Saturday, June 29, 2013

Blue Bell Rockslide Brownie (An Ice Cream Review)

Sometimes an impulsive buy turns out to have more value than you ever knew, like my random purchase of Blue Bell’s Rockslide Brownie at Walmart two days ago. The name piqued my interest; then I read the description. Dark chocolate ice cream with brownies, marshmallows, almonds, pecans, walnuts, and caramel sauce. Sold!

I have never heard of this flavor before, but as soon as I got home and Googled, I learned that it’s Blue Bell’s way of celebrating National Ice Cream month, which, in case you didn’t know, is July. So it’s supposed to come out in July. I guess my Walmart decided to start selling it early.

Anyway, with nothing online to go on for a clue about what to expect, I finally had at it. After removing the lid, you can already see a couple of marshmallows, a pecan, and little pieces of brownie peeking through the surface.

Check that out! Tons of marshmallows here, and a decent amount of brownies, too. In fact, this ice cream is predominantly marshmallows...and nuts. It may sound weird, but I’ve never had actual marshmallows in my ice cream, only marshmallow swirls, so I was sort of expecting them to be chewy or hard or in some way frozen, like you get with chocolate chips. But no, these were just like regular mini marshmallows, very airy and soft. It was honestly a bit strange to feel like I was eating air mixed in with my ice cream, because I’m so used to ice cream being dense all the way through.

The nuts come in three varieties, and at first they were distinguishable (when I only got one per spoonful. But somewhere about halfway through my bowl, they all started tasting the same. I’m not big on nuts in ice cream, so they were a bit too frequent for me--some spoonfuls had up to four, and they hide so it’s hard to eat around them. They do add some crunch to break things up texturewise, but their saltiness tastes a little off next to the sweetness from the marshmallows.

Which leaves the brownies and caramel, the parts I was the most excited about. Well, they didn’t exactly live up to expectations; the caramel sauce, far from being a luxurious swirl, was scattered in little dots that were almost impossible to see and just as hard to taste. Only after analyzing my spoon and verifying by sight that, yes, there was caramel, and then trying really hard, could I taste it. And only if no other mix-ins were present. As for the brownies, there didn’t seem to be enough of them. With the tons of marshmallows and nuts, I was expecting more, but they failed to deliver and were mostly skewed toward the bottom of my bowl. Some were cubes, but the rest seemed to just be brownie crumbs that got lost in the ice cream. They’re certainly chewy and chocolatey, but they’re not moist or fudgy enough to compete with Front Porch, Ben & Jerry’s, etc. I think they’re my least favorite brownie mix-in yet.

The actual base just seemed like chocolate; it was actually really sweet, so I would have pegged it for a milk chocolate. Actually, when combined with the marshmallows, it reminded me strongly of hot chocolate...only cold. Then again, I’ve never had Blue Bell’s regular chocolate ice cream, so maybe this is different. But as far as dark chocolate ice creams go, I wouldn’t call this one of them. It’s creamy enough, but not nearly as dense as Haagen-Dazs or B&J’s, or other super-premium brands. Then again, it’s lighter on the calories, too.

So. Back to the value thing...yes, this pint was valuable in the sense that no one was technically supposed to eat it yet. But would I buy it again? No. I’m particular about texture when it comes to ice cream, and I’m more of a “chew & goo” person. I like my marshmallows in a swirl. My caramel needs to be gooey, and my brownies need to be chewy and moist. I could lose the nuts and still be happy, not that they were a bad addition. This pint just didn’t pull it off for me. Oh well, live and learn I guess.
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