After toiling away on reviews of Van Leeuwen’s seasonal offerings (this past Summer’s releases and the very recent Fall releases), I finally got my hands on one of the “weird” ones. And while I haven’t even actually tried one of the previous novelty concoctions, I’ve read and watched enough reviews that I get the gist: the pizza, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Grey Poupon ice creams all taste exactly like what they’re supposed to taste like, it’s honestly not as off-putting as the reviewer thought it would be, and they’re glad they tried it but probably wouldn’t do it again.
So, then, what about Van Leeuwen’s Mexican Hot Chocolate featuring Tapatio Hot Sauce? Would it follow this extremely established and scientifically vetted pattern?
Not really. I’ll explain.
First, I didn’t think it sounded very off-putting at all, really, maybe owing to the fact that, unlike pizza or cheesy pasta, hot chocolate (even spicy hot chocolate) is already pretty dessert-y.
Second, I’ve never actually had Mexican hot chocolate, so I cannot tell you whether the taste of the ice cream mimics the beverage in question. What I can tell you is that, 1) there was a lake of fudge, 2) there was a mountain of marshmallows, and 3) the ice cream was standard chocolate, until, you know, the heat.
And let’s talk about the heat. I wouldn’t call it a distinctly Tapatio taste, at least not at first. Things get warm with the first bite, sure, starting in the back of the throat where your swallow bones are located. Then it spreads forward like an army of angry villagers carrying torches up to the tip of your tongue. While I never found myself needing to drink milk and/or blow my nose, I could feel it up through my sinuses after only a minute or two. And it stayed. After a while, though, the vinegary flavor of the Tapatio began to register. That wasn’t my favorite part, honestly, but I will say that it made for a good place to stop my consumption.
Up to that point, it was all quite enjoyable. The marshmallows and fudge were very reminiscent of Van Leeuwen’s Campfire S’mores, which I absolutely loved. (I’m not sure anyone in the freezer aisle does those two inclusions better than Van Leeuwen, honestly.) The ice cream, too, was nice; I’ve not previously had their chocolate base, and they do it well.
This brings me to the third point of the review pattern: Jun K. Reviewer thought it was fine and interesting and all, but they wouldn’t eat it again. And, okay. Maybe I’m in agreement here. While this is a perfectly fine ice cream, I’m not sure if the mood will ever strike me to buy it again. I guess maybe I’m just not a “spicy chocolate” person. But maybe you are! And I feel like if you are, there’s a good chance you’ll really like what they’ve done here.
Purchased Price: $4.98
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 280 calories, 14 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates,0 grams of fiber, 30 grams of sugar (18 grams added sugar), 4 grams of protein.