REVIEW: Blue Bell Dr Pepper Float Ice Cream

I do not mean to cause any consternation for or to affect the mental well-being of the new Blue Bell Dr Pepper Float ice cream (assuming, of course, that a dairy product can have feelings), but does this product really need to exist? I mean, I am completely inept in the kitchen—making Kraft Mac & Cheese is expert-level stuff for me—but even I can pour a glass of Dr Pepper and drop two scoops of vanilla ice cream in it. I can report, though, that this does indeed need to exist because it is rather glorious.

Part of the wonderfulness is the simplicity. It’s just vanilla ice cream with Dr Pepper-flavored sherbet. An ice cream float is a classic combination because it needs not to be messed with or improved. So this is delicious because it delivers exactly what it advertises—creamy ice cream and soda flavor.

The sherbet portion tastes exactly like the famous soda. I don’t believe there’s any actual Dr Pepper soda in here, as it appears the only non-ice cream ingredients listed are “natural and artificial flavors,” so I have no idea how Blue Bell replicated the taste.

When the vanilla ice cream starts to soften, the creaminess is a bit more noticeable, creating the perfect complement to the distinctive Dr Pepper taste. So take your time enjoying this, at least as much as you can, considering there is a fine line between soft ice cream and liquid ice cream.

If you are concerned that the mixture of ice cream and sherbet will be strange, it’s not. If the label did not tell me this contains sherbet, I wouldn’t have guessed it. The texture of the sherbet is perhaps a little firmer with a touch more grittiness, but it’s only a minor difference.

The only thing missing from this, compared to a “real” float, is the carbonation of the soda. Luckily for you, I’m here to answer the question you are probably asking right now. How would a Dr Pepper Float float taste?

It’s quite good, which is not surprising, but I preferred it sans the Dr Pepper liquid. When mixed with Dr Pepper, I found that the creaminess of the ice cream got overpowered a bit, so what I ended up with was a slight Dr Pepper overload. It was still tasty, and I’d probably make it again, but it did not deliver the amazing taste sensation I had imagined.

Neither Dr Pepper nor Blue Bell are my go-to choices in their respective categories, but together they form a powerful team, and this is now one of my favorites. Plus, it saves me at least a minute or two on the laborious task of combining two ingredients to make a Dr Pepper float.

Purchased Price: $7.98
Size: Half Gallon
Purchased at: H-E-B
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 170 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sprite Lymonade Legacy

The Coca-Cola Company has released Sprite Lymonade Legacy, a strawberry-lemonade-flavored take on the classic lemon-lime soda. Released with the tagline “Celebrating 50 Years of Hip-Hop”, will this soda do justice to the legacy of one the most influential musical movements of recent memory?

Here’s the bad news: the only music I listen to are Broadway show tunes and movie/videogame soundtracks. So, unless Hamilton counts, I’m completely unqualified to judge whether a strawberry-lemonade soda adequately represents hip-hop from a musical perspective. But I do know my way around a soda fountain, so I feel up to the task of reviewing this soda.

I open the lovely pink can, pour the soda into a glass, and am surprised at the lack of red or pink coloring in the liquid. It instead appears as ordinary, vaguely cloudy yellow lemonade. No doubt the cloudiness is from the modified food starch in the ingredient list and not the clarified lemon juice listed, but I appreciate how much like real lemonade it appears.

The scent is very strawberry-forward, and the flavor really brings the berry. It’s certainly artificial; you won’t mistake this for a freshly squeezed lemonade with crushed strawberries from the county fair. Think more of those old-fashioned strawberry candies. Underneath all that berry is a distinct lemon flavor, separate from the lemon-lime of classic Sprite, but there’s no mistaking this for regular Sprite Lymonade.

A strawberry flavor is a natural addition to the existing Sprite Lymonade. If you’re one to get excited about new sodas (And I am! And I suspect readers of this site are too), this may seem like an underwhelming brand extension. I, however, have come to appreciate this simple soda. At a time when Coca-Cola is releasing Coke varieties like “Pixel,” “Dreamworld,” and the upcoming “Sound Of A Lover’s Step As They Approach,” I can appreciate how much a touch of strawberry can add to a soft drink. The others all end up tasting like fruity bubblegum to me anyway.

Sprite Lymonade Legacy is a soda that does exactly what it promises. Some red coloring would have added to the strawberry experience, but the flavor is on point.

Purchased Price: $ 7.29
Size: 12 fl oz cans/12 pack
Purchased at: Woodman’s Market
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 130 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 35 grams of sugar (including 35 grams of added sugars), and 0 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino

Mint can be a tough flavor to nail. It’s nearly always refreshing, but too much of it tends to become reminiscent of toothpaste. This is the downfall of a lot of mint chocolate ice creams. It’s not impossible though. Wendy’s did a great job with its Peppermint Frosty during the holidays last year. It somehow managed to perfectly replicate the taste of an Andes mint, despite the fact that the Frosty contained no chocolate. I’m still wondering what foul sorcery Wendy’s used to pull THAT off.

But enough about Frosties. We are here for Starbucks’ new Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino today. Frappuccinos are too indulgent for me to consume on a regular basis, so I was excited to have the opportunity to drink one with zero guilt…well, minimal guilt. Normally I prefer my fancy coffee drinks without whipped cream and sprinkles, but here that’s a big part of the experience, so I had the whole Megillah. I hope you appreciate the way I’m gallantly falling onto the sword for all of you here.

I had this twice. The first time I got it, the barista didn’t add the mocha to the drink, and it was an assault of pure mintiness. I didn’t realize a component had been left off, so I thought it was supposed to taste like that, totally chocolate-deficient and toothpaste flavor-adjacent. I was prepared to give it a 5 out of 10, but then we realized the drink had been made incorrectly, so I bought another one at a different Starbucks. This time, I watched the barista make it. You better believe I watched her squeeze that mocha bottle.

The result? What a difference some chocolate makes, although I think we all kinda knew that already. With the chocolate, the drink still had some of the refreshing quality of mint, but it was tempered by the earthy, indulgent flavor of the chocolate. If anything, this incarnation of the drink leaned too far in the chocolate direction, which I say with the caveat that I don’t think “too much chocolate” can be considered a downside.

The Frappuccino chips did their thing and added little pops of a different chocolate flavor, and while I only was able to eat the Chocolate Mint Cookie Sprinkles at the finish, they were delightful little bits of cookie goodness. The one drawback this drink had was that neither time did I really get the taste of coffee. I tasted it in a few sips the first time, then the second time, my palate was so overloaded with the other components that I couldn’t taste coffee at all. A lot of people may not care, but I like my Frappuccinos to taste like coffee.

Hot days are coming, and this drink will probably make a lot of Starbucks customers very happy with its ability to be both cooling and just a little bit sinful. Personally, though, I’m getting a plain Coffee Frappuccino next time: I’m just missing the “Java” that was supposed to be in the Chocolate Java Mint.

Purchased Price: $4.95
Size: Tall
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 340 calories, 14 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 47 grams of sugar, 5 grams of protein, and 75 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Burger King Spider-Verse Whopper

Burger King, Burger King
Get a load of this burger thing,
Crimson bun, Whopper-sized,
Order with a side of fries,

Look out!
Here’s the…
New “Spider-verse” Whopper.

Yeah, that ended with a whimper. Sorry, the lyrics aren’t as clever as BK’s current theme song, WHOPPER, WHOPPER, WHOPPER, WHOPPER, WHOPPER *repeat x10*

Before I review Burger King’s new “Spider-verse” Whopper, I just wanna give my quick review of 2018’s “Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse.” 10 out of 10. Certified banger. Best Spider-man movie ever made. No notes. If you haven’t seen it, find whoever is streaming it, and fire it up.

While you’re at it, flame broil up Burger King’s new “Spider-verse” Whopper, a burger that somehow almost lived up to the hype of the movie.

I say “somehow” because, in reality, there isn’t much difference from a tried-and-true Whopper here, but that’s the thing, reality is only a perception. This is a multiverse Whopper.

The obvious eye-catching draw of this burger is the beet-dyed red bun. As far as “photo versus expectations” goes, I gotta say, the real thing ended up looking way better than my Spidey sense thought it would. It tastes like a normal bun, but I swear it was a bit more “toothsome.” Perhaps mine was just mildly stale, like the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Sony paid me to say that.)

The other key difference from a standard Whopper is that American cheese is swapped out for melty Swiss. Why? I pondered that myself. Is Miles Morales a big fan of Swiss cheese? Is there a Swiss Spiderman out there in the Spider-verse? The only logical explanation I could come up with is that Swiss cheese famously has holes and the Spidey supervillain The Spot has a key role in the new Spider-verse sequel. I think I cracked the case. (Trypophobics need not Google “The Spot.”)

Anyway, I actually think the Swiss compliments the burger really well. It gave it a milder and slightly saltier taste than the usual Kraft single-esque piece of rubber.

It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down and eaten a Whopper AT the home of said Whopper, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

I do have one minor complaint though. Why did Burger King just stop at a red bun? It has dabbled with flavored buns and hot sauces in the past. I think this bun should have had a *THWIP!* of heat, or there should have been a sauce component. They could have called it “Radioactive Spider-bite Sauce” or something. Then again, maybe it’s best to limit the number of spider references. Some people might think they’re eating bugs.

Either way, I love the movie, I really liked this burger, and I can’t wait to watch the sequel next week. You have until June 11th to try the burger. After that, it’ll be gone like Uncle Ben – the rice guy and Peter Parker’s dearly departed guardian.

Oh, there are also cool little Miles Morales-themed Burger King crowns. I won’t lie; I snagged one. Two. I snagged two. I’m giving one away, I swear.

This was fun. Maybe next time BK can do a Venom-themed burger with black buns and … oh wait, no! No, they can’t do that again, lest they want everyone to expel their own symbiote.

Ok, on that gross note, I’m gonna websling outta here. Try the burger!

Purchased Price: $5.00 (Special Monday only price in the App – a steep $8.19 otherwise)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 795 calories, 54 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, 115 milligrams of cholesterol, 1700 milligrams of sodium, 56 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 38 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Churro Kit Kat

It’s always the summer of something now. Last year was the Summer of Street Corn, if I remember correctly. I think we had the Summer of Matcha the summer before that. Watermelon also had its own summer at some point recently, though you could argue that EVERY summer is the Summer of Watermelon.

My point being George Costanza was way ahead of this trend when he declared 1997 “The Summer of George.” Wait, that wasn’t my point. My point is maybe 2023 will be the Summer of Churro.

Ben & Jerry’s recently brought Churray for Churros to store shelves, and now Kit Kat is following suit with its take on the cinnamony-sugary fried-dough classic. Associate Kit Kat Brand Manager Alex Herzog recently told Food & Wine magazine, “We hope that every bite of the buttery, churro flavor and familiar crispy crunch of our wafers unlocks memories of the delightful experience of enjoying freshly baked churros from the boardwalk stand, amusement park, or the local fair.”

This is a pretty big goal from a candy bar, even one as renowned as the Kit Kat. (Also, full disclosure — I’ve never had a churro at any of these places. A funnel cake, sure, but not a Churro. Note to self: pitch Funnel Cake Kit Kat to Alex Herzog.) So did the R&D geniuses manage to evoke state fairs, amusement parks, or trips to the boardwalk?

I mean… no. It’s an okay candy bar, but those are lofty aspirations.

For starters, I didn’t really get anything that could be construed as “buttery” with this bar. At first taste, you get the familiar waxy coating of a Kit Kat, only it’s a little more vanilla-ish, or maybe white chocolatey than the standard chocolate shell. After a few chews, I got a very mild cinnamon flourish, but it’s gone just as quickly as it appeared.

And really, that’s the biggest miss of this bar; had they gone heavy with the cinnamon, it might’ve really been something special. Instead, it’s very much an “eh, if you’re a Kit Kat aficionado, you’ll wanna try, but temper your expectations,” or if you’re only “a casual Kit Katarian” (just made that up, but we’re going with it) and you’re selective about your candy intake for health and wellness purposes, I probably wouldn’t bother. The 220 calories here would be better spent on an actual part of a churro or a few bites from a funnel cake.

Regardless, I am excited to usher in the Summer of Churro. I wonder what Pringles has planned?

Purchased Price: $1.32
Size: 1.5 oz bar
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 package) 220 calories, 12 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of total carbohydrates, 20 gram of total sugars, 0 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.