Sunday, April 17, 2016

Graeter's Cheese Crown Ice Cream

I'm visiting family in Indiana right now, so I thought - hey, now's my time to try out things that really only exist in the Midwest. There is lots of cool stuff about San Francisco, things you can get there that are really difficult to find most elsewhere in the United States...but some things I know I'll be missing. Like a lot of chains - I know it's not all that cool but I wish I could, if I so chose, go to a Red Lobster or something. In San Francisco, they just don't have 'em. Nor do they have Graeter's ice cream parlors - a very small Midwestern chain that must've just recently expanded to Indiana, as I'd never heard of them before.

They had a special flavor this month based off of a cheese danish pastry that they refer to as a Cheese Crown. Apparently in the Kentucky & Ohio region they have bakeries, but in Indiana it's just ice cream...for now. Graeter's also sells lots of their premium chip varieties in grocery stores across the nation, so keep your eyes peeled for this flavor at shops near you. (no, I'm not sponsored by Graeter's ;) )

The mix-ins for this flavor include cinnamon sugar pastry pieces & fondant icing flakes. As you can see, there are plenty of both - as I went further into the pint, the amount only seemed to increase. Very generous!

The ice cream itself seems to be a cream cheese base with a hint of fresh, sweet lemon. It's very reminiscent of cheesecake, and is thick & rich rather than icy & sweet. You can really feel the quality of the ice cream itself - it's not just good because of the bits, like a lot of other ice cream parlor flavors out there in the world.

The icing flakes had a very creamy, smooth texture and were truly thin slivers. The flavor was very sweet, it was really similar to the light frosting that tops danishes & cinnamon rolls. The pastry was soft, and had a taste very similar to graham crackers - or perhaps more specifically, Cinnamon Teddy Grahams.

It was a great flavor, very well put together (cinnamon sugar & cream cheese is hard to go wrong with) and high quality, smooth ice cream.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups

There are so many new brands in the US right now - being here not really on vacation opens me up to finding different stuff, as there is no harried kinda "gotta get these before I go back to the UK!" feelings. That way I can be like, "eh, I'll get the limited edition Oreos soon. In the mean time, these banana peanut butter cups sound good."

So it was - at Target all of these Wild Ophelia Peanut Butter Cups were on sale, but only by like 10%. They sounded awesome, but this caramelized banana variety was definitely the most unique. It's about $2.00 for 6 miniature Reese's size cups, which isn't a great deal - but isn't too expensive compared to other more gourmet chocolates.

The top is covered with bits of tough caramelized banana chips. To be honest, I don't care for the firm crunch of banana chips (never have) but since they're minced up in a small way they're easier to handle. The peanut butter seems to be a bit sweeter than usual, probably has a bit of banana flavor or puree blended in it.

The chocolate is milk based at 41%, so again it was pretty sweet and creamy. Everything was really smooth in texture, minus the crunchy bits of banana chip. They were nice with coffee, but in all honesty I feel like the quality wasn't that much better than Reese's, and actually these old Reese's Elvis Peanut Butter & Banana Cups were significantly nicer in my opinion. Bring them back, please!