Tuesday, January 20, 2015

READER REVIEW: Elliot's Review of McConnell's Toasted Coconut Almond Chip

Is there something about coconut that takes us to that tropical state of mind so many of us seek in the cold winter months?


Toasted Coconut Almond Chip was one of the first flavors the new family owners developed themselves after taking the reins a few years ago (in 2012). We've witnessed evolution, not revolution at McConnell's since that time, with the new owners investing in the product, upgrading equipment; ensuring product quality and consistency.


McConnell's employs a unique molten chip process. Most companies use chocolate flakes to save money. McConnell's take Guittard chocolate, heat it over 100 degrees and marry it with ice cream at about 20 degrees. Chips splinter off, freezing in a variety of sizes, but within a tight range. There are some who are fans of the large nuggets of soy oil infused chocolate in Graeter's' chip flavors. Spoon sized chunks / mouthfuls of pure chocolate chip create an inherent flavor imbalance. McConnell's uses a process that offers a nice mouth feel, balanced flavor and texture.


Salt roasted almonds and toasted coconut provide an abundance of flavor and textural notes to keep things interesting. This is a nice follow up pint for those who have fallen in love with the behemoth Double Peanut Butter Chip, as they share some great nutty and chocolaty attributes. The coconut pulp is noticeable, but not overwhelming. By toasting the coconut flakes, they added subtle yet significant depth of flavor, getting more mileage out of the coconut component while avoiding coconut overload. The salt roasted almonds add a decidedly pleasant nutty element.


This is one of the 'busier" flavors in the stable of McConnell's flavors. There are more mix ins and flavor components here than in most of their lineup. One thing I can tell you about McConnell's is that the simplicity is intentional. The bases alone are so perfect that they don't need to overdress them to hide flaws, and they simply feature or accent their bases with a few simple components. The 18.5% butterfat and less than 10% overrun ice cream is best of breed when it comes to ultra premium ice cream. If you are a fan of things chocolate and coconut, this pint won't disappoint.


Where Elliot Found It: Straub's Market
Elliot's Grade: A

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