Sunday, June 30, 2013

Good & Delish Caramel Overload (An Ice Cream Review)

In my quest to find the elusive Ben & Jerry’s Walgreens-exclusive Truffle Trifecta, I have now officially visited every Walgreens in the Raleigh-Durham area. (I did talk to the manager of one store, who is trying to get some hopefully just after the July 4 holiday. Until then, the closest carrier is in Morrisville, which is really only 15 minutes away....) After being thwarted out of my ice cream for the third time, I decided I couldn’t just leave empty-handed and grabbed a pint of Good & Delish Caramel Overload.

This is Walgreens’ store brand. They also have a line of premium ice cream, but this one caught my eye with the chunks of chocolate and caramel. Plus, with a name like Caramel Overload, it can’t really go wrong in my book. I mean, “Caramel ice cream with chocolate chips and caramel swirls”? Yum!

Visually, it’s off to a great start with that huge pool of swirl along the outside. The base is a nice tame beige, like you’d expect from caramel flavored ice cream. The chocolate chips are peeking through, too.

Look, here’s the thing. I know it’s not premium ice cream, so I wasn’t expecting something amazing. But even so, I wasn’t all that impressed. The ice cream is light and fluffy, which isn’t a surprise, but it’s also got this icy texture to it. At first I thought maybe it was just on the top, but it persisted throughout the entire pint, which was disappointing. As it melted, it did get a little creamier, but you could say that about pretty much any ice cream and have it be true. The flavor of the ice cream was a rather mild caramel, more milky than anything else.

On to the chocolate chips: they look decent, right? Well, they’re not your quality milk chocolate chips found in other ice creams. They taste like cheap candy, in limbo between dark and milk chocolate, like milk chocolate that’s just not very sweet and creamy. The most disappointing part for me was that they never got that melty texture from sitting in my mouth. They were always hard and crunchy, as if they were frozen, even when they weren’t. I’ve found that frozen chocolate tends to have less flavor, so these didn’t add a whole lot of fudginess to the pint.

The best part was the swirl. That was actually pretty good. It was nicely distributed throughout the pint, and it pooled in some places so that I really did have an overload of caramel flavor. It’s not as gooey and chewy as the swirls from Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen-Dazs, but it holds its own for sure. I just wish I could say the same for the rest of this ice cream.

Sorry. I’m not trying to hate on this ice cream, it definitely had its moments of greatness. But coming so soon after 2nd Street’s Copper Kettle Caramel, it just seemed sad. If you need something on the lighter side, I’d recommend Stonyfield’s Creme Caramel frozen yogurt for a true caramel overload. Maybe I need to shell out for Walgreens’ premium ice cream next time.
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