Monday, June 10, 2013

Wegmans Premium Scrapin' the Bowl (An Ice Cream Review)

OK, warning...long review ahead...sorry in advance. :)

I don’t know how new these premium Wegmans pints are. I mean, I always knew they made ordinary flavors with names you’d recognize in your sleep (chocolate, vanilla, mint chocolate chip, etc.), but what about these five new flavors with funky designs and names that, in some cases, have nothing to do with what’s inside?

I didn’t see these until the day before we left for Yellowstone. And I had just resolved not to buy any more ice cream (besides the limited edition Edy’s that was already in my basket), because I only had four days left at home before officially moving to North Carolina, and waay too much ice cream already in the freezer to even hope that I could finish it before I left.

Well, the day after we got back from vacation, I went back to Wegmans and bought the one I knew I absolutely had to try: Scrapin’ the Bowl.

This pint is described as “Vanilla & chocolate swirled ice cream with chunks of cookie dough & brownie dough pieces.” If we were supposed to guess that from “Scrapin’ the Bowl,” I think they were a little too hopeful. If I hadn’t stopped and actually read the tiny words through the foggy freezer glass (how many people do you think would just pass by?), I wouldn’t have given this little purple pint a second thought. Same with the brightly-colored Under the Boardwalk, which sounds like a copycat of Haagen-Dazs Salted Caramel Truffle.

Looks good already...a swirl of vanilla and chocolate. Anyway, the reason I picked this can probably guess. It sounds just like Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked, with one critical difference: brownie DOUGH!!! That’s dough, as in batter, like, unbaked, raw eggs, salmonella, licking-the-bowl heaven. Oh, wait, I just figured out why they named it Scrapin’ the Bowl. :)

I’ve been mad ever since Ben & Jerry killed their Brownie Batter, because no one else does raw brownie anything. And I love brownie batter, all the more so because I can never find it in ice cream. Cake batter is common, and cookie dough is everywhere. But the brownie batter is the main reason I bought this pint.

The first surprise came when I went to scoop. I was expecting to wrestle with it like I do B&J’s or H-D, but it was like scooping butter. Too easy, for something with so many calories; there’s nothing to slow me down before I hit the bottom! It came straight out of the freezer, made me think of gelato, which is always pretty much ready to eat. It also melts really fast, unlike most of the premium brands.

I really wish there was more vanilla ice cream. It’s basically just a ribbon through the chocolate. And since it melts so fast, they melt into each other and I can’t really taste the vanilla at all, which is a shame because I like it better in general. The chocolate ice cream is very milky, as opposed to the dark, deep chocolate you find in some Ben & Jerry’s bases. (Full disclosure: I had a single spoonful of Chocolate Therapy right before downing this bowl. And that’s as deep as chocolate gets.) It also doesn’t feel as dense as you’d expect (even though a half-cup serving is 106 grams), but it’s plenty creamy.

At first it’s hard to tell the difference between the cookie dough and the brownie dough. In fact, it’s just about impossible if you don’t comb through and separate them and look at them before you pop them in your mouth. They’re both decently-sized balls, some slightly bigger than a chocolate chip. Nowhere near the size of Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough hunks. And the cookie dough seemed much more frequent. I was hoping for a lot more brownie dough, and a more obvious flavor from it, but it does shine through enough to satisfy my craving. It’s just that when you combine them, the cookie dough overrides the brownie dough.

On the plus side, this is the best cookie dough mix-in I’ve ever tasted. It’s sweeter than B&J’s, or maybe the smaller size just lets you appreciate it more. It’s brown sugary and carries a strong vanilla flavor. I still wish the chunks were bigger, so that you could get a big scoopful of ice cream with just one flavor on it...but I think I’ve been spoiled by Ben & Jerry. :)

While I wanted so much to fall in love with this flavor, simply because it’s the only brownie dough I’ve seen in a supermarket in years, it had both ups and downs. It’s still a delicious, well-done, fun flavor, especially for someone like me who would rather eat baked goods unbaked...but B&J’s and H-D are still better quality, denser, and more satisfying. If B&J’s made this flavor, it would fill my freezer from back to front. It’s a good try from Wegmans, and a bit more budget-friendly ($2.49/pint rather than $3+). But I think I’ll still stick with Ben & Jerry in the future.
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