REVIEW: French’s & Coolhaus Mustard Ice Cream Truck

French s  Coolhaus Mustard Ice Cream

You really get to know who your friends are in the moments after you yell across the office, “There’s a French’s Mustard Ice Cream Truck pop-up today for National Mustard Day – who’s going with me?!?!” 

I thought I’d drag my co-workers, kicking and screaming, into my novelty-flavored world. I dared them into trying Wasabi and Spicy Chicken Wing Oreos. I buttered them up with Strawberry Cheesecake Kit Kats. But there I was, standing solo on a hot Rockefeller Center sidewalk, gleefully spooning bright yellow, mustard-flavored ice cream into my gaping maw. I couldn’t miss something as potentially horrifying as this.

French s  Coolhaus Mustard Ice Cream 2 Truck

My co-workers missed out, because, defying all odds and expectations, French’s Mustard Ice Cream was GOOD. 

First things first – based on color alone, there was no question this was mustard ice cream. French’s and Coolhaus ice cream perfectly replicated that signature shade. The serving was a good size for a free sample – about a scoop and a half. It came with a Coolhaus pretzel cookie that was absolutely delicious. 

French s  Coolhaus Mustard Ice Cream 3 Cup

My first impression when the ice cream hit my taste buds was “vanilla plus something.” The mustard flavor was far more subdued than I expected. There was none of the sharp tang that the condiment is known for. It took a moment for the mustard flavor to even land on my palate, and even then, it took a back seat to the milk/cream/vanilla. I wondered if anyone would correctly identify it if they didn’t already know, or have the visual cue of the color.

Overall, I thought it was an enjoyable ice cream that I might actually buy again if it were in stores.

French s  Coolhaus Mustard Ice Cream 4 Empty

In case you weren’t in New York/Los Angeles, or had something more pressing to do with your day (can’t imagine what would qualify), the French’s website has a home recipe you can use to recreate the magic of the Mustard Ice Cream Truck, albeit without the intoxicating perfume of Manhattan in the summer. I decided to give it a whirl. 

It’s a no-churn recipe, so you don’t need an ice cream machine, just a blender. It came together in under five minutes, but needed a few hours in the freezer. I left mine overnight and it was a good scoopable consistency in the morning. 

French s  Coolhaus Mustard Ice Cream 5 DIY

Taste-wise, it was on-par with the truck ice cream, but the texture was more like a frozen whipped topping, because it’s essentially a whipped cream base. I think I added a pinch more mustard than the truck, because I noticed it more here, but it’s an easy and pretty accurate copy of what I had on the street.

I have to hand it to French’s for creating a quirky, fun food instead of just another “experience” that’s all about taking Instagram photos with their logo.

And guess who’s going to work tomorrow with a batch of mustard ice cream and a bunch of spoons?

Purchased Price: FREE / DIY
Size: N/A
Purchased at: French’s & Coolhaus Mustard Ice Cream Truck
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Not available.

REVIEW: Coolhaus Louis Ba-Kahn Ice Cream Sandwich

Coolhaus Louis Ba-Kahn Chocolate Chip Cookie + Brown Butter Candied Bacon Ice Cream

In 1992, my mom fell into the craze that was the Bacon Wave, and when you have a dishwasher-friendly, $19.99 reusable rack specifically devoted to making pork products in 60 seconds, there is no reason not to have pounds of crispy pig belly coming out of that microwave as often as possible.

It was during these breakfasts that Cupid struck my knees, knuckles, and toes with 28 arrows, all of which were directed at ways to enjoy bacon. I had it on sandwiches, astride pancakes and waffles, with syrup, without syrup, in grilled cheeses, between Pop-Tarts, chased with eggs, covered in cinnamon roll goo, and in its simple, unmasked, curvy-crispy form. Yes, I had bacon in all these ways, but never in an ice cream sandwich.

Until today.

Lo and behold, a company has mass-produced an ice cream sandwich that a) is roughly the size of a mastadon’s kneecap and b) contains bacon. Yes, indeedee, smashed in those two giganto-mongous discs is Coolhaus’s Louis Ba-kahn, an ice cream sandwich composed of chocolate chip cookies and brown butter and candied bacon ice cream.

Coolhaus Louis Ba-Kahn Chocolate Chip Cookie + Brown Butter Candied Bacon Ice Cream Cookie Sandwichy glory

Cue the trombones and the trumpets. Heck, pull out the entire wind orchestra, because this ice cream sings. If Ben and Jerry’s could be considered super premium ice cream, this stuff would be ultra super mega platinum premium ice cream (or some other absurdly adjective-filled variant thereof). This softball-sized scoop melts slower than me on the way to a dentist appointment, allowing the consumer to take his/her glorious time. Taking a bite sans bacon, this crème de la vache has a presiding taste of sweet, sugary cream with a backdrop of vanilla.

Tasted on its own, the brown butter flavor of the ice cream eludes me, but when eaten with the brown sugar chocolate chip cookie, the nuttiness of the butter smooshes with the brown sugar in the cookie to create some nutty, sweet gastronomical frenzy. It is here that I realize I am embarking on an ice cream frontier not even Bear Grylls has trekked before. Every bite highlights the thick custard. This is not made by a waif Skinny Cow. This must be a Paul Bunyan cow: a big, friendly bovine living a happy life munching on daisies in a field somewhere.

But brown butter bacon ice cream cannot live without its Porky Pig compatriot. Luckily, small crispy bacon speckles are given a generous showing. These little dots of joy retain the look and feel of sprinkles, adding salt-and-smoke speckles throughout. It’s magic. I’m convinced this is the stuff Peter Pan’s pixie dust is made of.

And let us not forget the vessel of delivery: the chocolate chip cookies. This particular riff has a soft crumb, yet remains pliable, sturdy, and doughy enough to hold the mini mountain of ice cream inside (no small feat). Unfortunately, the chocolate chips in the cookie are too scarce to contribute their cocoa glow, but the vanilla bacon brown sugar combination is enough to make up for the loss.

Is this a good ice cream sandwich? You bet, but, considering the price tag, I’d encourage it to push itself just a smidge further. Bacon, while beautiful, can be an assertive flavor and, at times, I found it overshadowing the sensitive vanilla and brown butter, which made me sad. There is no need for sadness here. Something to bring back the sweet nuttiness, maybe a peanut butter swirl or a cinnamon sugar cookie, might’ve kept the sweet-and-nutty flavors in check with the bacon.

Coolhaus Louis Ba-Kahn Chocolate Chip Cookie + Brown Butter Candied Bacon Ice Cream In the shadow of the wrapper

But I’m nit-picking here. In the end, Coolhaus delivered a solid, innovative showing. At over 500 calories, my doctor might dub this a, “sometimes food,” but you know what they say: live life to the fullest because you never know when you’ll get smooshed by a display of canned tuna. So go out there, avoid getting smooshed, and maybe eat some bacon brown butter ice cream while you’re at it.

(Nutrition Facts – 520 calories, 250 calories from fat, 26 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of potassium, 62 grams of carbohydrates, 4 gram of dietary fiber, 46 grams of sugars, and 8 grams of protein.)

Item: Coolhaus Louis Ba-Kahn Ice Cream Sandwich
Purchased Price: $4.89
Size: 1 sandwich
Purchased at: Whole Foods
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Loads of ice cream. Bacon sprinkles. Nutty, salty vanilla cream. Cookies actually hold giganto scoop of ice cream. Innovative. Made from happy cows. Reasons to buy a Bacon Wave.
Cons: Brown butter flavor can get muddled. Cookies could use more chocolate chips. Pricey. Getting smooshed by canned goods. Dentist appointments.