Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ice cream review: Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Peppermint Crunch

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

This latest flavor from Ben & Jerry's starts with a base of chocolate ice cream, then mixes in a fudge and peppermint ribbon, and into the concoction adds plenty of little crunchy balls of minty chocolate cookie.

I almost gave this one a Score of 3.5 out of 5 scoops, but then I realized this ice cream is better than that even though it didn't quite live up to my expectations.

Don't get me wrong, this is a quality ice cream, it's just I felt the chocolate was too strong.

How can chocolate be too strong? Sounds crazy, right. Well, in this instance, there are two factors in my opinion: 1.) though the label says the ice cream involved here is chocolate, it seemed a little darker and richer to me than Ben & Jerry's usual chocolate base ice cream, and 2.) this isn't supposed to be only a chocolate ice cream, but also a peppermint one, and my taste buds told me the chocolate was too strong to allow much of the peppermint flavor to get through.

That doesn't mean none of the peppermint flavor comes through, because it does, and I'll freely admit that those who like their minty flavorings in lighter doses will likely be thrilled with this ice cream. But for those of us who like our minty flavorings to have a big kick, this ice cream left a little to be desired.

Let me reiterate: This is not a bad ice cream, not by any means. Chocolate fans should unite in their love for Ben & Jerry's latest. Just don't expect it to be overly strong in the peppermint department.

I mentioned the chocolate ice cream seeming stronger than usual, and that was a draw for me. The fudge and peppermint ribbon added a nice little twist, and some zing, to this flavor. And I truly loved the little minty chocolate cookie balls because not only did they come in abundance, but they kept their solid crunch factor, which is not something I can always say when cookies are added to ice cream (though Ben & Jerry's seems to have this trick down quite well in all their flavors).

So, if you're a chocolate lover and want to try something new, give this ice cream a try. If you're a peppermint fan, you'll still likely enjoy this treat. For those who are simply Ben & Jerry's lovers, you've got one more great flavor to add to your list.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ice cream review: Blue Bunny I Do!, I Do! Wedding Cake

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

When I'm really in the mood to splurge on some grande ice cream, I have to admit, Blue Bunny ice creams don't normally fit the bill for me. It's not that Blue Bunny is awful, because the company definitely makes some decent frozen treats, but when I really, really want something awesome, I usually turn to one of the higher-priced brands.

But I'm not sure I can think that way any longer.


Because of the new I Do!, I Do! Wedding Cake ice cream from Blue Bunny.

I still won't claim this flavor is equal to the best of the higher-end companies, but it's at least as good (if not better than) some of the middle-of-the-road flavors by the big boys.

And why not? Here you'll find sweet buttercream frosting flavored ice cream with raspberry sauce stripes and chunks of white cake.

Now, about each individual part of this ice cream:

First up, the sweet buttercream frosting ice cream. Uh, yeah, it tastes like buttercream frosting, really. It's not quite as cream as the real thing, but the flavor is just right without being overpowering. Here's a tip, though: If you want this ice cream to have a smoother texture and a creamier taste, let it sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes or so before trying.

Now about that raspberry swirl. It's good, darn good, and I'm someone who isn't a big fan of raspberries because too often (in my opinion) raspberry has a flavor that's much too tart for my liking. That's not the case here. Here you've got a nice, light, sweet raspberry swirl that mixes well with the other flavors to be found.

And last but not least, those chunks of white cake. They're pretty good stuff. Normally I want tons and tons of goodies added to my ice cream, but here I think too much of the cake pieces would have been over the top. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of cake chunks here to be found, but there aren't so many as to take away from this ice cream's other elements.

All in all, the Blue Bunny folks have done themselves proud, and now I'll have to eat my words and eat more of their ice creams. If this is any indication of the direction this company is headed, then I'll be glad to ride along with them.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ice cream review: Talenti Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup gelato

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

I've tried several Talenti gelatos by this point, and I have to say, I've yet to be disappointed. This is another great one from this company.

The title might fool you a little. You might be expecting actual peanut butter cups here, but that's not the case. Don't worry, though, because what you get is still awesome.

Take a smooth and creamy chocolate ice cream, add an a peanut butter swirl, and chunks of chocolate, and you've got the basics of this gelato. The chocolate ice cream will do any chocolate fan proud, as its one of the smoothest around without being too rich but just right. The peanut butter swirl is a bit stiff because of the frozen nature of this food, but let it sit out of the refrigerator for 5 or 10 minutes and you'll get a light, smooth peanut butter. And this tastes like real, quality peanut butter, not that overly sweet stuff sometimes passed off for peanut butter in some candies and ice creams. And the chocolate chunks here are to die for! Sweet without being too sweet, and chocolate without being too chocolate. Does that make sense?

As always (at least so far), I can always recommend Talenti.