Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Haagen-Dazs Gelato Sea Salt Caramel Review

[New for 2013] I was left a little perplexed after trying the Haagen-Dazs Dark Chocolate Chip Gelato several weeks ago, but there was no doubt in my mind I would be back for more flavors.

This is their Sea Salt Caramel Gelato and the mood has suddenly struck me for a late night snack. "sea salt caramel gelato blends ribbons of sea salt caramel into creamy caramel gelato" sounds like it should do just fine right now.

   Sealed                                             unsealed

I always like to prep a pint for it's first "scooped" shot but  this gelato isn't cooperating. There's a huge puddle of salted caramel in the middle and it's fighting me. Well, fine then, I'm just going to start eating.
WHOA! That is one potent swirl. I didn't see that one coming at all. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that is the most potent caramel swirl that I've ever had. It's just, wow, it's not messing around at all. After the last few reviews I was starting to thing my caramel sensors were off, but they're certainly buzzing and alive right now.

It's funny how my particular pint looks like a core flavor at first. The good news with that since it's so soft and gooey, I can totally control how much caramel I get on each spoonful. In fact, I decide to try a few bites of just base, and it's surprisingly mellow. Maybe mellow is the wrong word, but it's a mild flavor, it's the swirl  that's bringing the noise here. The base isn't hitting me as dry or salty, it's just a nice gelato/H-D hybrid.

This one definitely grows on you as you go, though a part of me misses the chocolate covered caramel truffles that always seem to pop up with a flavor like this. I really should be eating this one slower, though it's getting a nice soft texture as it sits, meaning it's just that much easier to scoop.

So the swirl is going to be the deciding factor on this one. It is a mighty and powerful swirl, one that might  scare some people off. I want to say the swirl is really salty, but it deserves better than that. Pure maybe? It's like the filling from some high end candy, but the flip of that is that we are still in the ice cream/gelato world, so that caramel punch risks offending some. I say go buy it, make up your own mind, and if it's too much, just mix it with another flavor.

On Second Scoop: Confession time, the second scoop happened a little earlier then expected. I was waiting for my breakfast to cook when I realized I could use a salty hit of sweetness to wake me up. I grabbed the pint and was pleased at how well this one worked as a breakfast treat. I like my OJ kick in the morning, and this has it's own swirly kick, so it totally worked for me.

One more thing.....

Before we retire this review, I think we need to burn up one of my free Talenti coupons to do a little side by side comparison. You see, Talenti is actually the #3 premium frozen dessert company after B&J and H-D, so I think that tips us off that H-D is trying to steal back some of the market share here.

Oh yeah, I've been dreaming about this all day.

Talenti is a little darker, textures look fairly similar

I take several bites of the wonderful talenti, and then several bites of the respectable Haagen-Dazs.... yeah, I could tell them apart if I had too, but they're both good and I'm getting confused as I scoop more and more. If I had to argue, I'd say I prefer the balanced Talenti flavor as opposed to the mild H-D base and it's potent swirl. I still think the Talenti is just a little dry, but every bite tastes like candy, where H-D is a mild base with a gooey candy swirl. I know I'm dancing around with the semantics here, but they're both really well done and if you dig caramel, you'll be happy with either... well, unless you want awesome little truffles in your gelato. I just scored five in a row and am now contemplating going off to sleepy time with this awesome chocolate caramel aftertaste in my mouth.

Verdict?  Good but strong
Buy Again?  I'd probably go Talenti, but I could probably get H-D cheaper

8 comments:

stride4unit E said...

If the swirl is as strong as you say it is, I might give this one a shot because, in my experiences with Haagen Dazs's Dulce de Leche ice cream and Caramel Cone ice cream, the caramel swirl's flavor was extremely weak and not rich enough for my liking. I appreciated reading this review since you contrasted and compared it to Talenti.

Dubba said...

Yeah, I've had both of those flavors and this one is in a whole other place when it comes to the swirl. Maybe it seems like a lot because it puddled, but I'm guessing/hoping they all look like that. At no point did "weak" cross my mind.

Space Monkey 1138 said...

I waited to catch this on sale at Kroger. I love it! So smooth! I think it is even better than the salted caramel gelato served at my local "YoLo" shop and a much better value. At "YoLo" they scoop the gelato into a cup and then instead of having it mounded in there, they SCRAPE OFF anything above the cup line so you get exactly the amount of ounces the cup is... too stingy for me. I'm gonna have to head back to Kroger and stock up before the sale ends.

Dubba said...

wow! remind me to never go to that place!!

stride4unit E said...

After your review, Dubba, I decided to try this one in the single serving cup. Since I am not a Haagen-Dazs fan I had low expectations before tasting it. Nevertheless, this one impressed me a lot. Haagen-Dazs finally delivered an awesome product that I love. The caramel swirl is generously swirled throughout and a good thing because it tastes amazing and makes this gelato a winner. Unlike their caramel swirls in Dulce de Leche of Caramel Cone ice creams, this swirl actually tastes like caramel as it is very rich and sweet just like the inside of Cadbury candy bar. The saltiness of the swirl is definitely noticeable which added depth to this flavor that I enjoyed. I was also impressed by the creaminess of the gelato. I wish I would have purchased a 14 oz. instead of a 4 oz. because this gelato is rich, sweet, and deliciously addictive! But then again, I would have eaten the entire 14 oz. so maybe it's good I stuck with the 4 oz. cup. Great job to Haagen-Dazs who finally made a product after my own heart and that I will buy again.

stride4unit E said...

Since I enjoyed the single serving cup so much I decided to purchase a 14 ounce container. My container didn't have a puddle of swirl as yours did; the swirl was evenly mixed throughout. I absolutely love this gelato a lot. It's addictive and it doesn't need to be improved upon. Any extra mix-ins would be too rich and would take away from the pleasant caramel taste. Haagen Dazs definitely won me over and I can no longer say anything negatively about them. I swear that it's creamier than their ice cream. If their other gelato flavors are as delicious as the Sea Salt Caramel gelato, then I think they should just stick with making gelato from now on.

Anonymous said...

Just so in love with this product!!

Rashana Carter said...

This is my absolute favorite flavor! Delicious! ��