Thursday, May 28, 2015

Haagen-Daz Artisan Collection Applewood Smoked Caramel Almond Ice Cream

[for 2015 only, "Regional"] Well look what someone just put out on the freezer shelf! The elusive "regional" piece to the new H-D artisan collection line up. Granted I wish I would have found this last week when I had my $2 off coupon, but hey, it's now 2 for $7 and I know what I'm having for second lunch today. Sure the word smoked scares me a little but let's dig in to...

Haagen-Daz Applewood Smoked Caramel Almond Ice Cream
almonds and smoked applewood caramel sauce swirled into a sweet cream ice cream
(collaboration with Praline Patisserie)

Ok, technically this pint is already very soft on the edges from the overly warm spring day, but that just means easier scooping, well once I figure out how to get around all of these almonds everywhere... ahh, can't do it, guess they are getting sampled first. Hmmm, plain almonds, nothing on them. I'm not hitting smoke yet, so digging further. Wow, that swirl is nice, there's something very pleasant about it.

So many almond bits. 
(thankfully they are fresh/crisp)

With all the other artisan flavors trending towards more mild, I had hoped this one would be ok, and it is. I'm still not really getting the smoke.... well, I think I taste it way in the background.... wait.... I think it's building. Ok, i was tasting it, but it's not as expected. It's almost a meaty smoke to it. Funky, definitely funky in it's partially melted state.

What else can I say as I inhale this surprisingly tasty treat. Hmmm, it's kind of weird how there is this lingering smoke wandering around the back of my tastebuds as I break from scooping to type. It's a little weird, but their is a certain intriguing robustness to what it adds here. Plus, now that the swirl has kicked in, the almonds don't seem so plain now that they have this background flavoring going on. I'm impressed, I really am.

Sweet cream base was the way to go here, it just does a great job of encompassing everything. I'm not a huge almond fan in general, I find them a bit bland in flavor and texture compared to my beloved peanut, but once you get going, the whole pint comes together nicely.

The swirl looks solid but it blends right in when it hits your tastebuds.

My word did I inhale half a pint quickly. I'm amazed at how the swirl and almonds compliment the base rather than trying to override it. The swirl is nice and mild. A strong caramel flavor would have ruined this one for me. I just love how the base stays strong throughout. This one is sweet and wonderful and doesn't bother hopping on the salty trend and I thank them so much for that. Sometimes I just want sweet without salty.

I also dig how the smoke is just along for the ride. Yes, it lingers in the aftertaste which is a bit foreign to me since I'm not use to it, but it works. Technically I do kind of feel like I've been inhaling campfire fumes, but while you're eating this tempered (partially melted) product, man, that composite flavor and sweetness of it all is a total thumbs up from me.

(yeah, smoke still lingering ten minutes later.... still can't wait to second scoop this tomorrow)

On Second Scoop: Yeah, still totally impressed with this one. I was good and only had a lone 1/2 cup serving so I could have a bit more tomorrow. Yes, personally, the smoke is still a little weird and it does linger (in a very mild form), but man, the way this one comes together is so cool. I figured this one would be decent and hopefully not offensive, but it's really well put together.

Verdict?  Surprisingly tasty
Buy Again?  Yup!


Alek Roz said...

It sounds good. Smoked caramel= move over salted caramel! I should try it if I can find it in my area.

John R. said...

Now this one looks very intriguing. I'd most definitely nab this one up if I ever come across it. Especially after the above seal of approval.

Over this past weekend, I purchased & tasted both the Tres Leches & Ginger Molasses Cookie. Both were good & well executed true to their name flavor profiles. I favored the Ginger of the two. Such a robust, consistent flavor throughout. I'd certainly buy that one again, and eat the Tres Leches if purchased for me.

Anonymous said...

Where did you find this? I have checked in various markets in California, Washington, Iowa, and Minnesota to no avail. Where do they stock this flavor?

Unknown said...

Illinois has it

Anonymous said...

Enjoying this right now. I might have to kill the (almost) pint.

Grocery Outlet here in California has it right now.