Monday, September 26, 2011

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey

Ice cream review by John
Score: 4 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

Banana ice creams sometimes throw me off because to my taste buds the banana is too powerful, blocking out the taste of anything else mixed in. That's not the case here, I'm happy to report, so no need to worry on that front.

What you've got here is banana ice cream with pieces of walnuts and little chunks of chocolate fudge.

As can be expected from Ben & Jerry's, this is quite a smooth ice cream. And the fudge and walnut chunks have a perfect mixture; in other words, there's enough to add a little flavor and texture, but not enough to knock out the banana flavoring.

I think Chunky Monkey is a fine ice cream by itself, but I also think some fine additions might be a little hot fudge on top, maybe also some whipped cream (the real stuff, not that garbage spewed from a can). You might even add a cherry on top, and then you'd almost have a banana split.

However you decide to eat this ice cream, it is most definitely worth your time to try.

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Cake Batter

Ice cream review by John
Score: 3.5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

Oh, yeah! When I first heard about this ice cream, I knew I just had to give it a try. Not only is yellow cake with chocolate frosting my favorite cake of all time, but I remember as a kid licking the spoon free of cake batter when my mom was finished using it while baking.

Unfortunately, this ice cream sounds a little better than it actually is. No, it's not awful, not by any means. But I think perhaps I had too high of expectations.

Yes, this is yellow cake batter ice cream with a swirl of chocolate frosting. Yes, it's pretty darn good. But no, it's not perfect.

How is it not perfect? Well, the base of yellow cake batter ice cream is kind of weak in flavor. Oh, there's flavor there, but it's not all that strong. I don't expect such flavor to take up the entire experience of tasting this ice cream, but I did expect it to have a little more oomph. The chocolate frosting swirl is also a little casual, in my opinion. Again, I think I expected something stronger, something more.

The big question, however, is: would I try this ice cream again. Yes, most definitely, but I'll have lower expectations next time.

And besides, it's still a pretty good ice cream.

Ice cream review: Häagen-Dazs Banana Split

Ice cream review by John
Score: 4 out of 5 scoops
Company: Häagen-Dazs

If you want the pleasure of a banana split without all the messy clean-up, you need to try Banana Split ice cream from Häagen-Dazs.

What you've got here is a mixture of banana ice cream with whipped cream, then a fudge swirl and pieces of cherry and strawberry added in. Basically, just what you might expect in a banana split, right? Only, and this is a bit difficult to explain, here it's just about perfect.

The Häagen-Dazs people did a solid job with their base, the banana and whipped cream. Both are balanced quite well here, and the fudge swirl is just right, enough to bring a little of that chocolate fudge flavor without going overboard. The fruit pieces are also a nice tough, adding a little texture and a hint of flavor without burdening the ice cream.

As with all Häagen-Dazs flavors, this one is quite smooth.

Do I have any complaints, especially since I didn't give a full 5 out of 5 scoops for a score? No, no complaints, but my personal preference would have been for the fudge and perhaps the whipped cream to have been just the tiniest big stronger. But those are personal preferences, and I realize others might want something different.

Ice cream review: Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino

Ice cream review by John
Score: 4 out of 5 scoops
Company: Starbucks

Coffee lovers should be thrilled with this ice cream, and even for those who might not like coffee ice creams, you need to give this one a try.

The coffee flavor here is strong enough to taste, but it's not overpowering at all. In fact, the coffee flavoring, and this ice cream's base texture, are quite smooth, rippling across the tongue.

That being said, it's the chunks of dark chocolate that truly make this ice cream a pleasure. The chocolate is a little like chips of dark chocolate, but not overly hard.

I'm big on textured foods, and this one gets it just right, having the right amount of the chocolate chunks with the smooth coffee ice cream. I'm glad I tried it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Clusterfluff

Ice cream review by John
Score: 3.5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

Clusterfluff from Ben & Jerry's starts with a peanut butter ice cream, then adds a marshmallow swirl with a peanut butter swirl and little pieces of caramel clusters. Sound delish, right? It pretty much is.

I'm not normally a big fan of peanut butter ice creams even though I love peanut butter and peanut butter candies. The reason for this is because I usually feel peanut butter ice creams are too strong in flavor, overshadowing anything else that might be mixed in. That is not the case here. Ben & Jerry's has got their base of peanut butter ice cream just right, very smooth with a little sweet peanut butter flavor, but no so much that you can't taste the other elements found within Clusterfluff.

I usually feel much the same about marshmallow when added to ice cream, that it's too overpowering, but again, that is not the case here. In fact, this might be the best addition of a marshmallow swirl to any ice cream I've ever tasted. I'm not sure, but I'm thinking maybe the addition of the peanut butter swirl helps with this, blending the marshmallow and peanut butter together in a perfect unison that gives you the effect of both but without either taking over.

The little caramel clusters are okay, but I found them a little disappointing. They're not quite crunchy, not quite soft, sort of in the middle. And the caramel flavor I felt was a big generic, sort of like cheap caramel candies. I know Ben & Jerry's can do better with their caramel.

Over all, I found this a pretty good ice cream, but it's not a favorite. And there's nothing wrong with that. Ben & Jerry's puts out several others that are favorites of mine. Besides, all of us have different tastebuds, and I'm sure Clusterfluff is a favorite to someone out there.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Blueberry Cheesecake

Ice cream review by John
Score: 4 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

This treat combines two of my favorite things, blueberry and cheesecake, so you might think it should score a perfect 5 out of 5 scoops. Unfortunately, it does not, but it's still a pretty good ice cream.

Why not the perfect score? To tell it like it is, because the blueberry flavor here is too strong, pretty much overpowering all other flavors in this ice cream. If Ben & Jerry's would knock back the blueberry a little bit, this would help to elevate this treat to the next level.

Much like one of my favorites, Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake, this one includes that scrumptious graham cracker swirl which is like a piece of heaven in your mouth. If you like graham cracker flavoring, then you need to try these ice creams.

The majority of the ice cream here is a mixture of cheesecake and blueberry, which works well enough, but as I mentioned, the blueberry flavor tends to overshadow everything else.

Ah, well. Not every ice cream can be perfect. This one is definitely a step in the right direction, but a little tweaking could make it better, in my opinion.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Schweddy Balls a new flavor from Ben & Jerry's

Yes, Ben & Jerry's has come out with yet another new flavor, this one titled "Schweddy Balls" and named after a famous Saturday Night Live skit starring Alec Baldwin, Molly Shannon and Ana Gasteyer. If you're old enough to remember this skit, you'll also remember just how hilarious it was.

I've yet to try this new flavor, but it comes with a vanilla base and a hint of rum, as well as fudge-covered rum and chocolate layered malt balls. Sounds good to me!

If you'd like to see the original SNL skit, check out this link at Hulu.

Or check out this video below about the new Schweddy Balls ice cream.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ice cream review: Häagen-Dazs Cookies & Cream

Ice cream review by John
Score: 4 out of 5 scoops
Company: Häagen-Dazs

My wife is the big Häagen-Dazs fan, but I can't complain about the company's ice creams because they are some of the smoothest around.

This flavor, Cookies & Cream, is no exception.

As with most Cookies & Cream ice creams, this one is vanilla ice cream mixed with chocolate cookies and a little stiff cream. The cookies are basically akin to Oreo cookies, but obviously can't be called such for legal reasons.

Here the folks at Häagen-Dazs provide their traditionally smooth vanilla ice cream as the base, and a fine vanilla it is. Though I prefer "stuff" in my ice cream, whenever I am in the mood for just plain ice cream that's smooth, I always go with Häagen-Dazs.

The cookies here are of high quality, and for the most part they come in big chunks with a few crumbs here and there throughout the vanilla ice cream. My only complaint is that I felt there weren't enough chocolate cookie pieces. Most Cookies & Cream ice creams disappoint me because the cookie pieces are so small, but that wasn't the case here; the cookie pieces were big enough for my pleasure, but there just weren't that many of them. Still, I'd not turn my nose up at this particular ice cream, and there's nothing wrong with my score of 4 out of 5 scoops.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Late Night Snack

Ice cream review by John
Score: 4 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

Hate to say it, but this one did not live up to my expectations. Don't get me wrong, it's still a pretty good ice cream, thus my score, but ... I don't know, I think I expected something ... better?

What you've got here is your basic vanilla bean ice cream with a salty caramel swirl and potato chip clusters that are covered in chocolate fudge. Sounds awesome, right? So what could go wrong?

Frankly, it's those potato chip clusters covered in fudge. They're just not all that great. They're like little salty pieces of cereal, sort of, and it just didn't work for me. It's one of those things where the idea sounds better than it really is. Those chip clusters aren't awful, and the fudge covering helps, but sometimes they're a little soft, almost soggy, and I can't abide that in anything having to do with potato chips.

Okay, enough bitching! What about the good stuff? Well, the vanilla bean ice cream is pretty good quality, and then there is the swirl of salty caramel, and this is where this ice cream truly shines. I'm a huge fan of salty caramel, and Ben & Jerry's does not disappoint on this point. No, it's not the richest caramel I've ever had, but it's pretty darn smooth and tastes oh-so-creamy in my mouth. The swirl is a fine concoction of salty and sweet flavors combined.

To back up just a little, for all my complaints, this ice cream is worth trying. It might even turn into one of your favorites, even though it's not mine. For its unique qualities, and because after all it's not that bad an ice cream (hey, 4 out of 5 scoops is still pretty good), I can suggest this ice cream to anyone.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ice cream review: Giffords Roasted Coconut

Ice cream review by John
Score: 4 out of 5 scoops
Company: Giffords

This was the first time I tried an ice cream from these Silver Spring, Maryland, folks, and I can't say I was disappointed.

What you've got here is a base made with a solid vanilla ice cream, then toasted coconut flakes strewn throughout. And it works. I'm a big coconut fan, so I was almost assured to like this ice cream, but I was surprised at the depth and richness of the coconut flavor without it going over the top. Too often coconut candies and ice creams suffer from either the coconut overtaking all other flavors or hardly being there at all, but in this instance the coconut flavoring was just right, mixing well with the vanilla ice cream to bring a delicious treat to your tongue.

I have to say this wasn't exactly the smoothest or creamiest ice cream I've ever had, but it was right up there near the top. I'll be giving other Giffords ice creams a try. I hope they're all as good as this one!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's half baked

Ice cream review by John
Score: 2.5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

Considering this is basically a mixture of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream and Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream, two ice creams that are not favorites but I still enjoy, you might think this particular ice cream would go over well with me.

But it doesn't.

Though I'll admit I'm not a hundred percent sure it is the fault of Ben & Jerry's. I've tried this ice cream several times from different stores, though all in my region, and every time this ice cream has been very dry, almost powdery, reminding me somewhat of powdered chocolate milk mix. Maybe this ice cream simply has that kind of texture, but I'm wondering if a bad batch was delivered to my area or if something else is going on because normally I at least like Ben & Jerry's ice creams.

Also, the chocolate overwhelms here, leaving the vanilla practically nonexistent in the flavoring. Also, the cookie dough is swamped by the chocolate and the fudge pieces, so you can't really taste them either.

All in all, this is one Ben & Jerry's flavor I'm not likely to try again anytime soon, though I might consider it the next time I'm traveling away from home.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Boston Cream Pie

Ice cream review by John
Score: 3.5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

I can't quite call this a favorite from Ben & Jerry's, but it is still a darn good ice cream. What they've done here is start with a base of Boston Cream Pie ice cream, then add some small flakes of chocolate fudge, mix in some chunks of yellow cake and finally swirly around some pastry cream.

All of it comes together into a pretty good mix. But I have some quibbles.

First, the pieces of fudge are tiny, so tiny I could barely taste them at all. Second, while all of the ingredients here are quality and taste well enough on their own, the mixture didn't quite work for me. It wasn't that it tasted bad, just that the combination of all these flavors didn't quite mesh. How to explain this? The various ingredients here worked against one another, leaving a final flavor that was sort of like Boston Cream Pie in that is was sweet, but overall I couldn't taste much of anything other than that vague sweet flavor. Too much of a mixture for me, I suppose.

I think an improvement would have been to have one of the elements here to be a little stronger. Larger or more robust fudge flakes would help, as possibly would stronger-flavored cake pieces. It might also help if the flavoring of the base ice cream was just a little less overpowering, drowning out the flavors of the other ingredients.

Still, a quality ice cream and worth trying.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Bonnaroo Buzz

Ice cream review by John
Score: 4.5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

I am not a big fan of coffee ice cream. Nor do I like malt ice cream. Whiskey caramel is not a favorite. And English toffee is one of my least favorite candies.

Guess what? This ice cream includes all of those, and it ROCKS!

That's right, Bonnaroo Buzz from Ben & Jerry's is a mixture of malt and coffee ice creams with a whiskey caramel swirl and pieces of English toffee. By all rights, I should not like this ice cream, but it I love it.

I'm big on textures in my ice cream, and here there is plenty of that with the chunks of toffee throughout. I always like caramel, though usually not with a whiskey bent, but here it works, providing a creamy sweet smoothness that takes this treat to a higher level. And while I normally don't care for malt or coffee ice creams, Ben & Jerry's has combined them to perfection, giving a hint of each flavor but neither one being overpowering.

Bonnaroo 2008 Live DvdAnd in case you're wondering, this ice cream is named for the Bonnaroo Mustic & Arts Festival held annually in Tennessee. This festival has been done proud by this Ben & Jerry's flavor.

If you've not tried this ice cream, rush out and do so. If your local stores do not carry this ice cream, then by all means beg them to get it. You'll relish this fine treat.

Ice cream review: Skinny Cow Strawberry Cheesecake

Ice cream review by John
Score: 3 out of 5 scoops
Company: Skinny Cow

What you've got here is your basic low-fat cheesecake ice cream with a strawberry swirl running throughout. As can be expected, because this is a low-fat product, the flavor is somewhat lacking. This is by no means an awful ice cream, it's just not a great one.

The cheesecake ice cream portion I found to be someone bland, and it has that spongy, almost rubbery texture common to low-fat dairy products.

Where I thought this ice cream shined the most was with its strawberry swirl. No, it doesn't taste like fresh strawberries, but it has a kind of strawberry jelly or gel quality that reminds me of some strawberry candies. Here I felt it worked.

It's a far cry from the quality of ... oh, let's say Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream, but if you're on a low-fat diet this is not a bad choice to make for a dessert.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake

Ice cream review by John
Score: 5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

Yes, I'm an ice cream snob, but when it comes to strawberry cheesecake or strawberry cheesecake ice cream, I'm an even bigger snob.

And this one makes the grade, making it a personal favorite.

The actual ice cream here is strawberry cheesecake flavored, and it's got the expected high quality from Ben & Jerry's. But there's more than just the ice cream. There are sizable slices of strawberry to be found here, and they are quite fresh tasting, bringing an added layer of texture to this treat. But where this ice cream really shines is with the addition of a graham cracker swirl.

Did I say "graham cracker swirl?" Yes, I did, and it is one of the best swirls to ever be included in any ice cream ever made. It's smooth yet slightly crunchy, all at the same time. And it's got a fantastic mix of sweet with a hint of salty, as any good graham cracker should. This stuff is so good, I almost wish Ben & Jerry's would sell a container full of it by itself.

If you love strawberry cheesecake and ice creams flavored as such, do yourself a favor and try this. I've yet to find a strawberry cheesecake ice cream that is better. And if you know of one, by all means, let me know, too!

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Americone Dream

Ice cream review by John
Score: 5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

This is a personal favorite, so I just had to give it 5 scoops.

What's so great about this ice cream? Well, it's named for comedian Stephen Colbert, for one thing. That right there should be enough to get you to try this treat. But for your taste buds, this vanilla ice cream includes a caramel stripe running through it as well as pieces of waffle cone covered in a layer of fudge. If that description won't get you to try this ice cream, then nothing will.

Here Ben & Jerry's is at its best, mixing all that chocolate and vanilla and caramel with the waffle cone to create a concoction just short of heaven itself. The vanilla ice cream base is solid, as is always the case with Ben & Jerry's, and the caramel swirl is a true delight, sweet and creamy. But then there are the waffle cone pieces, which add a slightly crunchy texture. The fudge layering on the waffle cone pieces adds just a bit more complexity, and boosts the chocolate quotient quite a bit.

If you love vanilla, chocolate and caramel, you should love this ice cream. And if, like me, you enjoy textured ice creams, the waffle cone pieces add to the fun.

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia

Ice cream review by John
Score: 3.5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

Let me tell you right up front, I'm not much of a cherry fan. That being said, I have to add, this ice cream won me over. I didn't expect to like it, at least not much, because I mean ... come on, I've yet to have a Ben & Jerry's flavor that actually sucked.

Anyway, the cherry here is not too strong, which I find is the case in many cherry ice creams, candies and cakes. The cherry flavoring here is light, just enough to give a little of that fruity zing. There are pieces of cherry in this ice cream, but they are small and not enough to imbalance the texture.

You chocolate fans need to pay attention to this one. Yes, there are little pieces of fudge throughout, and they really shine here. Honestly, if someone torn off the label and told me this was a chocolate ice cream with a little fruit added, I would have believed them. That's how strong those fudge shavings can be here.

All in all another excellent flavor from Ben & Jerry's. I can't wait to try another one!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ice cream review: Skinny Cow Caramel Cone

Ice cream review by John
Score: 2.5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Skinny Cow

A scoops score of 2.5 is right in the middle when the top possible score is a 5. Which is right where this ice cream belongs, in my opinion. It's not a great ice cream, but it's not awful.

First off, you need to know this is a low-fat ice cream. So, it's obvious that affects much of the taste.

What you've got here is caramel ice cream with a caramel swirl and chocolate-covered pieces of ice cream cone. Sounds great, right? Well, the ice cream isn't all that creamy, and it has that flat, almost bitter aftertaste common among low-fat foods. The caramel swirl is pretty good, though not quite great, being fluid and sweet on the tongue. The chocolate-covered cone pieces are also decent, but they're awfully small and there's not that many of them.

If you're looking for a great-tasting ice cream, this is not it. But if you are trying to stay on a diet and are searching for something that can help with your sweets craving, there are worse choices to make.

Dieting folks, this one's for you. As for true ice cream snobs, look elsewhere.

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie

Ice cream review by John
Score: 4 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

Imagine the smooth coolness of a York Peppermint Pattie combined with the chocolaty crunch of a traditional Oreo cookie. Only better.

If you can do that, then you'll have an inkling of how good this ice cream happens to be.

This is not an ice cream that's drowning in chocolate, so you hardcore chocolate fans might be a little disappointed, but there's still plenty of chocolate kick that most will be more than satisfied. For that matter, if you're that much of a chocolate fan, you should probably just go eat chocolate ice cream. Right?

Those of you who love mint should be happy with this fine treat, and the cookie crunch adds a level of texture that is too often forgotten in lesser mint ice creams. That mixture of crunchy texture and smooth mint is one of the big appeals to this frozen dessert, taking it a step or two above most other mint ice creams.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ice cream review: Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappuccino

Ice cream review by John
Score: 3.5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Starbucks

Um ... ah ... slurp ... yum ... Ah, pardon me. I'm kind of busy finishing off the last of my Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappuccino.

I'm normally not one for relatively plain ice creams that don't have a bunch of stuff in them, but I have to admit this is pretty darn good ice cream.

It's not the smoothest vanilla I've ever tasted, but it does have a better texture than any of the premium brands I've tried. The flavor is strong enough to give you that vanilla oomph, but it's not over the top as some of the higher-end vanilla ice creams sometimes tend to be.

Apparently this treat is made with vanilla beans from Madagascar, which is a nice touch.

And for those of you who do not enjoy coffee, you do not have to worry about that here. There is no coffee involved in making this ice cream, and there is not a coffee flavor present.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ice cream review: Häagen-Dazs Peppermint Bark

Ice cream review by John
Score: 4 out of 5 scoops
Company: Häagen-Dazs

Don't let this holiday ice cream fool you. At first glance it looks like simple vanilla ice cream with a couple of chunks of chocolate and maybe a little red candy tossed in. But it's not. It's so much more than that.

For one thing, that vanilla ice cream isn't vanilla ice cream. Nope, it's a white chocolate ice cream. And that's just the beginning of the pizzazz.

Mixed in with that ice cream are a few chunks of peppermint candy, but more importantly there are tons of pieces of peppermint bark candy.

And if you don't know about peppermint bark candy, you are missing out. Peppermint bark is quite simple, actually, though I have seen different types in stores. The peppermint bark in this ice cream appears to be a thin layer of milk chocolate beneath a layer of white chocolate, atop which is sprinkled little pieces of hard peppermint candy. Add all this together and you've got a great candy, but combine it with the white chocolate ice cream and you've got one of the best holiday ice creams available in grocery stores.

The next time Christmas and Kwanzaa and Hanukkah roll around, do yourself a favor and get a pint or more of this awesome ice cream.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Ice cream review by John
Score: 4 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

Chocolate fans are going to love this one. Ben & Jerry's is known for some pretty darn good ice cream flavors, and Chocolate Fudge Brownie is no exception. The chocolate here is one of the better ones from the larger brands, with enough creamy texture to keep any chocoholic satisfied and enough actual chocolate flavoring to satisfy the taste buds of sweets fans. Mixed in with all that chocolaty goodness are chunks of fudge brownies, most about the size of a small dollop of cookie dough. In my experience, there's enough of the fudge brownie chunks that just about anyone who loves chocolate and brownies should be pleased.

What are the downsides? Not many, but there have to be some otherwise I would have given this ice cream a perfect score of 5 out of 5 scoops, right? To tell the truth, there aren't really any downsides here, it's just that I have had better ice creams, ice creams that were smoother and full of even more chocolaty goodness than is found here. But that being said, most of those better ice creams tend to be your higher-market ice creams which are not always that easy to find. Most grocery stores, however, will carry Ben & Jerry's, and many will carry this particular flavor, so you shouldn't pass this one by if you are in the mood for chocolate and you're not shopping at a specialty establishment.

Truly, this is one of the better chocolate ice creams available. So give it a whirl. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ice cream review: Häagen-Dazs Caramel Apple Pie

Ice cream review by guest
Score: 4.5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Häagen-Dazs

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times … “It’s as American as apple pie!”

The largely patriotic and appetite-inducing phrase evokes images of mom baking away in the kitchen like no other idiom that stirs the salivary glands. The buttery crust that melts in your mouth, the delicate crisp sweetness of the apples … ahh … What could make it any better? Caramel. My answer is ALWAYS caramel.

Here is yet another taste triumph for Haagen-Dazs; it’s their Caramel Apple Pie ice cream. It starts with the milky smoothness of the apple ice cream that has petite portions of juicy tasting apple bites mixed with a hint of cinnamon. Then add in the rich, flaky, buttery piecrust pieces throughout. To perfect this icy delight, there’s the light swirl of velvety caramel running through each spoonful.

I recently tried and reviewed another ice cream in this limited edition line of Haagen-Dazs. It was the Spiced Peach Crumble. Whatever cooking process Haagen-Dazs uses, they get it exactly right. The fruit pieces are just the right balance of tender and yet they stay crisp with the freshest taste.

Do yourself a favor; pick up Haagen-Dazs Caramel Apple Pie ice cream. It will transport you back to mom’s kitchen table and the apple pie that makes you feel at home again.

Ice cream review: Häagen-Dazs Rocky Road

Ice cream review by guest
Score: 4.5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Häagen-Dazs

I have the pint of Haagen-Dazs Rocky Road ice cream in my hand and a spoon at the ready. There’s just one more thing I need … Weird Al Yankovic singing his “revised” version of Joan Jett’s, “I Love Rock & Roll.”


“Baby, I love Rocky Road
So won't you go and buy half a gallon, baby?
I love Rocky Road
So have another triple scoop with me
*Jammin’ to that wicked accordion solo*

The ingredients for Rocky Road are simple: chocolate, marshmallow and almonds. The secret is getting the blend of these three elements just right. Haagen-Dazs has done it again. The milk chocolate flavor of their ice cream is called their signature flavor for a reason. You can taste the creaminess of the rich chocolate mixed with the sweetest, fluffiest clouds of marshmallow swirl and the delicate crunch of the roasted almonds. It is classic ingredients blended so perfectly that it creates something incredibly unique you will want again and again.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Ice cream review by John
Score: 3.5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

This is one of the finest cookie dough ice creams around, but I still found it somewhat lacking. The ice cream part, here a vanilla, is quite creamy and smooth and full of flavor, as are nearly all Ben & Jerry's products. There are little bits of chocolate pieces throughout, almost more like a chocolate chip ice cream than a cookie dough ice cream. And then there are, of course, the expected chunks of cookie dough, here looking and tasting like chocolate chip cookie dough.

All of that sounds great, right?

Well, it is good, I'll give it that. But great? Not quite. I found this to be a somewhat bland ice cream from Ben & Jerry's. Perhaps it's because this flavor is one of the older flavors from the company, and the more modern Ben & Jerry's flavors tend to have so many more gobs of goodness to them, and richness and variety and complexity.

Please do not misunderstand. This is a quality ice cream. But it feels like something is missing. Maybe some nuts or some chocolate syrup or a caramel swirl ... something. As is, I found it just a notch above plain.

If you search for this ice cream in the stores, it is labeled "Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough" in the pint and quart sizes, but it's simply called "Cookie Dough" in the single serve, 3.6 ounces size.

Bonus trivia: Did you know Ben & Jerry's created the very first chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ice cream review: Talenti Caramel Cookie Crunch gelato

Ice cream review by John
Score: 4.5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Talenti

Talenti is one of those companies of which I've yet to find a flavor I didn't like. The Caramel Cookie Crunch gelato is no exception. It's not quite a perfect ice cream, thus only 4.5 out of 5 stars, but it's pretty darn delicious.

The main part of this sweet treat is made up chocolate cookie ice cream with which most of us are familiar in one brand or another; there's lots of vanilla ice cream with bits of chocolate cookie pieces tossed in here and there. But right here is the only real complaint I have about this particular ice cream, that there's not enough of the broken cookies. There's plenty of the vanilla ice cream, and its an excellent, smooth vanilla, but I felt the cookie part was lacking. Maybe it was just the particular batch I tried.

The second part of Talenti's Caramel Cookie Crunch gelato is the creamy caramel swirl that rolls through all that vanilla and chocolate cookies. Think Milky Way candy bear caramel, or better yet soft Godiva caramel. Only better. I wouldn't quite say the caramel here is the best I've ever had, but boy it comes close. Also, this is not an overly rich or sweet caramel, but just right.

If you've not tried Talenti Caramel Cookie Crunch, or any other Talenit flavors, because of the prices (yes, it's kinda pricey) then you are doing yourself a disservice. Yes, times are tight, but don't cheat yourself by not trying some Talenti.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ice cream review: PET Neapolitan

Ice cream review by John
Score: 1.5 out of 5 scoops
Company: PET

As might be expected from a premium brand ice cream, this is not something an ice cream snob wants to eat, at least not on a regular basis. Still, this is not the worst ice cream I've ever tasted, and there was a level of creaminess to the texture and flavoring.

What you've got here are your basic chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavors, but don't expect these flavors to pack a punch. And if you were hoping for pieces of actual strawberries, you better break out a microscope.

Still, if you consider yourself a true ice cream connoisseur, then you probably need to stay away from this product. That being said, PET Neapolitan ice cream can be used to make a pretty good milkshake. Also, the price is fairly inexpensive and in certain parts of the U.S. PET ice creams are readily available just about everywhere, mainly in some regions of the South.

For kids' birthday parties and the like, this is the ice cream you want to buy. For special treats with that special someone on a special night, you can do much better.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Fair Goodness Cake!

Ice cream review by John
Score: 4.5 out of 5 scoops
Company: Ben & Jerry's

As the name implies, this ice cream is made with only Fair Trade Certified ingredients, apparently a growing trend with the Ben & Jerry's folks. Whether you have interests in Fair Trade foods or not, it works here.

This ice cream is another delightful addition to the Ben & Jerry's list of frozen goodies, though this is only a "Limited Batch" so who knows how long it will be around. Hopefully for a good, long time, because this is truly excellent ice cream.
But I can hear you screaming now, "What flavor is it?!?"

Okay, okay. It's chocolate ice cream with pieces of German chocolate cake and a swirl of coconut caramel.

Makes your mouth water just reading that, doesn't it? And it should. This stuff is a-w-e-s-o-m-e!

If you are a fan of other Ben & Jerry's chocolate varieties, you are in for a special treat here. I'm not sure if it's because of the Fair Trade ingredients, but the chocolate in this Ben & Jerry's flavor is more creamy and rich than other flavors, bordering on the smoothness of a Häagen-Dazs chocolate.

And as with most Ben & Jerry's flavors, there is no dearth of the cake pieces and the coconut caramel swirl.
Speaking of that coconut caramel swirl, it brings an extra creamy sweetness to this ice cream, on that is rich but not so much as to make you pucker. In other words, perfect.

The pieces of German chocolate cake are also a nice addition, being plentiful enough to add texture and an extra depth to the chocolate flavoring.

chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, hints of caramel

slight coconut flavor and texture with even more chocolate

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ice cream review: Häagen-Dazs Spiced Peach Crumble

Ice cream review by guest
Score: 4 out of 5 scoops
Company: Häagen-Dazs

One thing I know about is peaches. I’m a Georgia girl, and we know about peaches. Peaches are one of my favorite fruits, and I eat them about any way you can prepare them. So when my husband brought home a new peach ice cream, it was my pleasure to taste it and give my review.The flavor is “Spiced Peach Crumble” from Häagen-Dazs. Before I go any further, I would be remiss if I did not tell you that Häagen-Dazs is my favorite brand of ice cream. I do like other brands of ice cream, but I have yet to find one that I believe is of superior quality. Hey, the blog is called “Ice Cream Snob.” If you were expecting an “all ice creams are created equal” approach, you may be very disappointed!

The base of “Spiced Peach Crumble” is a sweet cream ice cream. It is layered with a generous amount of gently cooked peach pieces and chunks of pie crust that are so buttery it will melt in your mouth. There is a light amount of nutmeg and cinnamon, just enough to enhance the flavor of the sweet, ripe peaches. These peaches must have been picked at the height of the season because they are perfectly sugary and tender.It is a 4 out of 5 scoops for me. I will rarely give a 5 scoops unless the ice cream comes with someone who will do the dishes for me.

fruity peaches, warm nutmeg and cinnamon

lingering butter and sweet summer peach

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

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