Friday, August 15, 2014

Jeni's Goat Cheese with Red Cherries Ice Cream

[By Nick] After my tour of The Fresh Market a while back, I was given a bunch of coupons for $5 off my next shopping trip there. Seeing as I refuse to buy pints over $10 with my own money and Jeni's won't send me any samples no matter how much I beg (have you ever seen me tweet them? I'm pretty pathetic) I can't think of a better use than to use them on their pints. $6 per pint is still high in my book but that's the cheapest I'm likely be able to get them for. So armed with those coupons, I went in and scoped out my Fresh Market's selection.

Jeni's Goat Cheese with Red Cherries Ice Cream
Sweet/tart cherries balanced by the natural tang of pure goat cheese

They really only have a few options that I'm interested in so I opted to go with their Goat Cheese with Red Cherries first. I've heard great things about this flavor plus Jeni's describes it as a cherry cheesecake, there was no way I was passing this up. Sure the goat cheese factor is a little intimidating but my first review for On Second Scoop was a goat milk ice cream so I'm not too afraid.

While the outside of the pint looks pretty with all of the red contrasting the white base, the opening shot isn't too exciting. ‎Digging down doesn't reveal any noteworthy shots either.

They were dead on with the cheesecake part in their description. The base is basically the ice cream version of the richest, densest cheesecake you've ever had. Jeni's really know how to pull of magic with their bases. There is a little tanginess from the goat cheese but nothing off-putting and I find myself enjoying it more and more. The problem here like in their Brown Butter Almond Brittle is the mix-ins. While that pint was skimpy on the mix-ins but strong with their flavor, this one is the complete opposite. There is an abundance of the swirl as well as the cherries but their flavor is mute. At first I thought the goat cheese in the base was cancelling this out. I decided to isolate a cherry and some of the swirl and there was literally no flavor. All I got was some texture and added tartness but there's no way I'd be able to tell you that cherries were involved at all from a flavor standpoint.

Once again Jeni's has blown me away with their base execution but have let me down with their mix-ins. Now this brings me back to the price aspect. Do I think that this ice cream is worth the $10+ price tag? Not a chance. I'm mad that I spent $6 on it to be honest. Sure the base is awesome but I'm not buying this for just the base. I want to have the full on cherry cheesecake experience as I was promised. What makes things worse is that I could've bought a pint of Gelato Fiasco's Torched Marshmallow S'more Gelato for only 50 cents more without using a coupon. I understand how Jeni's is a craft company and all that but so are these other brands like The Gelato Fiasco and they're putting out a superior product for a way better price.

If you're looking for a cherry cheesecake fix, look elsewhere. I really can't recommend this flavor at the price that it is. If it was under the $5 price tag or the flavor of the cherries made an impact I might change my mind but that's just not the case. If you want to try Jeni's I’d recommend their Dark Chocolate or Brown Butter Almond Brittle well before this one.

Verdict?  So much potential but the cherries need to be fixed
Buy Again?  Nope but there are a couple of others I'll use my coupons on for future reviews


alek said...

Why it is $10 price mark? What makes it expensive?

Nick Rovo said...

Alek, they justify it by the quality, ingredients and handmade qualities of their ice cream. I really can't believe that when companies like Steve's, Gelato Fiasco, ect are doing the same thing at a cheaper price.

Bulldoglover said...

I agree with you completely. I'm lucky enough to live walking distance to a Fresh Market. Over the past year I've had all the Jeni's flavors. About 3 months ago they starting carrying Fiasco Gelato. Even if the price point were the same, I prefer FG. I know you love the toasted marshmallow s'mores, but my heart belongs to Wild Maine Blueberry. And dark chocolate. And peanut butter! Perhaps it's because they've had the same half dozen flavors of Jeni's for so long, I'm over them. I wish they would change out the flavors more frequently. After all, I pay the $$ so I can be dazzled by flavors not available at the grocery store. But, if they just keep the same flavors of the high end brands for too long, I go back to Ben and Jerry's. Any insight as to why they do this, and can you use your influence to get them to mix it up more?!

Nick Rovo said...

Bulldoglover, they do that with all brands though not just the high end brands. Really the only flavors that rotate in a store are the exclusive/limited editions. Other than that, stores really don't pick up old flavors from brands and only add the new flavors when they become available. The main reasoning is that stores want to get in products with the highest turnover possible. If a product doesn't sell well, they'll get rid of in favor of a newer flavor. As for having any influence, I've got nothing on companies. If i was you, I'd speak with a manager and if possible the frozen foods manager. They'd be able to assist you more and you can request them to order certain flavors which I've had plenty of success with.

Anonymous said...

I so badly want to try Jeni's but they cost more than I make an hour! I feel very encouraged to know that the other two you mentioned (Steve's and Gelato Fiasco) might be a bit less so I will probably be able to try those. Thanks for the heads up!

Nick Rovo said...

Anon, yeah I haven't had much luck with Jeni's so far. I'd easily recommend those brands over Jeni's any day.