It’s a whole lotta coconut with coconut flavored French ice cream with coconut flakes and pie crust pieces and whipped topping with toasted coconut.
How is it?
As one reader astutely pointed out in the comments in the prior “Spotted” posting for this ice cream, coconuts are among the most polarizing of all foods, right up there with black licorice and pineapple on pizza. There’s just not much middle ground for most people, including my wife and me. She loves coconuts, and I think they look ugly and taste nasty. But somehow we make our relationship work, despite widely divergent views on the subject.
Since it would be hard for me to objectively review this ice cream, I gave her the chance to experience the prestige, power, and considerable wealth that comes with being a reviewer for The Impulsive Buy!
So what did she think of it?
Well, she loved it, and surprisingly, I sort of liked it too. I didn’t like it enough to ever eat it again due to my dislike of all things coconut, but if Blue Bell ever does any different cream pie flavor in the future, then I’ll be all over it.
The ice cream is wonderfully smooth and creamy with a very subtle coconut flavor. At first, my wife and I both thought our tub didn’t have any pie crust pieces, but after a few bites, we did indeed find some of the elusive gems. The crust pieces are virtually the same color as the ice cream, but they are worth the search as they have a great crumbly texture and buttery flavor. There are coconut flakes in the ice cream, which are also hard to see, but they don’t have much of an impact on the taste because they are so small.
As for the whipped topping, it has a bit of a Cool Whip vibe to it. The toasted coconut is what really delivers the signature coconut flavor here, and although that didn’t do much for me, it sent my wife into ice cream bliss. She just gave it one thumb up instead of two, but that’s only because she was using the other hand to eat a bit more.
Anything else you need to know?
Coconuts are really bad for you! OK, let me rephrase that because I don’t want to feel the wrath of the coconut industry. They are not bad for you, and they are an amazingly versatile fruit (not a nut) that can be eaten and used in many ways, including oil, water, milk, and over-priced carved souvenirs for tourists. But according to the USDA, if you eat an entire medium coconut (I assume minus the shell), you will consume 118 grams of saturated fat. How much is that, you ask? Well, that’s 590% of your recommended daily value, which seems like a lot. So don’t eat a whole coconut.
Kudos to Blue Bell for making a coconut ice cream that someone who has strong anti-coconut feelings can almost enjoy. If you do like the flavor of coconuts, you are wrong, but this is an ice cream you really should try.
Purchased Price: $5.97 Size: 1/2 gallon Purchased at: H-E-B Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 260 calories, 14 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.
I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m no stranger to meat substitutes. My grandfather and stepdad are both vegan, my girlfriend used to be vegan, and I spent two years in college as a pescatarian (eating only fish). While I’ve settled in my omnivore ways as a taxpaying adult, I’m not opposed to a nice Impossible Burger or Tofurky Sausage, and I am legitimately fascinated by the huge wave of plant-based options that have swept fast food in recent years.
If you had told me Little Caesars would beat McDonald’s to the punch in adding a fake meat offering, I’d call ya crazy, but that’s exactly where we’ve landed. Little Caesars’ Planteroni Pizza is a large round pizza with Field Roast Plant-Based Pepperoni.
Pulling up to my second closest Little Caesars (my closest is usually a jam-packed nightmare I wanted to avoid), there were zero advertisements of this new plant-based ‘roni, likely because this item hasn’t rolled out nationwide. Although it still seems like a secret, even locally, it was prominently featured on LC’s terrific app under Limited Time Offers, and ordering went off without a hitch.
It looks great — nice and shiny cheese with a fresh and zesty aroma that instantly makes my mouth water. Field Roast’s “pepperoni” are faux meat made up of canola oil, wheat gluten, potato protein, and pea protein, along with a ton of other binders and flavors. They have a deeper color, thicker cut, and way less greasy shine than your average pepperoni.
Unfortunately, their different look and lack of shininess translate to a lackluster flavor as well. I have no issues with the tougher texture of plant-based proteins, but the lack of salty and fatty intensity really brings down the experience. With pepperoni that isn’t chockfull of salt and animal fat, the cheaper components of Little Caesars’ pizza are exposed, and the crust and sauce both taste weaker and less impactful than any LC’s pizza I’ve had in the last two years.
The saving grace was the Butter Garlic sauce I added to my order, which, hot take alert, is even better than Papa John’s with a more robust and intense garlic flavor. When dunked into that glorious silky sauce, the pizza is pretty good, bringing the necessary salt and fat desperately lacking from Field Roast’s creation.
Another issue with this is that it’s not vegan. Nothing has changed about this pizza except for the pepperoni, and I don’t see this as an improvement over plain cheese or a wonderful veggie combo like mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers for those who don’t eat meat.
At the price point that Little Caesars is offering this pizza, $8.49, it should at least be an ExtraMostBestest, with extra cheese and pepperoni, but it isn’t, and that lack of indulgence makes for something that’s pretty underwhelming. For a $2.50 upcharge (the most I’ve ever paid for an LC pizza), I don’t think the Planteroni delivered anything exciting to the Little Caesars experience, aside from a cool and catchy name.
Purchased Price: $8.49 Size: Large Rating: 5 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1 pizza) 2180 calories, 84 grams of fat, 32 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, 150 milligrams of cholesterol, 4580 milligrams of sodium, 256 grams of carbohydrates, 14 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, 107 grams of protein.