Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Three Twins Caramel Truffle Swirl (An Ice Cream Review)

Another day, another pint of ice cream gone...

OK, that didn’t come out right. I shouldn’t start off a blog post by admitting I ate an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting.

Wait, that wasn’t right either. I was supposed to let you believe that I finished off a pint that was already half eaten. Oh well, in the spirit of honesty, yes, I destroyed this entire pint last night:


I had heard of Three Twins before but had never tried it, and I got inspired when I saw it at Whole Foods the other day. Actually, I got embroiled in a huge conflict over whether to buy Caramel Truffle Swirl or Sea Salted Caramel, but that’s another story and all that really matters is the ending, which you can surmise by the above photo.


This flavor is new; new enough, in fact, that it’s not even on their website yet. It’s “sweet cream with a caramel swirl and salted caramel truffles,” and although the top layer doesn’t look all that swirl-y, I’m going to have faith here.


So, here we are a little ways down and...remember in that first shot, how the edges had a beige tint to them? Well, that was about the most I ever saw of it. There were a few other thin ribbons, almost like a pencil line in thickness. Which was really disappointing for someone who loves gooey-chewy caramel swirls and lots of caramel flavor.


Not that there wasn’t any caramel; the truffles helped in that area. First of all, there were a lot in my pint, and the distribution was very even. I always appreciate symmetry in my ice cream. They are smaller than those in most other truffle-centric flavors like Haagen-DazsSalted Caramel Truffle, Talenti’s Sea Salt Caramel, or Ben & Jerry’s recent Truffle Trifecta. The chocolate they use also doesn’t seem as creamy or milky, but I see on the container that this stuff is organic, so maybe that’s a factor. In which case I can maybe overlook it because I do like to see organic food out there. The only thing is, these truffles are more chocolate than caramel. Well, that’s not quite right; the initial burst of sweet yet salty caramel certainly leaves no question. But after all that filling squirts out (which happens fairly quickly), you’re left with just the chocolate component. I wish the caramel lasted longer.

As for the base...I think I made a mistake eating this straight from the pint. See, what happens (as I’ve learned after doing it four or five times now) is that the edges soften, but the core doesn’t get that creamy, melty texture that I love in ice cream. You’d think I’d learn, but there’s just something so immensely satisfying about sitting down with a whole pint and a spoon and slurping away.

That said, this one still had a strange sort of grit going on. The edges of the pint got creamy, but the center still broke off in blocks, as opposed to scoops. I suppose the truffles may have contributed, but overall it just lacked the smoothness of other brands. The sweet cream flavor, with its extra milky tone, helped offset that a little, and I do really love sweet cream ice cream. Still, even after a good half hour, as I reached the bottom, it was still kind of breaking weirdly. Lesson learned, next time I’ll scoop into a bowl first.

So I’m not really sure about this one...I was really hoping for a delightful caramel experience, but for me it turned out to be more about chocolate and sweet cream. Which are both fine flavors, just not what I was looking for in Caramel Truffle Swirl ice cream. I’d go with Talenti or Haagen-Dazs’ versions, or even Ben & Jerry’s Triple Caramel Chunk. But I’d still like to try some of Three Twins’ other flavors.
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