REVIEW: Dairy Queen Zero Gravity Blizzard

Dairy Queen Zero Gravity Blizzard

When I saunter into my local Dairy Queen and order a Blizzard, I do so because it tastes good and is the most efficient way to significantly exceed my recommended daily allowance of sugar and saturated fat. I don’t buy one because it’s pretty and will get me likes on Instagram. With many Blizzards featuring varying shades of brown with a mix of chunks, they don’t really match up with some of those made-for-social-media drinks at the place that sells overpriced coffee.

But the new Zero Gravity Blizzard — here for a limited time to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the July 20, 1969, moon landing — is a bit different.

For one thing, the name doesn’t even hint at its contents, unlike most Blizzard variations that pretty much give away the composition if you just ignore the superfluous superlatives, like outrageous or ultimate. This version offers Oreo cookie pieces mixed with cotton candy topping and vanilla soft serve, plus “space inspired iridescent blue and black swirls and galaxy sprinkles.” Even that description leaves some mystery, like what the heck is that whole last part? Well, it’s basically a lot of words and not a lot of taste.

I do have to give DQ credit for trying to up their game with this Blizzard and making an Instagram-worthy treat without going full Starbucks on us and using dragon fruit, passion fruit, or some other fruit that I’m not 100-percent certain really exists but don’t care enough to check.

Even so, this one is a bit of a letdown, starting with the name. In fact, Zero Gravity would be a good name for virtually any Blizzard variety except this one. We all know the standard presentation method for a Blizzard is a quick upside-down flip by the server, possibly followed by a smile and/or thank you (but those are optional). With the Zero Gravity, however, the DQ employee sheepishly explained that she was not going to turn it upside-down because “a lot of it would probably fall out.”

Huh? Does this even qualify as a Blizzard?

She hurried off before I had a chance to question this shocking revelation or inquire whether said Blizzard would be free because I vaguely remember that being the deal between the Queen of cow juice and her loyal subjects—that a Blizzard presented without the wrist-flip would be free.

Dairy Queen Zero Gravity Blizzard Tilt

So what did I do? Not wanting to fully test the power of gravity, I gave my “Zero Gravity” Blizzard a very slight and quick tilt. Gravity did indeed respond at a level well above zero and promptly sent some of my Blizzard on to the table of questionable cleanliness, as the photo attests.

Dairy Queen Zero Gravity Blizzard Blue

Dairy Queen Zero Gravity Blizzard Below

So what I had was an inaccurately named yet pretty spiffy-looking Blizzard. Now here’s the second letdown…it doesn’t taste that great. Sure, the mix of soft serve and Oreo is good, but the cotton candy flavor is very faint and hard to distinguish. The mysterious blue and black swirls have virtually no taste, and neither do the sprinkles; all that added was some shimmer and sparkle. Essentially what you have is a very colorful Oreo blizzard, which after you get past the top layer is considerably less colorful.

Dairy Queen Zero Gravity Blizzard Spoon

The Zero Gravity Blizzard is like one of those checks you get in the mail for some class action lawsuit about defective jelly beans in which you had no idea you were involved. You can tell from the envelope that it’s a check and perhaps get a little excited, until you open it and see that it’s for $1.21. An unexpected check like that is not bad, but it’s a bit disappointing and not what you had hoped for. Just like the Zero Gravity Blizzard.

Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: Small
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts:: (Small) 670 calories, 26 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 gram of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 300 milligrams of sodium, 98 grams of carbohydrates, -1 grams of dietary fiber*, 80 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of protein.

*It would seem to defy the laws of mathematics to have -1 grams of fiber, but that’s what it says on the DQ website and the Internet never lies.

REVIEW: Dairy Queen Reese’s Lovers Blizzards

Dairy Queen Reese s Lovers Blizzards

Should it be Blizzards of the Month or Blizzard of the Months? Or should we throw in some random apostrophes somewhere? The reason for these grammatical and punctuative predicaments is that Dairy Queen has unleashed both the Reese’s Peanut Butter Lovers and Reese’s Chocolate Lovers to battle for the title of Blizzard of the Month for June.

OK, so there’s no battle, but with two choices this month, plus the previously announced Summer Blizzard Menu with five other options, it’s enough for a Blizzard party!

Apparently with two new offerings to create, the Blizzard wizards at DQ could only muster half the creativity this month, as each of these are about as straightforward as can be. The peanut butter version has Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups mixed into a blend of vanilla soft serve and peanut butter topping, while the chocolate version substitutes fudge topping instead peanut butter.

While DQ will collect no prizes this month for thinking outside of the box, that doesn’t mean these Blizzards are not good just because they are close cousins to several previous Reese’s-inspired concoctions. In fact, they are genuinely good, proving again that sometimes the tried-and-true simple approach works just fine.

So, which one is better? That will depend largely — and not surprisingly — on whether you prefer peanut butter or chocolate.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Lovers

Dairy Queen Reese s Peanut Butter Lovers Blizzard

My go-to Blizzard has always been the straight-up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, but with all the new varieties being offered recently I can’t remember the last time I noshed on my old friend. (Note to self: Never use that phrasing again). So I got a little misty-eyed when I dug into the Reese’s Peanut Butter Lovers Blizzard.

Dairy Queen Reese s Peanut Butter Lovers Blizzard Closeup

A Blizzard with just vanilla soft serve and peanut butter cups is perfectly good, but the addition of the peanut butter topping here really adds something. Again, no awards for creativity, but it’s a simple and solid improvement over the standard PB cup Blizzard. After tasting this version, I’ll be asking for a shot or two of that sweet peanut butter topping to be added to my standard PB cup Blizzard in the future.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: Mini
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Not available on the DQ website

Reese’s Chocolate Lovers

Dairy Queen Reese s Chocolate Lovers Blizzard

If you really, really love chocolate, then you’ll likely really, really love the Reese’s Chocolate Lovers Blizzard. Perhaps my Blizzard barista got a little carried away with the fudge, but I found this one to be a bit too chocolatey to the point where the flavor of the peanut butter cups struggled to make much of an impact on my taste buds.

Dairy Queen Reese s Chocolate Lovers Blizzard Closeup

Certainly this is still a good Blizzard, even though, assuming you like chocolate, peanut butter, and soft serve, it’s hard to screw something like this up. But for me, it had just a little too much chocolate. Your results may vary.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: Mini
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Not available on the DQ website

Dairy Queen Reese s Lovers Blizzards Party

So if one version is for hardcore chocolate lovers and the other is for peanut butter aficionados, what would happen if you combined them into one spoonful? Well, I’m glad you asked, or more correctly, that I asked myself.

Dairy Queen Reese s Lovers Blizzard Combo

The combination of both — not unlike when Mr. H.B. Reese brought together chocolate and peanut butter in cup form — is quite tasty. Depending on which part of the spoonful hit my tongue first, I got a nice alternation of flavors throughout my Blizzard meal. Sure, it was a bit awkward to order two Blizzards while dining alone and having people look at me sitting in a booth while wondering if my DQ date had stood me up, but I really don’t care.

By the way, in case the Grammar Police are (or is?) watching, the correct answer to the above is Blizzards of the Month.

REVIEW: Dairy Queen Caramel Cannonball Blizzard

Dairy Queen Caramel Cannonball Blizzard

What is the Caramel Cannonball Blizzard?

It’s the most vaguely named of the newest offerings on Dairy Queen’s 2019 Summer Blizzard menu. Yes, it has caramel, and a lot of it, with that word appearing three times in what DQ says is a mix of vanilla soft-serve with caramel-coated caramel truffles, toffee pieces, and caramel topping.

How is it?

Do you know how in fast food commercials the people eating are always smiling, laughing and generally looking a bit too overjoyed to be munching on a $5 value meal? That’s how I behaved while eating this Blizzard, which was a little strange since I was dining alone. But it was just that good, even great.

Dairy Queen Caramel Cannonball Blizzard Spoonful

The caramel topping brings a light brown color to the mix and a subtle flavor to the soft-serve, and the toffee pieces add a nice crunch and buttery taste that pairs perfectly with the topping. But the caramel-coated caramel truffles really complete the mix, even beyond their alliterative brilliance. The coating would have been good on its own, but when you bite into a truffle and release the gooey caramel trapped inside you’ll find yourself furiously digging around for the next one.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Another similar truffle, the chocolate-coated caramel variety, has been used sparingly by DQ in past Blizzard concoctions, including the Triple Truffle (along with fudge and peanut butter), and a salted caramel truffle was featured in the not-so-creatively-named Salted Caramel Truffle Blizzard. This version appears to be the first time a caramel-coated caramel one has been thrown into the mix, and I hope it’s not the last.

Dairy Queen Caramel Cannonball Blizzard Caramel Truffle

I must admit that truffle is one of those words I’ve never been completely clear on and been too lazy to seek clarification. I know what the Truffle Shuffle is from watching “The Goonies” countless times, but I’ve always thought it was a type of mushroom.

It turns out they’re not, but they’re a mushroom-like fungus. Not being a fan of mushrooms or mushroom-like fungi, I’ve generally stayed away from them, only to find out that chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, etc. truffles are named simply because of their resemblance to the fungus. The point of that little story is to let any other linguistically-challenged readers rest easy in knowing that there are no mushrooms or fungi in this Blizzard, just sugary goodness.

Conclusion:

It’s always tempting to say the last great thing you had was the greatest ever, and with plenty of tasty Blizzard flavors over the years I’ll refrain from crowning this one king (or perhaps more appropriately, queen) of all Blizzardtopia. But for me, this one is a rightful heir to the throne, and with an untimely demise or two from above, I might bow down and say this is my favorite of all-time.

Purchased Price: $2.89
Size: Mini
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Mini) 470 calories, 21 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat,
0.5 gram of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 64 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 50 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dairy Queen Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard

Dairy Queen Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard

What is the Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard?

Dairy Queen’s Blizzard of the Month for April brings together three veterans of the Blizzard universe — Oreo cookie pieces, chocolate chip cookie dough, and fudge — which of course is all blended with vanilla soft serve.

How is it?

It’s not life-altering, but this one ranks solidly in the upper echelon of tasty Blizzard combinations. I’ve never met an Oreo-infused Blizzard that I didn’t like, and the one-two punch of that classic chocolate cookie crunch and fudge is always good, and then the cookie dough adds another level to the experience.

Dairy Queen Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard Swimming

This has a complex and satisfying flavor combo, especially considering it has only three things mixed in. Plus, the blending of textures here is a bit unique in that is has the crunch of the Oreo wafers and the soft chewiness of the dough. A good number of other Blizzards have just one consistency — be it crunchy, gooey, or chewy — so having two together is a nice change of pace. The cookie dough also prevents this one from hitting the point where there’s too much chocolate, even though that’s a difficult threshold to achieve.

Dairy Queen Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard Spoonful

It’s not the most creative concoction, but props to DQ for not over-hyping the name like they sometimes do by adding “extreme,” “ultimate,” “awesome,” or “blizztastic.” (OK, so it never used that last one, but I wanted to get that term out there so if it ever does, then I can file a frivolous lawsuit for theft of intellectual property.)

Is there anything else you need to know?

This Blizzard might be the record-breaker for the longest gap between the original introduction and re-introduction. According to TIB’s handy dandy Blizzards of the Month chronology, this one was first unveiled back in September 2009 and has since been in hibernation. Nearly a decade later, it’s back. Why now? I have no idea. Maybe because it debuted before Instagram, so the Blizzard wizards at DQ simply forgot they’d already done this flavor.

Conclusion:

If I were a teacher and my job was to grade Blizzards, then I would never take a vacation or even complain about the low pay. And I would give this one a high B or low A, depending on what other Blizzards were in my class and if I was using the flawed bell curve system.

Will I be sad when April is over and the Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard is gone? Yeah, somewhat, but I’m sure the Blizzard of the Month for May will cheer me up, especially if by some miracle DQ brings back the Nerds Blizzard (Google it, and I dare you not to run out and make it yourself after reading about it).

Purchased Price: $3.89
Size: Small
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Small) 710 calories, 27 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat,
0.5 gram of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 430 milligrams of sodium, 106 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 75 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Chick-fil-A Frosted Key Lime

Chick fil A Frosted Key Lime

What is the Chick-fil-A Frosted Key Lime?

A close cousin of Chick-fil-A’s Frosted Lemonade, the Frosted Key Lime is nearly identical with the same mix of vanilla IceDream soft serve and lemonade, but with the addition of lime flavoring.

How is it?

I enjoyed this with as much pleasure as Chick-fil-A employees claim to have every time I visit. Actually, maybe more pleasure, because I have serious doubts my presence gives said employees that much joy, but this frosty drink certainly did for me.

Surprisingly, I didn’t taste the lemonade, but the pleasant yet not overpowering lime flavor came through along with the vanilla soft serve. The lime gave it a nice tart and sour taste that was well balanced against the sweetness of the soft serve.

Is there anything else you need to know?

The word “pie” — one of the greatest words in the English language — is absent from this product’s name, and that’s my only quibble here. As is, the Frosted Key Lime is delicious. Maybe it’s because I got spoiled by some of the Dairy Queen Blizzards with graham cracker crumbs to complete the pie experience, but I couldn’t help but think the addition of that taste and texture might take this to the next level. Unfortunately, I do not carry graham cracker crumbs on my person (except sometimes accidentally after eating pie), so my theory is still unproven.

Chick fil A Frosted Key Lime Top

According to Chick-fil-A, the green color of the Frosted Key Lime comes from spirulina and turmeric. Not having any idea what the former is and only an inkling on the latter, I turned to my friend Google, who informed me that spirulina is a “biomass of cyanobacteria.” Mmmm, sounds good, right? It turns out it’s just blue-green algae. That’s certainly not something I would normally put in my drink, but that description at least sounded a little more palatable. At that point, however, I decided to end my biology lesson and let the turmeric mystery remain unsolved.

Conclusion:

Chick fil A Frosted Key Lime Spoon

Even though what is essentially a lime shake might not seem like anything special, this does stand out compared to the endless variety of shake flavors available. Sometimes simple is the way to go, and the Frosted Key Lime proves that. It’s a really good treat.

Chick-fil-A says this will be available until May 25, or “while supplies last.” I’m not sure the world will run out of soft serve, lemonade, or limes before then, but I don’t know much about the current supply of spirulina, so don’t dawdle.

Purchased Price: $3.95
Size: Large
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 450 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 90 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 64 grams of sugar and 7 grams of protein. (Also available with diet lemonade which reduces the calories, carbs and sugar).

REVIEW: Toy Story 4 Carnival Churro Cravings Ice Cream

Toy Story 4 Carnival Churro Cravings Ice Cream

What is Toy Story 4 Carnival Churro Cravings Ice Cream?

One of two new flavors (Chocolate Peanut Butter Midway Mash-Up is the other) released by Edy’s/Dreyer’s in advance of Toy Story 4, which presumably includes a plot featuring a carnival with a midway and a couple of oh-so-cute stuffed animal prizes featured on the package. According to Wikipedia, my sole source of sometimes accurate information, the two new characters are Ducky and Bunny, voiced by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. (Wikipedia didn’t specify which was which, and I didn’t think it would affect how the ice cream tasted, so I moved on).

How is it?

Toy Story 4 Carnival Churro Cravings Ice Cream Where My Swirls At

Quite good, especially considering it’s a light ice cream. It has a surprisingly rich and creamy taste and a more complex flavor than your run-of-the-mill cinnamon ice cream. However, I suspect the particular tub I purchased might have been produced when the quality control manager was taking a potty break, as it seemed pretty light on churro pieces and despite some furious digging I could barely locate the graham cracker swirl promised on the label.

Toy Story 4 Carnival Churro Cravings Ice Cream Closeup

Even taking into account that the photo on the package rarely matches what’s inside, the lack of churro and swirl was a minor letdown. But the churro pieces I did manage to find added a nice texture and extra flavor, and there is definitely a hint of graham cracker, so overall this is a winner.

Is there anything else you need to know?

The movie is not set to be released until June 21, so this product debut seems a bit premature. The good news is that it should be available at least through the end of summer. Also, I learned from the package that it’s “Great for birthdays!” Wow, thanks for the tip, otherwise I might have picked up some frozen broccoli for my next birthday blowout.

Conclusion:

Even with a possible churro and graham cracker swirl shortage, this ranks high for me as a solid choice. And bonus points for it being a light ice cream with 1/2 the fat and 1/3 fewer calories than regular ice cream. I was never good at fractions, but I think that means you can eat ten times as much.

I’m also tempted to sneak this into a movie theater this summer, especially since my local megaplex also serves warm churros, and that would make an incredible, albeit messy and probably short-lived, utensil to deliver the ice cream to my hungry mouth.

Purchased Price: $3.98
Size: 1.5 quarts
Purchased at: H-E-B
Rating: 8 out of 10 (possibly higher with some more freakin’ graham cracker swirl)
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup serving) 160 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.