Thursday, May 13, 2010

Product review - ice creams

The Better Half and I had some friends in town for the Mini. Indy Grub Review isn't a runner, not by a long shot (actually, IGR is a road biker). But, we had a good time hosting these five friends. One used to live in Indy, but returned to Seattle. He brought his wife and three friends of his. We cooked a lot this past weekend, and we loaded up on various products from our very nice Marsh downtown.

Indy Grub Review loves ice cream. And, we're definitely of the mindset that the more stuff in the ice cream the better. So, we tried 2 new ones we'd not had before, and a third that is pretty new to us, and definitely a winner.

First, let's talk about Homemade Brand's Black Raspberry Chip.

Sure, it is a total copy of Graeter's famous flavor. And, if you've never made it down to the greater Cincinnati area for some of Graeter's ice cream - what are you waiting for??? Anyhow, Homemade Brand is a United Dairy Farmer's product, and it is good ice cream. This is a fantastic flavor. I didn't do a side-by-side comparison with the Graeter's store product (also available at fine local grocery stores, such as the downtown Marsh). But, it is a great flavor, lots of chips, just something you want more of, and want often.

The verdict: 5 belly rubs (out of 5)

Next, we also tried another Homemade Brand flavor that was new to us - Chocolate Caramel Fusion.

If you really like caramel, this is the flavor for you. I'm not sure what type of chemical magic they mustered, but they have a TON of nice gooey caramel woven through this fine, creamy chocolate ice cream. Again, if you LOVE caramel, it is for you. I liked it, but just a bit too MUCH caramel for me.

The verdict: 4 belly rubs (out of 5)

Finally, we tried one of Ben & Jerry's latest flavors - Milk and Cookies.

I'd read on Serious Eats that Ben & Jerry's had released their new spring flavors, so I was on the lookout. From the review and descriptions, Milk and Cookies was the one I was most looking to dip a spoon into. So, known only to the Better Half, I hid the pint of Milk and Cookies deep in the recesses of the freezer, lest some snooping guest find it in a search for sugar. Luckily it went untouched before the guests left. So, Sunday night, the treat was mine alone.

First off, let's say that it is this reviewer's humble opinion that there has likely never been a more dramatic ice cream innovation since the launch of the original cookies and cream flavor. And, as ice cream geniuses have built on that foundation, it is again my humble opinion that Ben & Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk is nearly the nirvana of churned, frozen cream.... So, let's just leave it that the bar is set pretty high. On first taste... good.... a bit better than good most likely... it is primarily a chocolate chip cookie that is in the ice cream, but with kind of a slurry or gobs of an oreo-ish mixture as well. On subsequent visits to the pint, it got better, but doesn't quite match the high of a very good cookies and cream (and, hey, even the generic brands are good) nor the symphony of flavors that make up Oatmeal Cookie Chunk. But, it's a solid flavor, though I'm not sure it clears any new territory to truly be made a permanent flavor.

The verdict - 3.5 belly rubs (out of 5).

Thought - you know what I've long thought would be a great flavor? Nutter Butter Swirl. I mean, since we all know that peanut butter and chocolate are two great tastes that taste great together, shouldn't Nabisco cross-promote Nutter Butters into an ice cream? But, you just have to get some chocolate in their somehow... maybe they've done this long ago and I just missed it, but... come on, that's a grub-tastic item right there!

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