Sunday, July 14, 2013

2nd Street Creamery Truck Stop Fudge (An Ice Cream Review)

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a month since I moved to Durham. It certainly doesn’t feel like that long, in fact it feels like just yesterday that I unpacked, drove straight to Harris Teeter, and picked up (among other things) this pint of 2nd Street Creamery Truck Stop Fudge.



It’s official, I’ve never met a pint of ice cream harder to scoop than this one. Well, that’s not true; the bum pint of Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream I got comes to mind, but that was different because there was obviously something wrong with the ice cream. I’ll admit, it made me nervous at first. I know some of my ice cream got messed up when my power went out earlier in the week, so I was afraid this one got ruined. But then I remembered the Copper Kettle Caramel I’d finished the day before was just as delirium-inducing as before.


That, and this promise of “Chocolate Ice Cream with Marshmallow and Fudge Sauce,” kept me digging away, although I quite willing stopped before reaching 3/4 down, and almost gave up at halfway. I almost think trying to scoop actual fudge would be easier!


But it was worth it. I think. I don’t know, this ice cream is a mixed bag. The chocolate swirl is really liquid and gooey and very, very prominent. This is first and foremost a pint of chocolate syrup. Like the swirl in Tons of Brownies, it is deep and rich but has a bite to it, almost too bitter. This time I was ready for it, though. And having the chocolate ice cream as a milder version of the swirl helped to balance it out.

The marshmallow...I don’t want to call it a swirl because I think of swirls as gooey. You know, like the one in Phish Food, that strings from your spoon. This “sauce” is more of a cross between marshmallow sauce and actual marshmallows. It’s light and airy and certainly swirled throughout the pint, but it’s actually crunchy. It has an icy yet fluffy texture. Even as it warmed up it kept that foamy texture; at one point I was trying to get a spoonful, but I got stuck on a patch of marshmallow! It’s super sweet, though, and perfectly captures the marshmallow flavor that I love so much. And after a while the texture started to grow on me. It’s actually kind of cool and makes the marshmallow, which could easily be eclipsed by the chocolate, stand out more.


The ice cream itself, even though I let it sit out for a loooong time (first trying to scoop and then while I ate it very slowly), never really melted. It’s very dense, but certainly not as creamy as Tons of Brownies or Copper Kettle Caramel. Maybe my pint was a little old or temperature-cycled. But it wasn’t bad. It actually has a little grit to it, which might not sound like an attractive feature in ice cream, but for some reason it just works. Kind of like when you suck on a chocolate bar and the result is both creamy and gritty. In this case, it’s a nice contrast to the gooey swirl, which coats your mouth in a smooth, almost sticky finish.


So it’s confusing. There are some things I love about this ice cream. There are some parts that need some work. I’d like the chocolate sauce to be sweeter, but the marshmallow balances it out here and I end up not minding as much as I did with Tons of Brownies. I definitely do prefer my marshmallow swirls the way Ben & Jerry do them; though this is unique and stands out, it also makes the ice cream break in blocks at times rather than creamy spoonfuls. But overall, a very well-done flavor. I’m liking what I’m seeing so far from 2nd Street.
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