. As one to politely decline a glass of the holiday beverage when offered; I had low expectations for how much I'd enjoy it in ice cream form.


The biggest surprise with the Egg Nog was the balance. The majority of ice creams are not well balanced from a flavor perspective. Creating a custard base that is consistently balanced and not overcooked is a great feat in itself. To crown that achievement with a fantastic flavor atop it is like magic. Some of us have been put off of Egg Nog for life after tasting a batch that's been over-liquored by their rascally Uncle Jeffrey. McConnell's' version uses a hint of rum as a flavor enhancer, enhancing the warm, wintery blend of nutmeg and allspice. Folks who love the nutmeg and allspice aspects of pumpkin spice would enjoy this flavor.


Where Elliot Found It: www.mcconnells.com
Elliot's Grade: A

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