Thursday, September 19, 2013

Häagen-Dazs

As you may have noticed, I like ice cream.  Particularly when it is part of an elaborate sundae.  Or when served alongside warm pie.  Or soft serve, in a cone, with sprinkles.  But for the occasions when the ice cream craving hits and I'm at home, I always have my freezer stocked.  I have some favorite local brands of store bought ice cream from back in New Hampshire, but I haven't really found any here in San Francisco.  So I've been exploring all the widely known "premium" brands, like Ben and Jerry's, Baskin-Robbins, and now, Häagen-Dazs.  I'm not impressed.  This seems as generic as any other store brand ...
  • Caramel Cone: “This creamy blend of caramel ice cream with rich caramel swirls balances the sweet crunch of chocolaty-covered cone pieces for a harmonious bite”. Tasting notes: Decent sweet caramel ice cream, nice crunchy chocolate cone pieces.  Better than the Ben & Jerry's version of something similar.
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: "Chunks of buttery cookie dough and sweet fudge chips blended with our finest pure vanilla ice cream." Tasting notes: it was loaded up with generous chunks of cookie dough, but they weren't particularly good, and the ice cream wasn't very creamy.  Meh. [ Generous amount and size of chunks of cookie dough, good flavor. ]
  • Praline and Cream: “Ribbons of golden caramel along with sweet and nutty praline pecans swirled into our signature vanilla ice cream.” Tasting notes: super sweet, too much sweet.
  • Salted Caramel Truffle: “Smooth, sweet-cream ice cream, ribbons of rich salted caramel, and decadent chocolaty truffles”. Tasting notes: Not very caramely or salty.  Meh. [ Has little chocolate truffles in it, but not very creamy or interesting. ]
  • Spiced Caramel Biscuit: “Crumbles of sugary, crunchy cinnamon-sparked biscuits blended into velvety caramel ice cream.”  Tasting notes: Biscuit pieces give a nice crunch, but otherwise boring and forgettable.
  • Strawberry Cheesecake: Tasting notes: just sweet, not good.
  • Vanilla: Tasting notes: This was probably my favorite of theirs, which is crazy, because it is so plain.  But it is a decently creamy ice cream with good enough vanilla flavor.  I don't ever want a bowl of it plain, but alongside some pie, or topped with berries and whipped cream, it can hit the spot!
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