Thursday, August 22, 2013

Blue Bunny Fat Free Caramel Toffee Crunch (An Ice Cream Review)

On my first shopping trip in North Carolina, the day we set up my apartment, I spent so much time gawking at the freezers, trying to decide which new ice cream to try, that my parents both left for other parts of the store. But I had to narrow it down to two or three choices, and it was tough. Blue Bunny Fat Free Caramel Toffee Crunch made the cut.

See, I liked their Fat Free Brownie Sundae a lot. And I love toffee, but it’s not a flavor I keep around a lot because no one else eats it. And you have to be in the mood for it; after a while I get tired of it, too. So it had been a while since I’d had toffee and it just sounded good, especially at 90 calories per serving.

I didn’t get around to taking pictures until I was halfway through the carton. But what you see here is pretty much indicative of the rest: a pretty decent caramel swirl, considering it’s fat free, and toffee pieces spattered throughout. I’ve noticed that fat-free ice creams tend to harden up after a few days open in the freezer. This is no exception, but if you let it sit out before eating, you can’t even tell.

The base ice cream is the same as that used in Brownie Sundae: very sweet, but in a chemical, obviously fat-free way. Personally, I like it, but it’s certainly not natural and some people will be turned off. Or maybe not, because it’s not the main taste here; the caramel and toffee cover it up quite nicely. It’s saltier than just plain caramel, and I almost got a nutty vibe from the toffee. But that might have been my taste buds going out of whack. The toffee is really prominent--more so than the caramel--so you better be in the mood.

The caramel swirl isn’t gooey; it’s more of a stiff swirl, almost the texture of a peanut butter mix-in. But, like the ice cream, it softens as it warms up. The toffee pieces aren’t totally crunchy, they’re a little soggy. They actually reminded me a bit of chewy granola bar pieces, and they do stick in your teeth. Depending on your toffee preferences, that’s could be either good or bad. It means the flavor lingers longer, but it can be annoying and less than satisfying when you’re expecting a true crunch.

It still amazes me that ice cream can even be fat free, let alone ice cream with caramel and toffee in it. It sounds like it would be questionable, both taste- and texture-wise, but Blue Bunny pulled it off...considering that it’s fat free, this stuff is good. When the toffee mood strikes me again, I know where I’ll go.
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