Friday, April 5, 2013

Stewart's Crumbs along the Mohawk Ice Cream Review

[By Nick] I think it’s about time I make all of you who don’t live in Upstate New York (and a small part of Vermont) jealous. Seeing as Stewart’s Shops are pretty much a local thing I’ll keep the background story short. They started out in the dairy business and then transitioned into opening up convenience stores. Starting out with just one store in 1945, they’ve grown to 328 stores throughout 30 counties. I have a lot of fond memories of Stewart’s, be it their policy of getting a free/reduce priced scoop of ice cream on Holidays if you did something specific, to the times when I’d be running behind in the morning and could pretty much get whatever I needed while filling up my gas tank. You also can’t forget their make your own sundae bar which led to my obsession with creating epic ice cream sundaes. Stewart’s is a major fixture in most of the communities around these parts. They’re also big on giving back and this year alone they'll donate $2.25 million of their profits to charities.

Now let’s move on to the ice cream shall we. Wait, one more thing about Stewart’s. They offer their ice cream in four different mediums. They come in half gallons, by the scoop, hand packed pints or in pre-made pints. I know it might seem uneconomical to buy the pre-made pints but they differ from the the half gallons because they’re more along the premium lines while the half gallons are more of your standard quality. Also with a normal price of $2.79, they’re still way cheaper than your typical pint of Haagen-Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s.

Stewart’s has an array of flavors but one of my favorites has to be their Crumbs Along The Mohawk ice cream. Described as “Graham cracker flavored ice cream with a graham cracker pieces and a caramel swirl” what’s not to love about this flavor?

The coloring might not seem too appealing as every component is about the same color. What it lacks visually it more than makes up for in taste. The base literally tastes like a graham cracker. That’s no small feat  as most mainstream brands have trouble achieving that. There’s a nice bit of molasses and hints of honey in the background of the graham flavor.

The graham cracker pieces only help emphasize the graham flavor of the base. You would think that they're being in ice cream with no kind of coating would make them soggy but that’s not the case. Some of them only retain a little of their crunch but a good amount of them have the same texture as if they just came straight from the box.

Along with the graham cracker pieces, Stewart’s stays true to the name and mixes in finely crushed graham crackers crumbs into the base. This gives you a sort of gritty mouth feel reminiscent of what you’d get from eating a real graham cracker. That has to be one of the most ingenious ideas ever.

The caramel swirl is more of a supporting role in the pint. It doesn't really stand out much but it does work to add an extra dimension to the flavor profile. It’s a buttery caramel which I prefer in this application versus a more burnt caramel. My only complaint with this flavor is that I’d like to see them incorporate another mix-in. Maybe some chocolate covered almonds or even just chocolate chips would work nicely. Not much of a complaint seeing as I can easily add them in myself. As for texture I would say it’s not as dense as Haagen-Dazs but it is on par with the quality of Ben & Jerry’s. It’s rich without overdoing it.

If you’re ever around a Stewart’s, be sure to stop in and give at least one of their flavors a shot. I mean they do sell a lot of flavors by the scoop so you can sample a variety of them if you’d like ;]

Verdict?  Frozen graham cracker goodness
Buy Again?  I’ve been doing it for years, I’m not stopping now.


Anonymous said...

So let me see if I follow you. Graham cracker pieces emphasize graham cracker flavor. Hmmm, yes, it's all starting to make sense now. Chocolate chips emphasize chocolate flavor. Heath bar chunks emphasize Heath flavor. Perhaps a peanut butter swirl would emphasize peanut butter flavor.

Nick Rovo said...

I have had plenty of mix-ins that are void of freshness. What I was saying was it's nice to see that these graham crackers are full of flavor and match up with the base perfectly. Replicating the flavor of graham crackers alone is hard so when the real stuff is in the mix it helps to solidify that flavor

Anonymous said...

So glad you reviewed this! It is my favorite ice cream flavor ever. I have tried most of Stewart's flavors and they have been surprisingly good.

Nick Rovo said...

No problem, Stewart's is like a gem for ice cream for us upstate new yorkers. If there's any other flavors you'd like to see reviewed, let me know!

Mitch said...

Stewarts "spooners" FTMFW!!!!

Nick Rovo said...

Mitch, I love this youtube video by them "We call them a "spooner" meaning a pint can be a snack and all you need is a spoon." I want to live in a world where a pint is a snack and a carton is a meal.

stride4unit E said...

This sounds addictively delicious and now I am jealous that I don't live in New York. Good job on creating jealousy!

Nick Rovo said...

Anytime stride;]

Brad @ IceCreamUScream said...

After five and a half years of ice cream blogging, this one remains one of my favorites. I wish I had regular access to it.