Goldfish’s latest limited edition drop brings Old Bay seasoning to the cracker aisle! If you’ve never had it, it’s a signature blend of 18 herbs and spices. It was invented in Baltimore, Maryland, for steamed crab, so I still immediately associate it with seafood, crawfish boils, etc. But, it’s truly the bomb on everything — including Goldfish crackers.
How is it?
I expected it to be a bright orange cheddar cracker because of the image on the front. But it was actually pale and oyster cracker-esque. It still worked well, though!
While the seasoning coverage looked sparse and inconsistent, it was super flavorful. It was true to Old Bay’s aromatic start with a generous punch of salt, tempered by a backdrop of slight sweetness. It peaked at a high note of celeriac and ended with a bit of heat on the back of my tongue. This flavor journey also came with Goldfish’s gummy goodness that gets stuck in your molars when you eat ’em by the handful.
However, I noticed that almost none of my fish-shaped crackers smiled back. I truly find delight in the “snack that smiles back,” and I expect it with all Goldfish crackers. So, I dumped out the bag and flipped each one over – only to get a sad dimple or half-smile here and there.
Yes, I’m fully aware that this doesn’t affect the taste, but it does have an outsized impact on my joy of eating these crackers.
Anything else you need to know?
The simplicity of the packaging is stunning. The designers really brought forward the yellow and red colors of the Old Bay tin can. I could spot it easily five feet away from where it was sitting on display.
Since this is Goldfish and McCormick’s second collab (the first time was Frank’s RedHot), and I believe good things come in threes, I’m sure we’ll have another one to look forward to. Would French’s Seasoned Goldfish be too polarizing?
Purchased Price: $1.98 Size: 6.6 oz bag Purchased at: Walmart Rating: 9 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (55 pieces or 30 grams) 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 310 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 0 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein.
Okay, close, but not quite this exact flavor. I see you, Mondelez! There’s basically no additional R&D needed if you just mash up previous cremes, right? After Oreo runs out of existing mash-ups, I wouldn’t be surprised if we started seeing savory flavors like the current state of the ice cream aisle…
Lack of uniqueness aside, it’s still a tasty Oreo. When I opened the package, the smell reminded me of 7-Eleven or Meijer Express, and I mean that in a good way. It’s that very distinct smell of syrupy, artificially aromatic coffee. It’s almost Pavlovian for me as I can just hear the ding of the door opening and the sweet coffee aroma immediately tickling my nostrils. The scent also helped me overlook how messy the creme looked. I was surprised not to see neat rows.
This scent comes from the dual creme layers of supposedly mocha latte and caramel. I say supposedly because the tan part carries the team. It has all the flavor, so I thought it was caramel latte filling. I tried the darker brown creme repeatedly, but I couldn’t pick up anything distinct except for a flat, sweet note. So, I concluded that it was there just visual interest. I thought the darker brown filling was gratuitous because the cookie itself did a fine job being the chocolate portion of mocha. It also added a much-needed depth, a counterpoint to the caramel sweetness. Can you tell that I’m #TeamCookie?
But apparently, it’s mocha latte and caramel cremes. I really didn’t get that at all, and I have gingerly peeled apart the layers on many a cookie at this point.
Overall, there have been more exciting limited edition Oreo cookies, but I think this did the job of emulating a caramel mocha latte. I am, however, still left wondering if Oreo’s coffee flavors have caffeine in them.
Regardless, I’ve started to dip these cookies into an espresso as my afternoon treat and it’s getting out of hand! Where’s the family-size pack of limited edition flavors when you need ’em?!
Purchased Price: $3.98 Size: 12.2 oz Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.
Emulating a breakfast staple, it’s fluffy pancakes in salted butter and Vermont maple syrup ice creams.
The side of the pint shares a heartwarming blurb on her inspiration — Young Jeni enjoyed freshly tapped maple syrup, from her grandparents’ trees, with a triple stack of buttermilk pancakes. She soaked them until they became a syrupy, sweet mush.
How is it?
Buddy the Elf would approve and count this as part of his syrup food group!
After pulling back the lid, I could immediately see two swirl colors – a cream one and a light brown sugar-esque one.
From tasting it, the darker part was unmistakably the maple syrup ice cream. It had a light and caramel-like flavor. However, it wasn’t cloying like caramel can get sometimes. Could I tell that it was from Vermont? Nope, but I can appreciate Jeni’s attention to detail. What I can also appreciate is how one manages to freeze real maple syrup without it crystallizing or diminishing the flavor! Food magics.
By the process of elimination, I anticipated the lighter part to be the salted butter portion. It didn’t really have a pronounced taste, but my taste buds did pick up the saltiness.
The pancake was swirled throughout. But the adjective fluffy should really be in quotes because it creates unrealistic expectations! They were also more like pancake pieces, or in today’s snack vernacular, they could be considered pancake bites. The texture was fine. They were crumby, so they reminded me a bit of stale pancakes, but at least they weren’t frozen solid. I found myself hunting for them like cookie dough pieces in vanilla ice cream, but it was a lot more difficult because these were practically camouflaged.
Altogether, this was pretty good and unique from what’s in the ice cream aisle today! I also always appreciate creamy ice cream that’s easy to scoop, with a spoon, right out of the freezer.
Anything else you need to know?
Since day one, Jeni’s has been faithful to her philosophy of high-quality ingredients. All her cream comes from grass-fed cows from a local Ohio milk producer. None of her ice creams have stabilizers, emulsifiers, or corn syrup! Even for the color of this specific flavor, she used hibiscus, apple, and carrot to achieve it. We pay a pretty premium for this, but I think it’s worth it!
While Jeni’s is relatively new to grocery store shelves, she’s been rockin’ it since 2002. If you get a chance to visit one of her 40+ locations, there are scoop shop exclusives (shameless plug for the Pear Riesling Sorbet paired with the Darkest Chocolate ice cream)!
I didn’t need a unique breakfast flavor analog like this to convince me to eat ice cream for breakfast, but I enjoyed the idea AND execution of this.
Purchased Price: $12 Size: 1 pint (473 mL) Purchased at: Jeni’s Website Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1 serving – 2/3 cup or 123g) 300 calories, 18 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 320 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 28 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.
If The History Channel created a “Food That Built America ’00s Edition” episode, Milk Bar and its founder Christina Tosi would be top billing. I mean, c’mon: you can’t deny Compost Cookies, Cereal Milk Soft Serve with Cornflake Crunch, and Crack Pie were unlike anything we’d ever seen until she burst onto the scene.
The first Milk Bar bakery opened in NYC in 2008, and I would have kind friends haul back packages of cookies for me until I could see that neon pink cursive sign for myself years later.
So, what’s the big deal? Tosi’s James Beard-winning culinary genius is tapping into nostalgic flavors like cereal milk and creating the perfect * chef’s kiss * balance of sweet and salty. I’ve found this true in all her delicious desserts at her flagship bakeries to her newest grocery store items.
The latest to hit shelves are Milk Bar Ice Cream Pints in four glorious flavors that are sure to make OG and new fans giddy. Here’s the rundown:
Birthday Cake: A love letter to Milk Bar’s signature sprinkle flecked layer cake with unfrosted sides, this flavor brings the same delicious layering effect with birthday cake-flavored ice cream, birthday crumbs, and ribbons of birthday frosting. All the celebration, any day of the week.
Cereal Milk: The flavor that started it all. Cousins to the Milk Bar bakery-favorite soft serve offering, this pint combines a Cereal Milk ice cream base with salty-sweet cornflake crunch. Tastes just like the bottom of your cereal bowl.
Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow: An ode to the bestselling cookie that combines an irresistible combination of cornflake crunch, chocolate chunks, and gooey marshmallow swirls throughout a cookie dough ice cream.
Milk Bar Pie: Deep vanilla ice cream swirled with a gooey butter filling and toasted oat crumble reimagines Milk Bar’s signature pie in ice cream form.
I figured they all be legit because of the Milk Bar brand. However, I also had a good feeling because the receipt detailed “Frozen Custard,” which signaled to me that this would be full flavor compared to an airy, less than 10% milkfat frozen dairy dessert.
I didn’t really know where to start, so I just dove in with the Milk Bar Pie variety. My fellow OGs know this as Crack Pie. Folks newer to Tosi’s empire may ask, “What kind of pie?!” and there ain’t no shame in that either.
I imagined that deep vanilla would be like a sweet cream ice cream, but it tasted more like caramel ice cream with the honey-like sweet notes smoothed out with a buttery richness. The oat crumble was more like crushed oats, but it cued the actual dessert’s crust very well. Unlike a cheesecake graham crust or flaky pie dough, it’s pretty flat. However, the creamy base was so dominant that the crumble didn’t taste particularly oat-like to me. All it did was get stuck in my teeth per usual with oat.
I briefly considered getting the actual dessert shipped so that I could eat a Crack Pie a la mode with Crack Pie ice cream. Excessive? Most definitely.
Purchased Price: $5.99 Size: 14 oz Purchased at: Whole Foods Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: 220 calories, 13 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 220mg of sodium, 0 grams of fiber, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.
Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow
But, I did try something similar with the Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow (C3M)!
First, I tried it on its own and WOWZA. I could not get enough of the marshmallow flavor, which was like having ooey gooeyness goodness around the campfire without all the flame, char, and ash! The cookie dough ice cream base really complemented and brought out the ‘mallow. The rest of the ingredients helped to seal the deal. There was great texture from the chocolate chips, which were more like rectangular chunks reminiscent of Ben & Jerry’s inclusions.
Additionally, the cornflake crunch was not soggy but not a frozen flake either, so I considered it just right on the texture spectrum. And guess what? They tasted just like cornflakes. Said corn flavor was as comforting as my childhood cereal.
As Milk Bar also sells a grocery-exclusive version (read: different from the ones in their bakery) of their cookies in the same exact flavor, I decided I would also use them to make an ice cream cookie sandwich. This is not a cookie review, so I’ll just concisely say that the ice cream MADE the sandwich – the key again being the marshmallow goodness. I’d prefer to eat it on its own, though!
Purchased Price: $5.99 Size: 14 oz Purchased at: Whole Foods Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 19 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 110mg of sodium, 0 grams of fiber, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.
I was eager to try the Cereal Milk one after getting a taste of how good the cornflakes were in the C3M variety.
The pint itself really looked like the bottom of the cereal bowl with pieces of yellow cereal flakes peppered throughout. The ice cream itself was a bit more complex than just a sweet cream as I picked up on some saltiness. It wasn’t overwhelmingly so, though! I would liken it to putting a sprinkle of sea salt on a chocolate chip cookie and how that pinch really brings out the flavors.
When I had a spoonful with a density of cereal bits, the cornflakes definitely became more pronounced, and the texture turned into that of soggy cereal. I do prefer the cornflake crunch available as a topping in her bakeries, though. Maybe it’ll make it to shelves soon, so I can use it as a pint topping!
Purchased Price: $5.99 Size: 14 oz Purchased at: Whole Foods Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: 270 calories, 17 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 170mg of sodium, 0 grams of fiber, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 17 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.
Unintentionally saving the best for last, Birthday Cake was stellar. My first impression was that it was a bit sweeter than the others, as I’ve come to expect from cake batter ice creams. Additionally, as I was scooping, I saw unappetizing white bits that reminded me of ice chunks.
However, I was so wrong. They MADE the flavor as soon as my mind caught onto the taste of frosting. It reminded me of the childhood birthday cakes from the grocery store and brought me back to simpler and joyous times. This is the Tosi magic right here, folks.
The crumbs, though, seemed like an afterthought to me. I didn’t detect any added flavor or texture. As for the sprinkles, they did their job to add festive colors and a bit of that typical grittiness when you chomp them. I know that may sound unpleasant, but it reminded me of being a kid and eating allllllll the sprinkle-laden desserts. Birthday cake-flavored ice cream is never at the top of my list, but I will definitely keep this one stocked in my freezer!
Purchased Price: $5.99 Size: 14 oz Purchased at: Whole Foods Rating: 9 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 19 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 85mg of sodium, 0 grams of fiber, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.
What a foray into precious grocery store space, Milk Bar! It’s a strong effort that should be rewarded with fellow shoppers snatchin’ up the pints for a treat unlike anything else in the frozen aisle today!
What is Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch Totally Unbaked?
Ben & Jerry’s first limited batch release of 2021 is a twist on its #1 flavor — Half Baked. The twist? Unbaking it hence the Totally Unbaked moniker. Instead of chocolate and vanilla ice creams being mixed with the usual cookie dough and fudge brownie gobs, it’s mixed with cookie dough gobs and brownie batter swirls.
How is it?
The classic base flavors were as delicious as expected from the Vermont duo. The ensemble of rich chocolatey notes with a trill of fudge and the bass of familiar vanilla and cookie dough sang in perfect harmony.
I am a texture fiend, though, so I was a little worried that it would lack in that department, especially since the brownie batter swirls look more like subtle ribbons. I wishfully thought they would add some nuance like the way the chocolate pudding swirls do in the Chocolate Therapy flavor, but no dice. However, the cookie dough and mini chocolate chips carried Team Texture just fine while maintaining the usual eat-straight-from-the-pint scoopability.
Anything else you need to know?
I found it more chocolate-forward when comparing head-to-head with its OG counterpart because the brownie batter was dispersed throughout for a fudge-y bite in nearly every spoonful.
Pick it up if you see it! It’s a limited batch flavor – which means it changes 4-6 months – so it’s an excellent way to shake up your ice cream rotation. However, it’s not as novel as its Topped or Core innovations.
Purchased Price: $4.99 Size: One Pint Purchased at: Meijer Rating: 9 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup/142 grams) 380 calories, 20 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 37 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein.