Posts Tagged ‘Ice Cream’

This Week at Grocery Outlet

No Comments » Written on October 10th, 2011 by
Categories: Deals
Tags: , , , , , ,

Since we’re getting back into the swing of things and every week we see stuff in the store we’d like to try but don’t always purchase, we’re starting a little section featuring some interesting products we’ve seen during our weekend shopping trips. We’ve already got a handful of potential review material in the queue/fridge at all times, but this is a chance to let our friends in the Tacoma/South Sound area about some neat eats. It’s like a mommy coupon blog minus the coupons and maternal wisdom.

We stopped by Grocery Outlet on 6th Ave. yesterday evening and found some good candidates…

1. Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water – $1.99 (4 pack)

Back in March we tried Fever-Tree’s Naturally Light Indian Tonic Water and Ben was instantly hooked. It’s a constant fixture on our gin-dominated drink shelf (which happens to be an IKEA Billy Bookcase), especially when we find it on sale. A pack of the UK-based tonic normally seems to retail for around $6-8 so if you’re looking for a decent tonic, I’d suggest trying some out. If you don’t trust our admittedly unrefined palates, it’s got some rave reviews on Amazon as well. Availability in the states seems to be limited – I’ve only seen it sold at Whole Foods and Amazon.com.

Bonus food photobomb: Little boxes of Silk PureAlmond Dark Chocolate – 2/1.00. Includes sippy straw to make you feel like a big kid.

2. Batter Blaster, Whole Wheat – $1.99 (aerosol can)

Okay, I admit: I’ve never tried this product and the novelty of making pancakes using something called a Batter Blaster is terribly amusing, much less downright lazy. But I know that deep down, every person who bashes this product secretly wants to get in on that batter blasting action. Plus I imagine it makes creating pancakes words and phallic flapjacks that much easier.

Plus it’s organic! And has whole wheat! And brown sugar and cinnamon! And CO2 goodness!

3. Laloo’s Goat’s Milk Ice Cream, Strawberry Darling and Capraccino flavors 

- $2.99 each

While normally I wouldn’t get terribly excited over ice cream at a great price (okay, I get really excited), Laloo’s piqued my curiosity. First of all, because it’s goat milk-based ice cream. While my last experience with anything goat-related was petting one at the Puyallup Fair, goat milk ice cream is something I’m not opposed to trying. Secondly, the Strawberry Darling flavor is not your typical Baskin Robbins fare. It’s strawberries combined with a balsamico syrup in a sweet and tangy combination that I absolutely recommend next time you want to living up a green salad.

Apparently a pint of this stuff normally cost ~$7 at Whole Foods, according to my sources. Additionally, it earned an A+ review from our friend Rodzilla (and he’s pretty discerning when it comes to ice cream). I may have to do my own taste test in the future before this stuff sells out.

So readers (Pierce County or otherwise), seen any good deals lately?

Too Tarts Melted Ice Cream Spray Candy

2 comments Written on April 4th, 2011 by
Categories: Food
Tags: , , , , , ,

Product: Too Tarts Melted Ice Cream Spray Candy (Flavors Reviewed: Strawberry, Blueberry and Banana Split)
Purchased at: Valley Liquidation
Price: $1.00 per spray

Marisa’s Take: Kids these days have a lot to watch out for. Drinking, drugs, gangs, junk food, Rebecca Black music videos. So I can applaud a company that wants to create a delicious, sugar-free alternative to the normal Snickers and Skittles candy fare in the attempts to curb the childhood obesity epidemic. Innovative Candy Concepts, makers of Too Tarts Melted Ice Cream Spray Candy, had the right idea when they wanted to create a sugar-free spray candy but I’m don’t think it’s the best execution. In the 2007 press release announcing the product, the ICC president and CEO states, “Ice cream just seems to taste better when it’s melted”. I respectfully have to disagree. If melted ice cream were better than its naturally frozen form, they’re be tubs and tubes of melted ice cream sloshing on grocery store shelves. I’m also kind of iffy on the concept of spraying a Splenda sweetened, syrupy liquid into my mouth and calling it “candy”, just like I’m hesitant about pepper spray blasting into my eyes and calling it “caliente eye drops”.

Nevertheless, I picked up all three flavors of Melted Ice Cream Candy – Strawberry, Blueberry and Banana Split, each for 99 cents each. In the mindset of keeping kids safe, it’s somewhat unfortunate that this product looks very similar to fume-filled magic markers that kids should stay away from, lest they catch a whiff and become drug-addled maniacs. Half of the items in our featured  picture are actually markers. We just wanted to point out the similarity (don’t do drugs kids).

I tried the strawberry flavor first. Couldn’t be too hard to pull off, right? My tongue was hit with a chemical-tasting, extremely artificial hit of vaguely strawberry tasting liquid, with no hint of the “cream” part of the ice cream. I had the same exact experience with the blueberry flavor. I don’t even recall blueberry ice cream ever mass marketed by one of the major ice cream companies, but if so, this would be a poor imitation of it. The last time I recall having a banana split was at 2am at a Denny’s with my dad, so I hoped the final flavor would rekindle fond memories of smoky, depressing bar counter but no such luck. Actually, it reminded me exactly of a liquid form of banana Runts. If you’re one of the people who crave that artificial banana flavor, you’re in luck – now you have the ability to spray that concentrated flavor directly into your mouth.

I truly wish this could have been a delicious, sugar-free alternative to my weekly gallon of semi-melted Breyers as I watch America’s Next Top Model, but sadly, no such luck. I’ll just continue to consume my Splenda in less exciting ways like soda.

Ben’s Take: Diabetes, or “diabeetus” as one Wilford Brimley would put it, is reaching epidemic levels in the United States, and around the world. For many people, the disease has been linked to over consuming products that are high in simple carbohydrates, like sugar. Overeating simple carbohydrates leads to a condition called “insulin resistance” which is what happens when your body requires more and more insulin to store or use the same amount of glucose. We all know that diabetics are forced to monitor their caloric and sugar intake so that they can properly dose him or herself with the appropriate amount of insulin via a needle or an insulin pump.

Due to the chronic nature of the diabetes, as well as the rather steady growth people who are afflicted with the condition, we’ve seen quite a few sugar free products hit the market. From Tab, to sugar free candies corporations have tried to keep pace with America’s insulin resistant sweet tooth. Most of these products are pretty all right facsimiles of the products or class of products they imitate, but occasionally someone makes something that just doesn’t make sense.

Too Tarts Melted Ice Cream Spray Candy is one of those products. It just doesn’t make sense as a regular product, let alone a sugar-free product. I just don’t understand who/what Too Tarts is targeting this towards.  Is it for the “I can’t have a sugar-free hard candy so I use a spritz bottle of concentrated flavored sucralose demographic?” Does this demographic even exist? I don’t even know.

What I do know is this stuff is terrible. Just terrible. The bright marker colored bottles should have been an indicator that it was a trap. The flavors we tried tasted nothing like any ice cream, sorbet or gelato I’ve ever shoved in my mouth. (I wonder who would want to eat ice cream that had melted anyways?) Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

Instead it tastes like hyper sweet artificial flavors that you would find in the lowest quality candies.

Of course, in concentrated liquid form. Perhaps you’re supposed to spray some of this into a beverage? I don’t know but that sounds equally terrible. Really, if this is what you have to eat as a diabetic it’s just a little more incentive to avoid getting it. Not that I go around taste testing every calorie dense sugary product that wanders my way. Too Tarts Melted Ice Cream Spray Candy is just a terrible tasting product that I would actually spend money to avoid having near my mouth again. Really.

Bee Ice Cream Cone Candy

2 comments Written on April 1st, 2011 by
Categories: Food
Tags: , , , , ,

Marisa: In a sick twist of fate on this April Fools’ Day 2011, we have subsequently merged into a two-headed, review spewing monster (most likely due to our diet of processed snack foods). Our review today will be a combined post, with me occasionally interrupting Ben (as I do in real life anyway). We could think of no better product to review for this occasion than a treat that comes to us from China by the name of Ice Cream Cone Candy.

Product: Bee Ice Cream Cone Candy (Flavors Reviewed: Chocolate and Strawberry Chocolate)
Purchased at: Valley Liquidation
Price: 50 cents per cone

Ben’s Take: Ice cream is that perfect high fat, high sugar, high calorie summertime treat designed to kill you in the most delicious way possible. It’s one of those universal dairy products that everyone everywhere can enjoy. Even astronauts. Though I’ve never had the opportunity to eat astronaut ice cream I’d expect it to be at least half as awesome as astronaut apple sauce.

When Marisa brought in not one, but two flavors (Chocolate and Strawberry Chocolate) to our testing area, we both thought this was going to be an awesome knockoff of astronaut ice cream (Marisa: And a cheaper knockoff at that: these were 50 cents each, compared to a pack of freeze-dried astronaut ice cream which run about $3 a pack). I mean, the package weighed practically nothing, so I just made that assumption. Upon further inspection of the packaging I became a quite concerned. First off, a company called “Bee,” from China, manufactured the Ice Cream Candy. Not that I would let that discourage us. China makes awesome food like cadmium fortified fish and melamine milk. I just modified my assumption and went with “this is what China feeds to its astronauts when they get a hankerin’ for an ice cream cone. Which, may still be true but as you’ll see there is neither ice nor cream involved in the manufacture of Bee Ice Cream Candy.

We didn’t bother checking out any ingredient instead choosing to throw caution to the industrial byproducts laden winds and cracked open the strawberry flavor. What lay inside of the package made absolutely no sense. There was a cone. There was pink stuff. There was chocolate. I’m not sure I could classify any of it as “ice cream”, and I’m pretty sure the only “candy” in there was the artificially flavored pseudo-chocolate (Marisa: Also known as “mockolate”). It’s like a visitor from another galaxy tried to make ice cream based on a waffle cone and Kix Cereal.

I decided to engage in diplomacy with the alien ice cream so I cut the Strawberry Chocolate flavor in half with an X-Acto knife so I could poke its guts (Marisa: Remember that scene in Independence Day?). The cone was soft, stale and  it sank underneath my blade much like flesh before giving way to it. Beneath the skin of the cone were more of the pink Kix-like balls. They had a distinctive crunch as my knife passed through each one. They didn’t have a crisp crunch like I’ve come to expect from freeze-dried products or American breakfast cereals. Instead, each ruptured ball gave a dry hollow crack, like straw being crushed.  This “ice cream candy” was just wrong.

Once we had the cone bisected, we had to give it a try.  All I can say is: That’s not ice cream. That’s stale strawberry Kix Cereal covered in a disgusting vegetable oil-based cocoa substance and wrapped in a leathery cone shaped skin. It was unnatural and nothing like ice cream (or how I had imagined astronaut’s ice cream).

If you see any of these floating around your favorite grocery discounter: Steer clear. We mean it. Avoid this. It’ll probably give you alien H1N1 and kick your dog. All while tasting like stale garbage. I’d rather have an ice bee in cream than Bee Ice Cream Cone Candy.

Ice cream candy or alien larve? You be the judge.

PLOMBO Ice Cream Cups

2 comments Written on February 3rd, 2011 by
Categories: Food
Tags: , , ,

Product: PLOMBO Ice Cream in Waffle Cup
Purchased at: Saar’s Marketplace (Lakewood)
Price: 99 cents each

Marisa’s Take:

PLOM·BO [plahm-boh]
- noun

1. Ice cream product manufactured in Daugavpils Latvia, a Baltic country and former USSR republic. Available in five different flavors: (vanilla cream with chocolate chunks in waffle cup, vanilla cream with walnuts and caramel in waffle cup, vanilla cream in waffle cup, chocolate cream in waffle cup, vanilla cream with raisins in waffle cup)

2. Uncle character on popular family sitcom, frequently seen wearing wifebeater, boxer shorts and a look of confusion. Constantly causing general mayhem and wackiness.

Uncle Plombo relieves himself in a Ming Dynasty era vase.
Mom and Dad in unison: “Oh that Uncle Plombo!”

3. Slang (verb): Taught a lesson (the hard way), to lose humiliatingly.

In response to a friend losing at an online MMMORG: “YOU JUST GOT PLOMBO’D!”

To be honest, I bought this product solely because it originates from Latvia. To those who do not know me, I happen to be half-Latvian. Unfortunately, I have never been to Latvia (yet) so I figured this product may help me to “connect with my roots”.

Ben commented on the dated packaging when I first showed it to him. I’ve always heard the Eastern Europe trends are ten years behind compared to ours, so I feel the packaging is entirely appropriate. Hopefully they weren’t affected too badly by the Y2K bug, but they’ll be getting iPods soon so that’s encouraging.

My dad tried one of these cones a couple weeks ago when I mentioned there was a freezer at Saar’s overflowing with them. Interested, he selected one of the “vanilla cream with chocolate chunks” flavors. Sadly, due to some printing error, confusion or just plain laziness, there were no chocolate chunks to be found in his “soggy” cone (his words, not mine). He mentioned that while the ice cream did taste good, the cone itself was pretty pathetic to look at and that the price should have been something like 4-5 cones/$1 instead of 99 cents each.

I picked up the three flavors that were available at Saar’s: plain vanilla, vanilla with chocolate chunks and vanilla  with walnuts and caramel. I admit I was a bit nervous since the product is not at all visible through the packaging.

My dad was right – the cone is really not that impressive. The ice cream barely comes above the top edge of the cone. Ah well, looks aren’t everything. I can excuse it since it had to make a cross-country journey to get here. After my first bite (soggy cone included, could be that way because of the potato starch listed in the ingredients?), something was a little off. Yes, it was creamy and sweet, but definitely a more “artificial” flavor compared to your standard Breyers or Dreyers. And that’s when we noticed “vegetable fat” as one of the ingredients (second one, in fact) in the “ice cream”, no cream to be found. Also, as you can see with our truly scientific dissections in the photos, there’s really not much in the way of pieces of chocolate or “caramel walnuts” either.

These aren’t terrible if you’re looking to satisfy an ice cream craving, but take note it’s going to be more like a pseudo-McDonald’s soft serve than a gourmet treat. At 99 cents, you might as well invest that towards some Haagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s.

(Ice cream ingredients, for reference: water, vegetable fat, sugar, skim milk powder, dextrose. Waffle cup: flour, potato starch, eggs, vegetable oil, salt, baking soda. Yum!)

Ben’s Take: A popular trend in the American food industry has been to use fillers and substitutes for some ingredients. Some of these “false” products such as fake beef and fake maple syrup have caused quite the stir, while other fake food products, particularly various brands of Kraft cheese products that masquerade around as real cheese (Not that Taco Bell beef products aren’t part of many American’s diets, but that’s a discussion for another day). The fine people of Latvia, wanting to build their own identity have created their own fake food product.

Plombo ice cream is made with 100 percent pure skim milk powder, vegetable fat, and artificial butter flavor. It comes with loaded in a cake style cone that is only loaded to the top of the cone. That’s pretty different from how I’ve grown up with ice cream, you know with the scoops piled high over the brim of the cone, covered in sprinkles, and crushed chocolate candies… No wonder I have love handles.  I really have no issue with the fact that this Latvian import isn’t exactly real ice cream, in fact I kind of like its vague artificial flavoring. It kind of tastes like how I would image ice cream made in Eastern Europe would taste. You know, with old machine gun factory cosmoline vats converted into vegetable oil holding tanks for the industrial sized soft serve machines to load up the cones.  Yeah that’s what this ice cream reminds me of, and I rather like it.

Who needs FDA approval when you’ve got Plombo’s machine gun ice cream? Unfortunately, the chocolate flavor was light on the chocolate chips and the cone portion of all of the flavors was extra soggy. I mean, its what I expected from a cake cone frozen, shipped from Eastern Europe to the Western Washington, and then left in a grocery freezer for a few weeks. If you’re interested in one of these, just throw the cone away. It just peels right off and you’ll be doing yourself a favor.

The caramel flavor had all caramel hands on deck when I tasted it. Its flavor was definitely there but didn’t overwhelm the subtle taste of AK-47, or the vanilla. It was easily my favorite flavor out of the three flavors we tried (The vanilla was plain, the chocolate was like the vanilla with a few chocolate pieces waved in its general direction) and if I was presented with another opportunity to eat it I probably would, though I definitely wouldn’t pay a buck for another one.

Overall the Plombo ice cream cones were pretty underwhelming. I liked them well enough but the beyond the vague taste of artificial butter, vegetable oil, and T-38s I just can’t figure out a good reason why anyone would spend a whole buck on one of these guys. I mean for a buck at a discount grocery you can buy a freaking tub of non-MiG flavored ice cream, and you might actually get your chocolate chips. For the listed price, I’d pass on these guys.