Tuesday, November 27, 2012

To Mix-in or Not To Mix-in? Part II: To Mix-in

I wrote last time about mix-ins that I didn't think added to the ice cream. I also talked about how there was another ice cream I thought that I wouldn't like because of the mix-ins and how I was wrong.

I really didn't think that the Cannoli Ice Cream (from their site: "Mascarpone Ice Cream with Fudge Covered Cannoli Pastry Shell Chunks & a Mascarpone Swirl.") from Ben & Jerry's needed fudge when I read about it for the first time. Chocolate? I am a cannoli purist -- I lived in Boston's North End for seven years (I loved it there) and can have debates with friends over whether Maria's or Modern is better. (Ok, ok, maybe a real purist wouldn't even want to try Cannoli Ice Cream.) But I did. I wanted to try it anyway.

I looked a lot to find this ice cream. At first I was too early and it hadn't hit the shelves yet. Then, apparently, it was harder to find than other flavors and they must have gotten a lot of questions about it, because they produced a total social media driven "Cannoli Finder." My local locations weren't showing up yet, so I would just hope I'd see it at the grocery store and I would be the one to be able to add it. Finally, one day, when I thought I was out of luck at my local Shaw's, BAM!, there it was at an end cap. I bought a pint. Bad idea...*

Ok, so, um, I loved it. First of all, I realized it would only be "Marscapone Ice Cream" with out the shells mixed in, but without being enrobed in fudge, the shells would be soggy, so I think that it was almost necessary  Second, the fudge didn't take away anything for me. In fact, I hardly noticed it. It wasn't an overwhelming flavor or anything. Just enough. Finally, Ben & Jerry's is kind of defined by its mix-ins. (Their site does say, "The road to Euphoria is paved with chunks and swirls!") I don't think it would be the same if there weren't chunks to search for! The flavor itself is rich but light at the same time. Does this make sense? I think my husband says it best when we had this conversation after first breaking open the pint:

Husband: What flavor is Cannoli?

Me: Marscapone but doesn't it taste like pistachio? (I have since changed my mind on the pistachio opinion...)

Husband: No. It tastes like "good." (I agree, but I might say great!)

*So then I ran into a problem. At the time of this writing, I was very pregnant and I started to crave it. I made my husband and daughter and I go back to the Shaw's (not our closest grocery store, I might add) to go shopping...and guess what?! They were out. So, I have polished off a pint of Cherry Garcia (still an excellent standby) but I was still craving Cannoli. I'll just have to keep looking.

It's a good thing I found this. Just the other day I realized my other Cannoli supplier would never be my supplier even if they did arrive out in these parts. They no longer make it.

Ben & Jerry's...please don't do this to me and take it off the shelves in the end. Make this a permanent flavor. I would be so grateful.

So here it is. To mix-in.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

To Mix-in or Not To Mix-in? Part I: Not to Mix-in

I'm having a bit of a mix-in mix-up. Usually I like mix-ins. In this way, I do not take after my mother. She's not a fan.

Here's what happened. I bought two ice cream flavors recently -- one that I expected I wouldn't like as much because of the mix-ins and another I thought I would like because of the mix-ins. In both cases, I was wrong.

My sister suggested I try Talenti's Sea Salt Caramel Gelato. Amazing ice cream. Really amazing. Creamy, smooth, and a perfect salty/sweet flavor. But, while I usually find myself searching out the mix-ins, I found myself digging around the mix-ins. First of all, I couldn't tell what they were. The container doesn't tell me a thing. I read chocolate on one site. Didn't taste that way to me. Second of all, the gelato was smooth, wonderful perfection -- smooth and creamy -- it just did not need anything else. I found my frozen euphoria broken up by chunks of...

Well, I'll be..."small sea salt caramel truffles that have been bathed in chocolate." You got it, Ice Cream Informant! I don't know why I doubted you except for the fact that  it just didn't taste that way to me.

Anyway, would I buy this again? Yes. But would I be happier without the mix-ins? Yes.

Stay tuned for my next post where I am happily surprised with the mix-in.


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