Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Private Selection English Toffee Caramel

My first sample of Kroger’s premium ice cream brand, Private Selection, left me, if not amazed, then very satisfied. It certainly did chocolate overload very well; it’s just there are other brands that do chocolate overload better. But caramel and toffee...that’s not so common, so I had to try English Toffee Caramel.

We have toffee in Ben & Jerry’s Rockin’ Blondies or Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch. But, for some completely illogical reason, they have not mixed toffee and caramel. This is a fatal mistake on their part, but luckily Kroger has stepped in with “chocolate covered bits of crispy English toffee folded into caramel ice cream swirled with caramel sauce.” Phew, that’s almost too much to keep track of!

The short version is that this stuff was pretty undeniably awesome. I honestly can’t think of any premium brands with this combination of ingredients, and they go together so well it’s like DUH, why hasn’t anyone done this yet??

The first thing you taste is caramel. Oh my, deep deep caramel. Even if you don’t get a bit of swirl on your spoon, the base is almost as strong. In fact, I’d say the actual ice cream has a deeper note to it, whereas the swirl is much sweeter. Either way, this is a lot of caramel. Though the swirl is a thin ribbon in places, you don’t miss it because the flavor just pops.

The toffee is interesting; some of it is goopy, and some of it is what you’d expect. Either way, though, it’s really strong. If you like toffee you won’t be disappointed--but it never completely overrides the caramel, either. The chocolate coating is almost an afterthought, albeit a nice one. I’m glad they coated the toffee pieces, unlike Ben & Jerry’s, because with toffee there is such a thing as too much, and this allows the caramel to shine too. These pieces are crunchy and very similar to a Heath bar, except that they don’t stick in your teeth as much. And there are lots of them. The strange thing was that at first the toffee tasted like peanuts, and had a nutty texture as well. But I think maybe my brain was having a vacation and not connecting with my taste buds or something, because it didn’t happen again.

This is premium ice cream, but it’s not as dense as B&J’s or Haagen-Dazs. It’s still creamy, it’s just much easier to spoon out and it melts faster. Which is fine, I don’t even care, because this is one freaking good ice cream. Here’s a win for store brands!
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