Monday, July 22, 2013

Private Selection Denali Extreme Moose Tracks (An Ice Cream Review)

I’m really getting into this whole recovery thing. OK, that’s not totally true...I still ate a lot of ice cream before I decided to seriously commit. But before, I wouldn’t have eaten the whole pint of something with as many as 240 calories. (200, maybe, but not 240. I know right, big difference.) But with a name like Extreme Moose Tracks (and yes, quite a bit of hunger), it was easy to talk myself into eating all of this one.

Private Selection is Kroger’s premium brand of ice cream. I already tried some of their “Jammed” line, which were frozen dairy desserts but definitely worth buying again (in fact I have another tub of Cupcake Party right now), so I’m expecting big things from their premium ice cream too.

Especially one described as “rich chocolate ice cream with Moose Tracks fudge filled cups and famous Denali Moose Tracks Fudge.” It’s a whole new take on Moose Tracks where the peanut butter is replaced with chocolate and the vanilla is replaced with chocolate. This is like the answer to Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy.

The top layer shows just a hint of the fudge swirl and maybe a fudge cup peeking through the surface. They’re just waiting to be uncovered. The chocolate ice cream is lighter than super-premium ice cream like Ben & Jerry’s or Haagen-Dazs, and is fairly easy to spoon (yes, I said spoon, not scoop!) without allowing time for it to melt down; it’s sort of fluffy, but not as much as their frozen dairy desserts. It’s also not very bold; it’s milky and just doesn’t jump out at you like a really rich base would. It’s pleasant enough, but it seems like it’s just there as a vehicle for the mix-ins, without any thought put into the ice cream itself.

So it’s a darn good thing the mix-ins are there, and they totally make up for the lack of excitement in the base. Let’s start with the fudge because that was my absolute favorite part. What the base lacks in richness, this more than provides. It’s like a swirl in the sense that it’s...well, swirled throughout the pint, but it’s also gritty with some resistance. It’s chewable. Like fudge, only better because it’s not as soft. Like ganache. It has just the right consistency and is oh-so-chocolatey. In fact, it’s pretty much the exact same swirl that I loved in Blue Bunny’s Triple Chocolate Cake and MarsTwix ice cream. So yeah, Private Selection just won me over right here.

Moving on, though, the fudge-filled cups aren’t shabby either. They’re creamy and milky and everything a high-quality chocolate cup should be...if you let them warm up in your mouth for a moment before chomping down. Frozen they don’t taste like much against the already chocolate-filled ice cream. It’s also hard to tell they’re fudge filled; if I hadn’t known I would just assume they were solid chocolate, because there’s really no texture or flavor change when you break into the middle. I’d also say they’re on the small side and mine were weighted toward the bottom of the pint. Oh, well, they do give more chocolate flavor, and more chocolate is never a bad thing.

There were a couple of moments where I almost got a salty vibe from the swirl and fudge cups, and it tasted like peanut butter...but I’m pretty sure that was just my brain messing up what it knows to be “Moose Tracks” and this super chocolatey take on Moose Tracks. Consider me a fan, especially as a budget-conscious alternative to the other brands. Oh, and the best part? The HUUGE chunk of solid fudge swirl left at the bottom when I got done. Heaven!
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