|| Print ||
|Written by Emily Goodacre|
|Monday, 25 October 2010 00:00|
Way back at the beginning of summer 2010, a commercial wherein dorkily charming Galen Weston was urging us all to try President's Choice new "ice cream shop" line of flavours was inescapable. I flatter myself as not being very susceptible to advertising, but as an ice-cream lover these ads really worked on me. Sprinkle party cake? Banana Split? These were exotic Ben & Jerry's-type flavours at PC prices! The very prominent display at my local groceteria sealed the deal: I brought a tub over to my weekly True Blood girl's night to share with my viewing companion, thus beginning a ritual: every week a new flavour.
Below are my reviews, from worst to best, of the "ice cream shop" flavours. Conspicuously left out are Tiger Tail (because ew) and vanilla, which caused me to suppress a rage attack in the frozen foods aisle upon seeing it was the only available flavour one Sunday afternoon. Really, PC? Vanilla? In what magical dream world did you find this unusual flavour? Where else but in the fanciest of ice cream parlours and this particular product line could I find such an exotic taste sensation as . . . vanilla? Fail, PC.
Bubble Gum Candy (Bubble gum flavoured ice cream with pieces of chewy bubble gum flavoured candy)
By far the worst of the line. My viewing companion and I stared at the tub of ice cream for a while wondering if we had to eat it. We came down on the side of journalistic integrity. It was even worse than you would expect. The powdery bubblegum candy was so bad that we developed a system wherein we would dig out the offending pieces and throw them in the garbage before we choked down the surrounding ice cream. Don't bother with this one.
Cotton Candy (Pink cotton candy flavoured ice cream with a blue marshmallow ripple)
I wondered how they would make ice cream taste like cotton candy since cotton candy is just spun sugar. Instead it tasted exactly like . . . marshmallows. Specifically Lucky Charms©. And I don't mean the "blue marshmallow ripple" which was essentially a flavourless liquid blue goo, but the ice cream proper. It should be Lucky Charms© ice cream, people would try that. Anyways, it was not that bad, considering its retina-searing appearance.
Banana Split (Banana flavoured and chocolate ice cream swirled together with a cherry ripple)
A potentially awesome ice cream (I love banana-flavoured things) ruined by a disgusting sickly sweet cherry ripple. I get it, it's like the cherry on top of the banana split, but it did not work well. Try Chunky Monkey instead.
I'm not a fan of root beer, that is, the beverage, but I was impressed that although this ice cream tasted very much like root beer, I really enjoyed it. Maybe it was the lack of fizziness or the addition of vanilla? In any case, it was quite good, apart from the candy pieces. These were little shards of root-beer flavoured glass that tear up your soft palate and get stuck in your teeth. Ice cream is not the place for hard candy.
Rainbow (Bubble gum, grape, and blue raspberry flavoured ice cream)
The mix of flavours pretty much blended into a bland sweetness. The grape was nice since I'd never tried grape ice cream before. The blue raspberry tasted like, well, blue (why are raspberry-flavoured things always blue? Where is this mythical blue raspberry in nature?), and the bubblegum was much more easily tolerated in smaller doses than by itself. Overall Rainbow was middle-of-the-pack, most likely better suited to small children with a high tolerance for artificial colours.
Marshmallow Chocolate Swirl (Roasted marshmallow flavoured and chocolate ice cream swirled together with chocolatey covered crispy rice)
This one was weird: what's with the chocolate covered crispy rice? Why not put graham cracker bits and then make it s'mores-flavoured? Also, it didn't taste much like marshmallow, let alone roasted marshmallow, as they make a point of specifying. They should talk to the geniuses at Jelly Belly for how to get an artificial flavour of campfire into desserts. This one was meh.
Chocolate Crunch (Chocolate ice cream with semi-sweet chocolate pieces)
Normally I don't like ice creams with a chocolate base (though I do like chocolate bits), as I find them much too rich. But this ice cream had a surprisingly light, almost whipped texture. The chocolate pieces were really tiny shavings and semi-sweet rather than milk. All this combined to make it very yummy and not too heavy for my tastes. It still wasn't one of my favourites, but a chocolate lover might disagree. Not sure what they thought was "crunchy" about it, though.
Maple Crunch (Naturally flavoured maple ice cream with a vanilla icing ripple and crunchy maple flavoured pieces)
This is your basic maple-flavoured treat, except for the vanilla ripple, which is icing instead of just vanilla ice cream. Icing is always good, so this addition is a big plus. The candy pieces were crunchy bits instead of the glass shards of the root-beer flavour and so were perfectly acceptable. I missed the walnuts, though. What's maple ice cream without walnuts?
Mango (Mango ice cream with a mango purée ripple)
Mango is a fairly common sorbet or gelato flavour but much less common in ice creams. That's why I was pleasantly surprised at how creamy and rich but still fruity this flavour was. Once again, could have done without the jammy swirl, but it wasn't a deal-breaker. Overall quite delicious.
Mint Chocolate (Mint flavoured ice cream with semi-sweet chocolate pieces)
Here's another not-so-unusual flavour, but I love mint chocolate chip, so who cares? Deliciously minty with those little semi-sweet chocolate shavings again! This one was a winner with my companion and I finishing the whole thing in one sitting (not recommended, by the way, as it lead to much lying around and moaning variations on "I'm soooo fulllll!" and "why did we dooo that?").
Caramel Toffee Crunch (Vanilla ice cream with a caramel ripple and toffee pieces)
Yum! Here's a "crunch" with actual crunchy pieces: delicious bits of toffee. Between devouring those and digging around for larger caramel deposits like I was mining for gold (anyone else do that?), I declared this a success.
Sprinkle Party Cake (Vanilla ice cream with vanilla icing ripple, pound cake pieces and coloured candy sprinkles)
This was the first flavour peaked my curiosity and caused me to dork out to my ice-cream eating partner thusly: "You've had ice-cream cake, but have you ever had . . . cake ice cream?!" (She responded appropriately by staring at me and replying, "I'm embarrassed for you"). This is the perfect ice cream for me: I've already spoken of my love of icing, and I'm a big-time sucker for sprinkles! My absolute favourite of the bunch, this one is highly recommended.