REVIEW: Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Spiced Pecan Turtle Ice Cream

Haagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Spiced Pecan Turtle Ice Cream

I just want to preface this review by telling you that I pronounce the word “pea-can,” and not the snooty, actual pronunciation “puh-con.” I’d be totally misrepresenting myself if I didn’t let you know that up front. Clearly, I’m not very cultured, so the idea of trying this new fancy pants ice cream flavor intrigues me…and kinda scares me.

Let’s be real, despite Magnum’s best attempts, Häagen-Dazs is our most pretentious ice cream brand. What with their “look at me” umlaut and their “look at me again” hyphen. Their name doesn’t even translate to anything, it just sounds Danish and important. Now they’re adding everyone’s favorite buzzword “Artisan” to the mix? We’re talking “high-quality ingredients handmade by a worker in a skilled trade” here people.

Enter Spiced Pecan Turtle Ice Cream.

Haagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Spiced Pecan Turtle Ice Cream Topless

The base ice cream looks, smells and tastes like any run of the mill chocolate ice cream you’re used to, so don’t get your hopes up there. The revelation you’re looking for comes in the form of the featured chocolate, caramel, and pecan clusters. This is where you leave boring ol’ chocolate ice cream behind, and enter a new world of perfectly textured spicy bites.

Unlike some ice creams riddled with molar threatening chunks, the outer chocolate coating of each cluster acts as a barrier to somehow keep the inner pecan soft and fresh. This was a welcome surprise and easily the best part of the ice cream for me. Size and appearance wise, they reminded me a lot of Buncha Crunch, just without a bunch of crunch. A crunch would actually ruin the experience.

The clusters are also where spice flavor really pops. Said flavor is inspired by Christopher Elbow’s artisanal chocolate – fannnn-cy! Apparently Mr. Elbow is very famous for peculiar chocolate creations and not his curveball as his name would suggest. 

Haagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Spiced Pecan Turtle Ice Cream Closeup

Turtles are an underrated flavor combination in my opinion (and an underrated animal for that matter) but I’m not sure they needed a “spice” element. The spice itself does have a little kick to it, which is an odd sensation to taste in an ice cream. The aftertaste lingers in the back of your mouth after you chomp down on the clusters, and I wasn’t a fan.  I got the hint of caramel, but only for a second before that weird heat took over. I guess “sweet and spicy” is trying to sneak its way into the niche market “sweet and salty” has recently carved out. I think it’s gonna have a harder time catching on.

Even after looking at all the ingredients, I’m not positive what this mystery “spice” is.  It could be cinnamon? Maybe ginger? This ice cream does taste a little “gingerbready” if you will. Will you? I know you won’t.

Well then, let me do my due diligence and research Christopher Elbow a little more because this will bother me all day. After some digging, the spice(s) appears to be…ancho and chipotle peppers with some cinnamon to boot. Well there it is, with the inclusion of “chipotle” we’ve hit max buzzword capacity. That explains the heat element. Here’s your chance to have peppers in your ice cream. Color me intrigued.

So is this worth trying? I’m gonna go ahead and say sure, give it a shot. While it’s basically just a strange spin on regular chocolate ice cream, it’s unique enough to try for yourself. Will I ever buy it again? Probably not, but I’m not mad that I did. If nothing else, I felt important while I held this pint of Häagen-Dazs. You shoulda seen the look the cute checkout girl gave me when I told her I only eat the finest artisanal ice creams. It was somewhere between “Who cares” and “Security!”

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 310 calories, 19 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 24 grams of sugar, 5 grams of protein, 8% vitamin A, 0% calcium, and 8% iron.)

Item: Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Spiced Pecan Turtle Ice Cream
Purchased Price: $3.49 (on sale)
Size: 14 oz.
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Unique flavor. Umlauts. Artisanal snacking. Fancy pants. Boring ol’ chocolate ice cream. Cute checkout girl. I like turtles.
(Puh-)Cons: Utter spice confusion. Christopher Elbow squandering his name. Odd aftertaste. Boring ol’ chocolate ice cream.

24 thoughts to “REVIEW: Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Spiced Pecan Turtle Ice Cream”

  1. Nice review. I just tried this myself, and my thoughts are similar, although I think I liked it more than you did. I found the spice interesting, but I thought it could have used more caramel.

  2. Horrible! They need to list the peppers in the ingredients. I was expecting cinnamon. My mouth can’t handle spicy food! And virtually no caramel!

    1. Agree. This flavor is just strange, I just bought some, took a taste and swished my mouth to get rid of it. Threw the rest away. Now this takes some doing, as I am a serious ice cream lover. But – no. Just no on this one.

      Sorry, Haagen Dasz.

  3. I absolutely adore this ice cream,,, dough I hid it in back freezer from husband. The caramel is smooth and creamy, the chocolate pecans with the spice are over the top.. Fabulous. The ice cream is great…

  4. Bitter, a strong clove taste. Horrible to my taste buds, I’m throwing the rest away.

  5. I am not a picky ice cream eater in the least, but this was so not enjoyable. Actually, I couldn’t even finish my serving it was so awful. The back of my throat felt like I had just drank a concentrated version of the gingerbread syrup that they use at Starbucks for their gb lattes.

  6. This ice cream tasted horrible! I love ice cream..all kinds..all flavors but this “artisan” spiced pecan turtle was just plain nasty!! I couldn’t get past the strong cinnamon flavor…couldn’t tell you anything about caramel flavor….and the after-taste as bad as the initial taste.

  7. Worse ice cream I’ve ever had. Spice I thought meant cinnamon. Terrible. I threw it out after three bites. Couldn’t get any family members to eat it either. Waste of money.

  8. Totally agreed. I was excited to try this flavor, but after doing so I mostly feel angry at this crock of bull****. As you said, the chocolate base is COMPLETELY typical, run of the mill, boring chocolaty flavor. That element honestly tasted more like the chocolate of some generic store-brand chocolate ice cream than something labelled as super-premium. I tasted almost no caramel. The texture of the pecans was good, but the spice was completely over the top and plain weird. I’m not sure that the spices listed for the actual truffles from Mr. Elbow himself are the same as those in the ice cream, because what I tasted was predominantly ginger and black pepper, and maybe a little bit of some kind of red pepper. I was expecting some cinnamon, maybe a hint of nutmeg…not this.

    I expected a lot more from something labelled as “artisinal” and costing $1.50 more than regular Haagen-Dazs (the 14 ounce tub cost me $5.50). I find the whole thing a bit insulting to be honest. Overall, this flavor was pretty off-putting and unpleasant, and I don’t feel that the ingredients in this ice cream are of any higher objective quality whatsoever than other Haagen-Dazs ice creams. I haven’t tried any of the other “Artisan” flavors yet, but now I am not sure that I will. They cost significantly more than the already pricey regular flavors, and frankly, none of the other flavors sound particularly special or appealing. This is a big ol’ marketing gimmick/money grab. Don’t waste your money.

  9. AWFUL. The ‘spice’ was not identified in the list of ingredients. Just salt. Not a nice thing to do.
    It tasted like chili powder……no,ginger…….no, clove……, strong cinnamon…….no, hot pepper……no, nutmeg. Unpalitable. Nothing got the aftertaste out of my mouth.

  10. Maybe yall should stick to more basic types of ice cream. Seems as if you can’t handle something like this.

    1. I’m with Alexis. Maybe it’s for a more sophisticated palate…I mean. I’m not sophisticated (really, I’m writing this in a t-shirt and track pants) but I enjoy dark chocolate spiced with chili pepper, so I kind of figured that’d be what Häagen-Daz was going for. And I am hopelessly in love with this flavor! It’s definitely not your typical chocolate ice cream and certainly not a pedestrian “sweet” or “fruity” type of flavor, and is more complex. If you prefer safe stuff like cookies & cream or strawberry, suffice it to say, you may not like this.

      1. Agreed! I LOVE this flavor. The spice and the caramel are wonderful, and I love pecans! I’m shocked so many people seem to dislike it.

  11. I agree with the majority of the people that responded – Worst ice cream I ever tasted.
    Felt the spice ingredient should have been listed. Threw it out after a few mouthfuls.

    1. It wasn’t supposed to be throughout only in the candies if it was throughout it would be overpowering. I loved the ice cream now I can’t find it anywhere.

  12. Wow, I didn’t realize how many ice cream connoisseurs there were out there! I actually love this ice cream. It’s not everyday you can find something different in ice cream land. I applaud the makers for going beyond the standard flavors. I will agree it’s not for everyone ( read the above scathing reviews) but there is a small minority out there that actually appreciate the flavor! It’s not enough spice to interrupt the sweet but chili and chocolate have been paired for years. I guess for this pairing, you either love or hate it!

  13. I never thought I would ever say this about a name brand ice cream product, but this was the worst I’ve cream I have ever tasted in my life, and I’m decades and decades old! I wasn’t sure if if the spice was a burnt mouthful of cloves and cinnamon, or what, but I’d really like to know, because while I was taste-testing this, I had an asthma attack from hell! I am not allergic to nuts, eggs, or soy, or anything else visible on the ingredients label.

    I guess I was captured by the label’s pecan and turtle wording (always a favorite of mine), but the “spiced pecans” part I hope never to taste again. Whatever “spice” should never touch ice cream. Blech.

    1. I think it was the heat from the chile that threw a lot of us. I know some people combine chile and chocolate, but you don’t expect that “burn” in an ice cream. I mean, an uncomfortable burn, and i like spicy hot foods. But not in my dessert.

      If it’s any consolation, my grocery store had it in a close out sale bin, so I suspect it was a phenomenal flop. But I highly recommend Ben and Jerry’s cookie butter core ice cream. You’ll feel much better,

  14. I don’t like this ice cream at all and apparently since I bought it for $1.00 at the 99.9 Cent Only Store, that is probably the general consensus. Just terrible, in my opinion!! I will most likely throw out the two containers I bought and take the $2.00 loss.

  15. I don’t understand it. Like what is it. Licking Christmases asshole or something?
    I took a bite and it was like “ahhh gingerbread attack, mmm okay i can work with the nuts and chocolate”.
    But ultimately it’s like gingerbread tea bagging your mouth. Not highly recommended.

  16. I absolutely love this flavor , it by far has a unique first impression that goes with the next bite , and the next . After 3 savory lingering ones , I finished off 1/2 of the container before I realized it . I love the chili and chocolate with pecan ~ Anything else is a plus ~ my all time favorite ~ Yum

  17. I really enjoy this ice cream. I used to like White Choc raspberry but this is my utimate favorite. Shop Rite normally sells this flavor but the Absecon and Galloway stores do not have it. I guess because Haagen Daz is in sale. I will keep looking.

  18. This is my very favorite HaagenDaz ice cream. I used to enjoy White Choc Raspberry but now I switched to Spiced pecan. I guess because Haagen Daz is on sale at Shop Rite the Rep is not stockng this flovor. Both Absecon and Galloway NJ stores do not have this .

  19. I agree that peppers should be listed in the ingredients. This is an awful taste for me and I wish I had read your review before trying this ice cream as it’s just as you describe it, how the biting taste of the peppers attacks the back of my throat! Ew! I tried to get over the taste but I just can’t get away from the after taste.

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