Before I begin I would just like to point out that although this carton of ice cream mentions it being a "New flavor," it most definitely is not! I have been keeping my eye on it for the longest time now, but have never been able to convince anyone in my family to try it with me. I would like to point out that my review may be partially biased since Cotton Candy is hands down my favorite ice cream flavor (especially from Cold Stone - I'll mix it with every other flavor, and as long as Cotton Candy is the base it always tastes good to me). My family, on the other hand, absolutely abhors Cotton Candy because of its typical overpowering sweetness. I finally caved and purchased it anyways since I will be having a root canal and needed something cold afterwards... although as I sit here impatiently writing this I may possible have to run to the store and buy more if I like it enough, because there's no way I can wait until after the procedure to try this.
To be honest, I'm pretty impressed with its ingredients. The first three are milk, cream, and sugar, and as I proceed through the list I don't notice anything that makes me feel uncomfortable (an added bonus for them keeping it clean of partially hydrogenated oils, or trans fats as we all know them by)! It also has 12 half cup servings per container, making the $2.97 price point a bargain.
Upon removing the lid, I took a whiff of the ice cream and noticed a sweet, clean, unmistakable cotton candy scent bringing me back to amusement parks as a child as I tore pieces of cotton candy and tried to lick them off my sticky fingers. There were also some shiny bits of confetti candy pieces evenly distributed across the top. The base was a nice swirl of pastel pink and blue (the different colors tasted the same, but blue cotton candy has always been my favorite anyways).
Being an uncivil member of society, I tackled this frozen dairy dessert straight out of the tub, who needs bowls? As I began taking scoops, it was apparent that Walmart did an excellent job of execution; they managed to keep the pink and blue ratio even, and distributed the candy pieces evenly throughout the ice cream beyond just the top. This is definitely a softer ice cream, so be careful not to let it sit too long because it will certainly melt (the fact that I'm saying this is noteworthy because my father keeps the freezer set abnormally low since he likes dense ice cream). I like softer ice cream though, so I'm not bothered by this at all! If I had to compare it to Cold Stone, I would say it's a little softer whereas Cold Stone's texture is a little more gummy, but it melts in about the same amount of time.
The taste is divine, absolutely divine. To be honest the flavor is just about identical to Cold Stone Creamery's Cotton Candy Ice Cream flavor that I mentioned before, except for the occasional crunch provided by the candy pieces (and the aesthetically pleasing pink swirl). While the candy bits didn't seem to add anything in terms of flavor other than a very slight sweet crunch, they were definitely a fun addition and made this a more rounded ice cream that I could see kids really enjoying, and adults like myself hoarding in the back of the freezer. They kind of remind me of pop rocks, except they aren't uncomfortable to eat by popping around my mouth or throat. Overall, this was very sweet, creamy, and true to the taste! Unlike Starbucks' new Cotton Candy Frappuccino I tried recently with high hopes, you can actually tell this is Cotton Candy flavored. Absolutely nothing about this flavor tastes artificial, and absolutely no part of it is boring. It's definitely easy to eat a bunch of since it has a very pleasant taste and while it's sweet, it's not overly sweet by any means to where you feel sick afterwards. Looks like I'll be saving a lot of money rather than going to Cold Stone every time my Cotton Candy Ice Cream cravings hits! For those who are watching their waistline, Cold Stone Creamery's Cotton Candy Ice Cream has 330 calories for their Like it size, which is 142 grams. Great Value's version has 130 calories for 66 grams; when you do the math, that brings it to 280 calories for 142 grams, making it about 50 calories less than Cold Stone Creamery, as well (sorry for being overly technical there, I was curious)!
After seeing my delight, my family ended up caving and everyone agreed that this was by far one of the most enjoyable Cotton Candy Ice Creams they've tried. My older brother made several remarks about how much he enjoyed the hard candies and how they made the ice cream, my father said he liked how strong the cotton candy taste was and how it reminded him of the carnival, while my mom just simply sat there smiling and moaning. Pretty good for a family who claimed sweets weren't their thing!
Between the price, size, and slight nutritional edge this ice cream has over its competition (I haven't tried Walmart's exclusive Cotton Candy Ben & Jerry's flavor yet), this is definitely an ice cream I will be buying more of! I'm thrilled it's not limited edition like half of my favorite flavors sold by Turkey Hill. This ice cream deserves an easy A. I promise, if you try this you will not be disappointed, especially if you're a fan of Cotton Candy! It is definitely something everyone should try at some point this summer!
Where Caitlin Found It: Walmart
Caitlin's Grade: A