From the monthly archives:

June 2006

Scoop 35: Haagen Dazs: Dulce de Leche / Caramel

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on June 30, 2006

When it rains, it pours. (And I’m not talking about the weather in DC this week.) It’s pouring mini ice cream containers. I went to a café around the corner from my office this afternoon and found out that they carry mini Haagen Dazs. These are a little bigger than Ben and Jerry’s minis (4.23 ounces v. 3.6 ounces). But, they don’t have the really cool tops/spoons that Ben and Jerry’s has– just plain old wooden spoons. The flavors that mini Haagen Dazs comes in are chocolate, vanilla, and dulce de leche (aka caramel). I chose the Dulce de Leche; even though the shop also had a Haagen Dazs brownie sandwich that looked excellent. In hindsight, I should have had that. The dulce de leche was very good, but it wasn’t great. The flavor was subtle and the smoothness was excellent. I’m just not sure I would get it in the future. The flavor just didn’t stand out as something I’ll ever want again.

  • Flavor: 3.5
  • Flavor Intensity: 2.5
  • Texture: 5
  • Originality: 4
  • Overall: 3.5
  • Cost: $1.97

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Scoop 34: Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on June 29, 2006

According to the website, Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie is one of the most popular flavors. I understand why. This ice cream is awesome. It is extremely fudgy in flavor and brownie-like in texture. The texture is rich and dense, yet still creamy. (It’s very hard to describe; but trust me, it’s good.) I had the mini sized container and like yesterday’s mini chocolate chip cookie dough, the pieces were tiny. I’m now convinced that these miniature sized brownie pieces are cut small on purpose—exclusively for the mini ice cream containers. Very cute. Also, did I mention that the miniature ice cream containers also have a secret compartment on top that holds a miniature spoon? And this isn’t a crappy flat wooden “spoon.” This miniature spoon actually has a spoon shape and can hold melted ice cream in it. I’m impressed.

  • Flavor: 5
  • Flavor Intensity: 5
  • Texture: 4.5
  • Originality: 4
  • Overall: 5
  • Cost: $1.00 at Safeway

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Scoop 33: Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on June 28, 2006

Today I picked up 3.5 ounces of Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream. That’s less than a half a cup. The package is extremely cute and it even comes with a mini spoon. I don’t know why there aren’t more brands and flavors available in single serving sizes because really this is the greatest idea ever. If I were in charge of an ice cream company, I would sell “variety packs.” Just like you find with cereals, variety packs of ice cream would be easy to grab on the go and would have enough flavors to satisfy any craving. It would even solve family disputes when the kids are fighting over which ice cream to buy at the store. Finally, the ultimate American reason for ice cream variety packs: controlled portions. That’s right, market to the 85% of the American population who are on a diet. Wow, I didn’t even realize what a great idea it is; maybe I should try to sell it…

I was very pleased with my choice today. Not only was it the perfect size, but it tasted great too. The vanilla ice cream was vanilla bean-y and the cookie dough was really cookie dough-y. I’ve come to realize that Ben and Jerry’s ice cream isn’t the smoothest ice cream. It’s pretty smooth, just not as smooth as Haagen Dazs, for example. But, it more than makes up for that in flavor. If I had to complain about one thing in Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream, it would be the size of the cookie dough pieces. They are tiny. We are talking pea sized, maybe even smaller. This is good in that there is some cookie dough in almost every bite. But it’s bad because there is no excitement when you discover the chunks. In my mini sized serving, I didn’t find one giant chunk. Personally, I always love finding that big chunk.

  • Flavor: 4.5
  • Flavor Intensity: 4
  • Texture: 4
  • Originality: 3
  • Overall: 4
  • Cost: $1.00 at Safeway

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Scoop 32: Breyers Double Churned Chocolate

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on June 27, 2006

Since Edy’s slow churned thing has created such excitement, it seems everyone wants a share.  After trying Breyers Double Churned Chocolate, I’m not so convinced that it’s anything special.  The only thing I can really say about the consistency is that it is softer.  This ice cream wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be.  It was softer and a little fluffier (not a lot, just a little fluffy).  The flavor was good.  A hot coco milk chocolate flavor.  I just wasn’t left feeling like Breyer’s double churned was anything different.

  • Flavor: 4
  • Flavor Intensity: 4.5
  • Texture: 4
  • Originality: 2
  • Overall: 4
  • Cost: $1.79 on special at Safeway

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Scoop 31: Breyers Natural Vanilla

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on June 26, 2006

Theress nothing quite like ice cream to soothe a sore throat and tonsillitis. Who needs chicken noodle soup when you have Breyers Natural Vanilla? Continuing with the saga of super cheap Breyers ice cream on sale at Safeway, today I went for the natural stuff just milk, sugar, cream, and vanilla bean. It is this simplicity that lends the “natural” to Breyers Natural Vanilla. (Breyer’s Natural Vanilla now contains additives.  See discussion below). The vanilla flavor isn’t extremely strong, it’s more of a plain flavor (like when you buy plain instead of vanilla yogurt). It was still quite good, but there is something about the texture that makes it different from other vanilla ice cream. I think it’s maybe that they use skim milk. Like the Breyers Cookies and Cream, it’s just tastes a little watery. But overall, it’s a light tasting, not too vanillay, vanilla ice cream that I really enjoy.

  • Flavor: 4.5
  • Flavor Intensity: 3.5
  • Texture: 3.5
  • Originality: 1
  • Overall: 4
  • Cost: $1.79 on sale at Safeway

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Scoop 30: Breyers Rocky Road

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on June 25, 2006

I wouldn’t call it Rocky Road, I’d call it Chocolate and Almonds. But, who am I to decide what to name Breyers ice creams? This is day two of four in my taste tests of Breyers ice creams. It’s not that I was dying to try any of the Breyers flavors, but the Safeway down the street had its grand re-opening this weekend and half gallons of Breyers were $1.79; down from their usual price of $5.99. I would have purchased more than four, but there’s not enough room in my freezer for all of this ice cream…

The Breyers Rocky Road looked particularly “gourmet” and so I decided to give it a shot. It is chocolate ice cream with marshmallow twirls and chocolate covered almonds. The difference between a “twirl” and a “swirl” is unknown to me, but either one wouldn’t have replaced real marshmallows in my ice cream. The twirls of marshmallow had no distinctive flavor or consistency and I think the ice cream would have been better off without them. However, the chocolate covered almonds were amazing. The chocolate covering was on the sweet side and was about the thickness and texture of the chocolate that covers chocolate covered raisins. And, there were a lot of them. Truly, the chocolate covered almonds were good. While it was littered with these wonderful “accessories”, the chocolate ice cream still stood its ground. It was rich and flavorful and even creamy. Overall, though Breyers Rocky Road wasn’t really deserving of the “rocky road” title, it was still quite scrumptious.

  • Flavor: 4.5
  • Flavor Intensity: 4.5
  • Texture: 4
  • Originality: 3
  • Overall: 4.5
  • Cost: $1.79 on sale at Safeway

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Scoop 29: Breyers Cookies and Cream

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on June 24, 2006

Very Mediocre. That’s the way I’d describe Breyers Cookies and Cream. The cookies don’t have a very strong, or tasty, cookie flavor. I mean what we are really going for when we say “cookies” is Oreo cookies, right? All cookies and cream ice cream uses cookies that try to taste like Oreos. But they never seem to measure up. That is especially the case with the cookies in Breyers Cookies and Cream. They are almost flavorless and very mushy. But there are a lot of them in there, and the ice cream itself is pretty good. My only complaint about the ice cream itself (as opposed to the stuff in the ice cream) comes from a general feeling about Breyers ice cream: it’s kind of watery. I’m not sure what it is, but Breyers has always tasted a little less than creamy. It’s more like drinking skim milk when you’re used to 2% or maybe even whole. When it comes to ice cream, I usually prefer the 2%.

  • Flavor: 3
  • Flavor Intensity: 2.5
  • Texture: 3.5
  • Originality: 2
  • Overall: 3
  • Cost: $1.79 on sale at Safeway

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Scoop 28: Chai Tea Ice Cream at Sweetlicks

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on June 23, 2006

This was good ice cream. Tasted just like chai tea. I haven’t had chai tea in awhile, a least 6 months or so, but I think it tastes like this. Kinda like pumpkin pie without the pumpkin. Anyway, excellent flavor. Sweet and spicy. And the texture was smooth, but not in the thick heavy way. It was actually almost fluffy. When I was in Ireland I had “whipped ice cream” outside the Kilkenney Castle. That’s what the chai tea ice cream and Sweet Licks on R Street tastes like—whipped.

  • Flavor: 5
  • Flavor Intensity: 5
  • Texture: 4.5
  • Originality: 4
  • Overall: 4.5
  • Cost: $3.12

Chai Tea Ice Cream

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Scoop 27: Coconut Ice Cream at Osteria del Galileo

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on June 22, 2006

My brother is in town visiting and so we all went out for a nice dinner at one of my favorite Italian Restaurants in DC- Galileo.  We ate in the “Osteria,” which is cheaper and in the bar area.  After some great sea bass, I ordered the only ice cream listed on the menu: Caramelized Banana.  I’m not a big fan of banana flavored things, but I thought I’d give it a try.  The ice cream (and it was called ice cream, not gelato) came out in a large cone shaped dish that looked like a waffle cone.  I honestly thought it was a waffle cone for a minute, but it was just colored glass.  The ice cream was also presented with a spoon shaped cookie/pastry in it.  I used the “spoon” to taste a little of the ice cream and I said, “Oh, the spoon is made of coconut.”  Then I tried the ice cream with normal silverware and realized that it was the ice cream itself that was coconut, not banana flavored as it said on the menu.  The coconut ice cream was exactly what I’d expect from nice restaurant.  It had really good and intense coconuty flavor, with small bits of coconut in every bite.  But, the texture was just a little icy.  I’m not complaining, because the flavor was excellent; but restaurants never seem to produce really smooth ice cream.  Interestingly enough, we also ordered profiteroles, which our Italian waiter described in broken English as being puff pastries with cream inside.  When he served them he jokingly told us that he hoped we didn’t like them so he could eat the leftovers.  Well, he didn’t get any leftovers.  The profiteroles turned out to be two puff pastries with ice cream sandwiched in between them—kind of like mini ice cream sandwiches.  Only better.  They too were made with the coconut ice cream and were even better than the ice cream by itself.  We never quite figured out why the Profiteroles were made with ice cream and not cream (like a cream puff), but I think they were better that way.

  • Flavor: 5
  • Flavor Intensity: 5
  • Texture: 4
  • Originality: 3
  • Overall: 4.5
  • Cost: $5.00

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Scoop 26: Ben and Jerry’s Dave Mathews Band Magic Brownies

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on June 21, 2006

Need more proof that Ben and Jerry’s caters to the young adult population? Ben and Jerry’s Dave Mathews Band “Magic Brownies.” This ice cream flavor name employs a popular band, a good cause, and of course, the mood altering dessert to gain attention. The ice cream is good and the cause is even better. Who needs a better excuse to eat ice cream than knowing that you’re doing it for a good cause? A portion of the sales of this ice cream goes to help fight global warming, that is- “lick global warming.” You can read all the details here.

The ice cream itself is pretty decent. It actually reminds me of a flavor Ben and Jerry’s used to carry, I think it was Black Raspberry Frozen Yogurt. I used to get it every so often, but I haven’t seen it in awhile. There’s not much plain vanilla ice cream in Magic Brownies. The raspberry swirls are fairly well integrated with the vanilla for an overall intense raspberry flavor. The brownies were good, as Ben and Jerry’s brownies usually are. But, I thought that the flavor could have been better. Maybe the brownies were too much, or maybe brownies and raspberry just don’t mix. In any event, I enjoyed Ben and Jerry’s Dave Mathews Band “Magic Brownies” and would get it again. Especially knowing that I was eating ice cream to save the environment.

  • Flavor: 3.5
  • Flavor Intensity: 4.5
  • Texture: 4
  • Originality: 4.5
  • Overall: 4
  • Cost: $3.00 on sale at Safeway

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Scoop 25: Breyer’s Very Chocolate Cherry

June 20, 2006

I’ll be honest here. When something is called “Very Chocolate Cherry” I expect it to be “very chocolate” with some cherry; not very cherry with a little chocolate. But that’s what this is: very very cherry. If you like cherry flavored things, than this is for you. If you don’t stay away. Personally, I love [...]

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Scoop 24: Häagen-Dazs Mint Chip

June 19, 2006

I’m not sure why this flavor jumped out at me when I was browsing the freezer section at Safeway tonight. I actually had Breyer’s ice cream in my freezer that I was planning on eating, but we had to make an emergency run to the store since the dog was out of food and her [...]

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Scoop 23: Libido at Larry’s Ice Cream, Dupont Circle

June 18, 2006

Apparently it doesn’t take much to persuade me to go out for some ice cream. Despite the fact that I had been there only two days ago, when Kim suggested we go to Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream I didn’t even hesitate. As I said in my previous post about Larry’s, they serve a flavor called [...]

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Scoop 22: Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked Frozen Yogurt

June 17, 2006

Tonight I decided to try something different, frozen yogurt. To put it lightly: it was a terrible idea. I’ve had Ben and Jerry’s frozen yogurts in the past, at least a half dozen times. So, I expected to enjoy Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked frozen yogurt at least a little bit. But, I didn’t. First, [...]

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Scoop 21: Key West Chocolate Decadence at Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream, Dupont Circle

June 16, 2006

So, today I ate my 21st “scoop” of ice cream.  Granted it’s probably been more than a scoop a day, so maybe I should say today I tried my 21st flavor of ice cream today.  I wonder if there’s a world record for longest number of consecutive days eating ice cream.  I’ll have to look [...]

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