When French’s recently announced they were dropping a mustard ice cream for National Mustard Day, it clearly sent shockwaves through the processed-food industry, because the very next day, Oscar Mayer waded into the turgid waters of inedible-sounding treats with its own concoction.
“The Ice Dog Sandwich” consists of a cookie “bun,” hot dog sweet cream ice cream with candied hot dog bits, and spicy dijon gelato – handed out at the newly-white Wienermobile.
I would normally assume that Oscar Mayer was trying to bite into French’s publicity with the suspiciously-timed release, but 13 days seems like a tight turnaround to make enough product, repaint the ride, and get it to NYC. Coincidence? I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Having just sampled two versions of French’s ice cream, I was revved and ready when that White-Walker-phallus truck pulled up steps away from the public restrooms of Bryant Park. Coincidence? Probably.
The standard paper hot dog trays, foil wrappers with logo stickers were underwhelming. French’s had branded cups, decorations, and napkins. Just sayin’. But I was fascinated by the ingredients list on the back – celery juice? Cherry powder?
The sandwich didn’t look like the advance photos. It was half the thickness and none of the color. The pink candied meat bits were the only way to tell the hot dog side from the mustard side.
Image on left via Oscar Mayer
I was not a fan of the cookie bun. Flavor-wise, it was a decent sugar cookie, but the texture was like a wet blondie. It didn’t hold a candle to the lovely Coolhaus pretzel cookie at French’s truck.
The spicy dijon gelato tasted exactly like what I expected when I tried the French’s ice cream – tangy, strong, and extremely mustardy. I didn’t like it at all. It didn’t mesh well with the hot dog ice cream, which was delightful.
Yes, I’ll say it again – the delightful hot dog ice cream. Its flavor was mostly vanilla (like French’s) but with meaty/savory hints when you got to the candied hot dog bits. It felt like a spin on ice cream with bacon. I would eat it again, but not in this combination.
Proving that we should all stay in our lanes, Oscar Mayer’s Hot Dog Ice Cream, French’s Mustard Ice Cream, and Coolhaus’ Pretzel Cookies would be an amazing trio.
Now, where is my Pizza Sorbet?
Purchased Price: Free Size: N/A Purchased at: Received at Oscar Mayer Ice Dog mobile Rating: 5 out of 10 (Hot Dog Ice Cream alone – 9 out of 10) Nutrition Facts: Not available.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert is a non-dairy version Ben & Jerry’s iconic Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream. It features vanilla-flavored frozen dessert made from almond milk, gobs of vegan chocolate chip cookie dough, and fudge flakes.
Before stuffing my mouth with a spoonful of it, I thought I would definitely love it. The original dairy version is one of my favorite flavors, I enjoyed the two Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy varieties I’ve tried so far (Cinnamon Buns and Chocolate Salted ’n Swirled), and I like the vegan snackable chocolate chip cookie dough bites Ben & Jerry’s offers in bags. But, despite all that, I didn’t love this pint.
The vanilla base is what broke my heart. I can taste the almond milk in it, but its flavor also makes Cool Whip flash in my head. I’m fine with the frozen whipped topping. I won’t say anything bad about it, like it could probably be used as hair product in a pinch. Heck, there have been moments in my life when I ate it like ice cream. But I don’t want my ice cream, er, non-dairy frozen dessert to taste like Cool Whip. There’s something not quite right about that.
There’s a good amount of the vegan chocolate chip cookie dough in the pint, but not enough so that every time you dip your spoon into the container you’ll pull out one of those gobs. While there’s a lot, they don’t help improve my opinion of the flavor overall.
As for the fudge flakes, I’m not sure there were any in mine. I don’t know if the fudge in the chewy cookie dough bites are the fudge flakes, but there weren’t any dark brown mix-ins suspended in my pint.
Because the base is made from almond milk and the cookie dough gobs are vegan, this whole pint is vegan. So no animals were harmed or touched in the making of this flavor. Although I imagine some animals were probably petted along the way.
I finished the pint, but that doesn’t reflect of how I truly feel about this non-dairy frozen dessert flavor. Of the three Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert varieties I’ve tried, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is, disappointingly, my least favorite so far.
Purchased Price: $3.50 (on sale) Size: 1 pint Purchased at: Target Rating: 5 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 260 calories, 12 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 25 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.
When you look at the list of possible Blizzard ingredients on the menu board, which oddly DQ doesn’t really publicize you can use to create a customized creation to your liking, just about everything has been already done between the regular Blizzard menu, Blizzards of the Month, a plethora of seasonal Blizzard menus, plus special Blizzards with movie tie-ins or for the second Tuesday of Lent. DQ has essentially admitted that all the reasonable combinations have been tried, as they tend to recycle some of the same or very similar Blizzards now and then.
Enter the Sour Patch Kids Blizzard, which as far as I can tell after four seconds of online research, is the first time DQ has used these sweet and sour gummies. This latest concoction features vanilla soft serve with Sour Patch Kids Redberry flavor (don’t worry, I didn’t know it was called that either) mixed with Sour Patch Kids Bitz.
The first thing that caught my attention was the smell, which is not something I normally notice or think about with a Blizzard. But this one exudes a fragrant essence of Sour Patch Kids, just like opening a bag of the tasty little fellows.
I’m not sure if the Sour Patch Kids in here were mutilated by the magic Blizzard machine, or if DQ calling them “Bitz” means they were already hacked to pieces before the mixing process. Either way, the pieces of kids are approximately the size of Nerds (which made me pine for the long-deceased Nerds Blizzard of years gone by).
The Bitz in mine didn’t seem to be as large or as plentiful as the promotional photos show, but I might have had a frugal and overzealous mixer. As you might have guessed, the coldness of the ice cream changes the firmness of the Sour Patch Kids a bit. They didn’t have the same soft chewiness you might be accustomed to, but I didn’t find that to be a drawback, and they do pack a sour punch.
The Redberry-flavored soft serve tasted great, like DQ somehow liquified a bag of red Sour Patch Kids and infused it into the ice cream. But before they liquefied the poor little kids, DQ apparently removed the sour coating because the ice cream flavor was all sweetness, and it was splendid. As a standalone treat, I’d eat the ice cream part all day (and all night).
The kicker is the little chunks of Sour Patch Kids, which of course still have the sour coating and seemed to have a delayed effect on my taste buds. So first you get the sweetness of the Redberry-flavored ice cream, then slowly you experience the sour flavor in your mouth as the Bitz free themselves from their ice cream cocoons, and then finally you get the sweetness again when you get to the gummy part of the Sour Patch Kids.
Sometimes you don’t know how much you wanted something until you see it, or in this case, taste it. Of all the possible things that can be thrown into a Blizzard, I’m not sure I would have thought of Sour Patch Kids. But I’m glad the Blizzard wizards at DQ gave it a try because it’s a winner in my book and a nice change of pace from some other recent Blizzards that always seem to revolve around chocolate, Oreo, or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Since Sour Patch Kids are not a regular DQ menu item, this one figures to be gone for good after July. You have been warned.
Purchased Price: $3.79 Size: Small Rating: 9 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (Small) 660 calories, 24 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 82 grams of carbohydrates, -1 grams of dietary fiber*, 86 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of protein.
*The DQ website inexplicably lists a negative amount of dietary fiber. I’m no mathematician or nutritionist, but that seems to be impossible on many levels.
Baskin-Robbins’ Scoops Ahoy U.S.S. Butterscotch Ice Cream is a new Baskin-Robbins pint flavor that’s a product tie-in with Netflix’s Stranger Things. It’s supposedly a flavor that’s available at the fictional Scoops Ahoy Ice Cream Parlor in the show.
My use of “supposedly” in the opening paragraph probably gave you a hint that I haven’t watched an episode of Stranger Things. I also haven’t seen Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Killing Eve, The Walking Dead, and many other critically acclaimed TV shows that friends say I should watch, but don’t, which lets me scan Twitter freely without caring about spoilers. But, I’m strapped to this chair to process Spotted photos and write reviews. That’s my life. Someone, please send help.
U.S.S. Butterscotch features butterscotch-flavored ice cream with butterscotch pieces and a toffee-flavored ribbon. It’s also Baskin-Robbins’ Flavor of the Month of July 2019.
The base has a mild butterscotch flavor that starts the potency at a two. Add the ribbon, and the Werther’s Original-like flavor gets kicked up to a five. When I include the butterscotch pieces with the other two components, the degree of sweet and buttery flavor gets turned up to a nine.
Why not a ten? Well, I figure if it’s at its max, then there might be too much butterscotch. But, at no point, while eating a quarter of the pint did I feel it was overkill.
The texture of the ice cream base is creamy, but it’s softer and airier than a Ben & Jerry’s base. It scoops more like Dreyer’s/Edy’s Slow Churned. The super crunchy butterscotch pieces completely contrast the base’s texture. However, the toffee-flavored ribbon, which I expected to be gooey, wasn’t what I’d consider gooey. It was just there. But the thing about the mix-ins is that there’s not a lot of them throughout the pint. My spoon faced too many empty seas of off-white butterscotch ice cream.
There are three other Stranger Things varieties — Praline Portal, Mind Flayer Mint, and Shadow Sherbet. But they’re renamed and repackaged versions of the following regular Baskin-Robbins flavors — Pralines ‘n Cream, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Rainbow Sherbet. Yawn.
Purchased Price: $3.00 (on sale) Size: 14 fl. oz. Purchased at: Target Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 270 calories, 14 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 27 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.
Target’s exclusive Museum of Ice Cream line has four new flavors this year — Malt Shake, Queen Bee, PB&P, and Cone Zone. To be honest, I didn’t try any of the original varieties that debuted last year. I assume they must’ve been decent to justify having new flavors. Well, let’s find out how these new varieties are.
If you’ve ever wanted to eat a Wendy’s Chocolate Frosty without having to go to a Wendy’s, the Museum of Ice Cream Malt Shake flavor would be one way to do it. Of course, the other way would be to order it via DoorDash and hope it’s not a cup of chocolate malt soup when you get it.
The pint features malted chocolate ice cream with mini malted milk balls.
The base tastes like a hardened Wendy’s Frosty, making it a pint that was hard for me to put down. One complaint I’ve read about this is how the tasty base is a little gritty. It is, but being that it’s supposed to be like a malted shake, it should be that way. After all, if I remember correctly, a Wendy’s Frosty has some grittiness.
The Whoppers-like candy encased in the base taste and crunch better than the classic candy. Biting into one turns the maltiness up to 11. Unfortunately, there were significantly less than 11 of those mini malted milk balls in my pint. Hence, the reason why the photo above is an empty sea of malted chocolate ice cream.
Malt Shake is a great flavor, and my favorite of the four, but it would’ve been more fabulous with more balls.
Purchased Price: $4.00 (on sale) Size: 1 pint Purchased at: Target Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 230 calories, 14 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.
Of the four new flavors, Queen Bee sits on the throne.
Nah, just kidding. I wanted to shoehorn that throne line into this review. But you already knew that since I mentioned Malt Shake is my favorite 15 seconds ago. It’s tasty, but it’s not what I’d hope it would be. It features honey ice cream with chocolatey covered honeycomb and English toffee with almonds.
While there are two honey-related ingredients, Winnie the Pooh would take off his red shirt, stomp on it, and growl in protest of how little honey flavor the pint has. The honey ice cream reminds me of Ben & Jerry’s Sweet Cream base, and the chocolatey coating overwhelms the honeycomb’s flavor. The English toffee isn’t Heath-like. Instead, they’re like gloops of caramel with chunks of almonds.
With all that said, it’s a decent ice cream, but it has a ho-hum flavor doesn’t make me want to protect it by stinging anyone who might be a perceived threat to eat some of it.
Purchased Price: $4.00 (on sale) Size: 1 pint Purchased at: Target Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 230 calories, 14 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 24 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.
The PB stands for peanut butter, but the P stands for pretzels. The pint contains peanut buttery ice cream with chocolatey covered pretzel pieces and a peanut butter swirl. If you’re a fan of sweet and salty, this would be the pint to get.
Obviously, there’s a potent peanut buttery presence. The ice cream base has a pleasant nutty and sweet flavor, while the swirl brings more of the salty side of peanut butter. The thing about the swirl is that it’s not a gooey ingredient that’s easy to scoop out. It’s a hardened stream that I sometimes had to stab at to break it up into smaller pieces.
The chocolatey covered pretzels are a much-needed addition to cut through the rich peanut buttery flavor of the other two components. They have a significant crunch and the saltiness from the swirl enhances them. Unlike the chocolatey coating around the honeycombs in Queen Bee, the one that surrounds the pretzels doesn’t mask the flavor of what’s inside of it.
Overall, PB&P is a good sweet and salty flavor, and my second favorite of the four.
Purchased Price: $4.00 (on sale) Size: 1 pint Purchased at: Target Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 230 calories, 15 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.
Finally, we have the pint that honors Conan O’Brien. Just kidding. But it would’ve been cool if it did. Inside the pint there’s vanilla and chocolate ice creams with chocolate coated sugar cone pieces and a fudge ribbon.
The fudge ribbon tastes similar to the fudge flakes in Ben & Jerry’s pints, but maybe a tad sweeter. Much like the peanut butter swirl in PB&P, the fudge in the pint is solid, which can lead to excavating things like this:
The ribbon also amps up the flavor to make the battle between the chocolate and vanilla ice creams in the pint unfair. And you might think the chocolate-coated sugar cone pieces might further enhance the cocoa flavor, but with most of them, I noticed a strong marshmallow flavor that made the chocolate less intense and prevented the pint from being overly one note.
Cone Zone is a fine ice cream, but even with the crunchy sugar cone pieces, I didn’t find it to be as exciting of a flavor as PB&P and Malt Shake.
Purchased Price: $4.00 (on sale) Size: 1 pint Purchased at: Target Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 250 calories, 16 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.