Friday, April 4, 2014

2nd St Creamery Cannoli Di Nonni Ice Cream

[By Nick, debuted in 2012, 2nd St closed up shop before 2015]
To say I was envious of those with access to 2nd Street Creamy would be an understatement. Ever since Dubba’s first review, I’ve been on a feverous search to no avail. That is until I stumbled upon a random gas station that had recently started stocking the brand. Sadly, I knew I wouldn’t have access to a freezer for a few hours so I decided that I’d come back in a few days. Upon my return, I found out that the store’s freezer that contained 2nd Street had broken and that they weren’t sure when they’d order more if at all. All I could think was that the ice cream gods were playing some cruel sick joke on me. Fast forward a month and I found myself at that same gas station. This time however, there was a brand new freezer that was stocked with even more flavors of 2nd Street! Now I wanted to pick up flavors I’ve heard great things about like Kopper Street Caramel and Tons of Brownies but instead I opted to go with two flavors Dubba has yet to cover. So let’s start with the first of those two: Cannoli Di Nonni.

2nd St. Creamery Cannoli Di Nonni Ice Cream
Mascarpone Ice Cream with Pistachios, Fudge and Caramel Swirls and Cannoli Pieces

(Quick Packaging Note: I don’t know about you but that cow creeps me out. I thought Skinny Cow’s logo was terrifying but this thing could haunt my dreams. I wonder if that’s the Skinny Cow's Grandfather…)

Now it’s well known cheesy desserts aren’t something I go out of my way for but I have to confess something. I am not a fan of cannolis at all. Yes, I’m a terrible Italian. There was just something about that shell growing up that I despised with a passion and ruined the whole thing for me. Heck, I didn’t even try Ben & Jerry’s version. That said, this flavor combination intrigued me. I’ve recently been turned on to pistachios and the inclusion of caramel is something I’ve never seen with cannoli before.

Things are looking good right from the start. Just look at all those swirls of caramel! I can kind of see a little bit of the fudge trying to make itself known but as for the solid mix-ins, they’re nowhere to be found in the top layer. Well looks like it’s time to take my first taste of 2nd Street!

The mascarpone base isn’t as cheesy as I was expecting. While there are slight hints of it, it’s nothing overpowering or off-putting which I appreciate. It kinds of reminds me of a cheesy version of a cake batter ice cream.

2nd Street isn’t shy when it comes to mix-ins. There was either a pistachio or cannoli piece in each bite. I still have no idea how to explain the taste of a pistachio but they seem out of place here. While not overly salty or huge like the ones found in Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Pistachio, their inherent saltiness didn’t quite fit in.

The cannoli pieces on the other hand were really good. Going in I was a bit hesitant on them since I hate cannoli shells. Thankfully 2nd Street didn’t use actual cannoli shell pieces and went with a more sugar cookie/shortbread hybrid. They aren’t super flavorful but their butteriness works to temper the sweetness of the base as well as the saltiness of the pistachios.

Last but certainly not least are the fudge and caramel swirls. These two swirls are what make this flavor exceptional. The fudge swirl is reminiscent of a thicker version of Hershey’s syrup. While it’s not going to blow you away flavorwise, it earns points for nostalgia. The caramel on the other hand might just be the best caramel swirl I’ve encountered. It strikes the perfect balance between butter and sugar letting neither of them become the dominate component. Not only that but it also has some stringiness to it which is becoming rare these days. Now couple all that with the abundance of the swirl and the caramel is by my favorite part of this flavor which is kind of funny since I don’t associate caramel with cannoli at all. Other than the out of place pistachios, I have to say this was a great introduction into the 2nd Street brand and I can’t wait to try the other flavor in my freezer.

Verdict?  An all-around solid flavor, just the pistachios take a bit to get used to.
Buy Again?  I need to try all the other flavors first!



8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The 2nd St. Caramel flavor will change your life, best ice cream I've had the pleasure of consuming. It completely sucks that such a quality product was recently given the boot by the Walmarts in my area as now I can't have that experience anymore. I blame said creepy cow for scaring away consumers from buying it, and thus never having their mind blown.

TheHollows said...

I'm not really a canolli fan either. I am interested in the flavor now though. I'm a huge fan of Copper Kettle Caramel and Don't Tell Me No Cookie Dough.

stride4unit E said...

Maybe 2nd Street should make an ice cream flavor with sweet cream ice cream and this caramel swirl, just for you!

Nick Rovo said...

Anon, so I've heard. It's definitely the first flavor I'll try after I pick up the ones that still have to be reviewed!
TheHollows, definitely worth a try. I want to try that cookie dough but the gas station doesn't carry that one. I'll have to work my magic to see if they'd order it for me.
Stride, that would be too plain. I need my mix-ins!

Anonymous said...

I love 2nd Street but only one store in my area carries it. Try Tons of Brownies if you get a chance. I don't think Dubba liked it very much but it's my favorite.

Nick Rovo said...

Anon, it's also high up on my list of flavors to try. I'll get around to trying the whole line up sooner or later and chime in with my thoughts on Dubba's reviews if necessary.

Josh Hinnenkamp said...

Was it a Casey's General Store / Gas station? That's the only store in Minnesota that stocks this brand. It's made by the same company that makes Blue Bunny, so you'd think they'd have better distribution.

Nick Rovo said...

Josh, no it wasn't. It was just a typical independently run gas station. While we do know Wells produces them, we're not too sure why they limited the distribution so much. My guess would be that since its a newer brand for them, they want to test it out in a smaller market. For the most part, I've only heard of them being stocked in as stations. I did however find a selection in the Co-Op I toured recently so they might be in more stores as the year goes on.