Since I work for a food site, it’s not unusual for us to have fun treats in meetings. (Tough life, I know.)
The other day, we had tons of ice cream that I’d never seen before with exotic flavors like Sea Salt Caramel, Banana Chocolate Swirl, Blood Orange, and Sicilian Pistachio.
You had me at Caramel.
Since it’s about 1,000 degrees outside, after work that day I shamefully slipped into the Dirty Gristedes across the street from my apt on a mission to cool off. It is gross, but it is also close and I feared melting into the pavement if I walked one. More. Block.
I was in search of this mysterious brand we ate, and lo and behold, Dirty Gristedes had a whole mess of this fancy stuff, slumming it next to what looked like a half-eaten Chubby Hubby.
While I was shoulder-deep in the freezer case, I had an idea. What if I did an ice cream blind taste test? Genius! Until I realized it would cost me about $50 AND I would be left alone in my apt with a fridge-full of ice cream.
What if I ate it all and then I couldn't fit through the door?
Whatever. I was delirious from the heat and there's a fire department around the corner, so I grabbed a basket and went to town.
Now, I’m not a 365-day-a-year ice cream person. I don’t like cold teeth. But I like it in the summertime! And up until about 7 years ago, I was a flavor purist. Only Vanilla for me. Then I went to a meeting at work (different company, same idea). Some geeky tech guy was droning on and on and ON about a server migration and database integration and oh, I don't know. Zzzzzzz...
I had no business being in that meeting, but they said there would be ice cream. So I went and I was introduced to Heaven on a Spoon: aka Dulce de Leche.
Salty, sweetie, rich'n'creamy goodness! Since then, plain Vanilla just won’t do.
Anyway, back to the taste test…
It’s a little difficult to do a BLIND test when you’ve bought the ice cream, and you’ve scooped the ice cream, and you’re the only one tasting the ice cream. I was in a pickle. So right after assembling my plate of “mystery” flavors (plus a palette cleanser of -- you guessed it -- plain Vanilla), I emptied the dishwasher.
I hope I also symbolically emptied my mind of the order I scooped in.
Grab a spoon and let's dig into the rankings:
Talenti Sea Salt Caramel Gelato
Ice Cream: Bold caramel-flavored with a hint of salt
Caramel: Chocolate-covered caramel chunks
Total Fat: 11g
Why?: Oh wow. This guy had BIG caramel taste with a good amount of chocolate-covered caramel candies sprinkled in. Salty. Yummy. It didn't last the night. (And this is the brand we ate in the meeting, btw -- our editors sure can pick 'em!)
Edy’s Slow Churned Caramel Delight Low Fat Ice Cream
Texture: Easy to scoop, right out of the freezer
Ice Cream: Vanilla
Caramel: Lots of blobs throughout
Total Fat: 2g
Why?: Try not to lick the screen. Lots of caramel blobs, obviously, easy on the wrist -- and the waist. Did you SEE the calories and fat? I might eat the whole tub, then wear it as a hat.
Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra Ice Cream
Ice Cream: Vanilla and chocolate with dark chocolate chunks
Caramel: Tunnel in the middle
Total Fat: 14g
Why?: This one's annoying. There is a fat caramel tunnel in the middle. Excellent. It is surrounded by chocolate and vanilla ice creams, which is fine if you like chocolate ice cream. Which I do not. (Oh relax.)
Breyers Dulce de Leche Frozen Dairy Dessert
Ice Cream: Vanilla
Caramel: Small swirls
Total Fat: 3g
Why: Isn't that a lovely scoop? This one had caramel flavor throughout but skimped on the caramel swirls. That's the best part! It also weirds me out that this is called a "frozen dairy dessert." What the eff is that?
Haagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche All Natural Ice Cream
Ice Cream: Mild caramel flavor
Caramel: Microscopic swirls
Total Fat: 16g
Why: The one that started my love affair with this flavor was disappointing by comparison. I remember this being so much better! They totally phoned it in. Not worth the fat. PS: Did you know this name is fake?
So, hopefully I have spared you the shame of having the check-out clerk at your local grocery store give you the stink eye when she sees a basket filled with FIVE ice creams of the same flavor.
Go with #1 (or #2) on this list and simply say, “I’ll have what SHE’S having.” (RIP Nora Ephron)
Wait… can you hear that?
It’s the Ice Cream Man, ding-a-ling! Run over to the comments and shout out YOUR favorite flavor below.
tags: food, work