REVIEW: Market Pantry Unicorn Magic Ice Cream

Market Pantry Unicorn Magic Ice Cream

I am loving this modern resurgence of unicorns. It brings me right back to my pre-teen Lisa Frank sticker collecting days. But since I’m already nursing a Hello Kitty obsession and can only handle one “too old for this” thing without looking like a complete lunatic, I limit my unicorn love to food items.

When I saw Target’s new Market Pantry ice cream was called “Unicorn Magic” AND had glitter candy bits, I was ready. First, glitter – no brainer – yes. Second, magic – I don’t go for the poop and snot falderal that drags down many current unicorn products. We all know unicorns do not poop or have phlegm. They’re all magic, sparkle, and love. Thanks for taking the high road here, Target.

The description of the ice cream itself was a bit vague – pink fruity? What does that mean?

Market Pantry Unicorn Magic Ice Cream 2

On prying open the tub, I was a little disappointed by the visual – a muddled pastel pinky-blue that looked more My Little Pony spackling compound than unicorn magic.

Market Pantry Unicorn Magic Ice Cream 3

I breathed in a barely-there fruity aroma. As I scooped down into the frozen mass, the colors differentiated and I could see a more vibrant pink with bright blue and white streaks. Getting better…

Market Pantry Unicorn Magic Ice Cream 4

On the taste front, this ice cream was a delight. “Pink fruity” was definitely cherry – a GOOD cherry. It was very light, not the nightmare medicinal cherry that haunts us all. The blue raspberry stripes gave it a little Jolly-Ranchers-esque flavor pop.

Market Pantry Unicorn Magic Ice Cream 5

I’m not sure why the white swirls are billed as frosting. They screamed marshmallow in taste and texture. Is marshmallow passé now? It was a perfect Fluff-like addition to the creamy fruitiness. I found myself eating more of this ice cream than anticipated.

Market Pantry Unicorn Magic Ice Cream 6

“What about the glitter candy bits” you ask? Well, here is Unicorn Magic’s epic fail. There were plenty of them, but they were barely distinguishable in a scoop. They’re basically shards of white Magic Shell with tiny flecks of color. Come on, people. What about this thing says “glitter”? Confetti, yes. Glitter, NO. What a disappointment.

Market Pantry Unicorn Magic Ice Cream 7

Overall, Unicorn Magic is a tale of two promises – the taste delivered the magic, but the appearance was Unicorn Sedative. I mean, look at the color difference between the container and the product! I have to ding them two rating points for this since the style of the thing is half (or more) of the appeal of unicorn products.

Market Pantry Unicorn Magic Ice Cream 8

Since I liked the taste, I decided to repurpose this ice cream into something that would highlight that but hide the visual. I made bite-sized frozen cookie sandwiches. 3/4 teaspoon scoops of pre-made sugar cookie dough dyed with food coloring, baked. Press a tiny scoop of ice cream between two cookies and roll sides in fun sprinkles.

Market Pantry Unicorn Magic Ice Cream 9

(Nutrition Facts – 2/3 cup – 220 calories, 11 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 0 gram of dietary fiber, 24 grams of total sugars, 20 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 1.5 qts.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Great combination of light cherry, intense raspberry and smooth marshmallow fluff. No poop or snot to be found.
Cons: My eyes did not experience magic. I’m spearheading legislation to regulate the use of the word glitter in food products, with a maximum of life in prison for not bringing the sparkle if you advertise it.

REVIEW: Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino

Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino

I thought it was a late stage April Fool’s Day joke, like the Rainbow Drink or possibly a foreign exclusive since only they get the cool, wacky Starbucks drinks. Take a moment to Google “American Cherry Pie Frappuccino” that is available only in Japan, (sigh) of course.

Once the Unicorn Frappuccino finally became official, though, my mind started racing. Would it be made with the tears of unicorns? Has Starbucks finally figured out how to manufacture eternal euphoria? So many questions, but one thing was clear – I absolutely needed this in my life.

The drink is marketed to play up its mythical nature rather than provide too many specifics on its actual composition. I’m glad they didn’t go low budget, though, when sourcing their rainbows as the in-store menu informed me it’s made with only the finest ones. I’ve had cheap rainbows before and they were not very good (very dull in color and lacking intense flavor).

Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino 2

The drink’s actual contents are a crème Frappuccino with mango syrup, a sour-flavored interior drizzle and sour-dusted whipped cream. I couldn’t taste an iota of mango flavor, but I did get intense vanilla and sour notes. It’s as if little extremities of sour patch kids had invaded my vanilla milkshake.

Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino 3

I do applaud Starbucks for thinking outside the box with its creative claims that it changes color and flavor when you stir, although, execution wise, the color transition was very, very subtle and there didn’t seem to be enough of the blue sauce in my drink for it to completely change flavors.

The nutrition facts are frightening since a Venti supposedly contains 76 grams of sugar and 500 calories, but as only a rare treat, they are somewhat understandable. I was very concerned this meant it would be a sugar bomb that was so overly sweet and heavy it would be rendered nearly undrinkable. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it was instead both creamy and pretty delicious.

Overall, though, while this was a gimmicky drink through and through, Starbucks hit it out of the park on creativity and marketing. Seeing the hysteria ensue makes me wonder if it will be destined for a yearly reemergence. I just hope they push the envelope even further, like with a special iridescent straw that would glisten majestically like a horn, which I WOULD CAMP OUT FOR THE DEBUT OF.

Oh and your move, Starbucks Japan.

(Nutrition Facts – Venti – 500 calories, 18 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 310 milligrams of sodium, 79 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 76 grams of sugar and 7 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.45
Size: Venti
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: A domestic Starbucks drink that for once can make international outposts jealous. Not a revolting sugar bomb. Flavor that’s like the offspring of a vanilla milkshake and a sour patch kid. Destined for McRib-like limited edition runs.
Cons: Low budget rainbow sourcing. Nutrition facts that I wish were mythical. No glistening iridescent straw. So-so execution of flavor/color changing nature.

REVIEW: Polar Unicorn Kisses Seltzer

Polar Unicorn Kisses Seltzer

When I was a kid, I often remember visiting a drive-thru wild animal park with my parents. Aside from the fact that the monkeys would wildly flail about while removing the piping from our minivan’s windows, it was a great place to go to take in the wonders of the savannah (albeit the Canadian savannah, but I digress).

We’d usually close our trip with a stopover at the petting zoo, my hands full of vending machine pellets ready to feed Larry the Llama and Gary the Goat. My three-year-old self was shocked at the vigor at which the animal’s tongue attacked the food in my hand – an image I still can’t forget. Regrettably, this is my only frame of reference for understanding the concept of “unicorn kisses.”

Thankfully, Polar Seltzer’s Unicorn Kisses is not a bottle of magical glitter pony saliva, but instead an April Fools’ flavor designed to elicit giggles in the grocery aisle. Polar is known for its unorthodox flavors (like eggnog and mint chocolate), but you typically have an idea of what they’ll taste like before you open them. Unicorn Kisses gives you no such advance warning.

Polar Unicorn Kisses Seltzer 2

Prepping for the worst, I set off on a quest to find a bottle. Polar released only 5,000 cases of Unicorn Kisses into the wild, so I had a difficult time finding a store that had any in stock. I felt like Dora the Explorer (minus the anthropomorphic monkey), walking from supermarket to supermarket trying to find a bottle. After what felt like countless days of searching, I finally picked some up at my local Star Market.

Upon opening, I half expected the bottle to explode into rainbows, but instead I was greeted with the scent of green apple and cotton candy. While Polar prides itself on its “all natural” label, this smell was all artificial, like a liquid Jolly Rancher. Based on my nose alone, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to drink a sip, let alone an entire glass, but I queued up “Charlie the Unicorn” for support and dove in.

Polar Unicorn Kisses Seltzer 3

Other blogs have tried to place the flavor of Unicorn Kisses, with suggestions ranging from melon to soap, but the only thing I could taste was candy necklaces. Surprisingly, the flavor wasn’t as pronounced as the smell – it actually took me some time to figure out that this seltzer tasted like penny candy. Because it was so cloyingly sweet, I couldn’t finish a whole glass, leading me to feel like I wasn’t respecting the countless unicorns who worked so hard on this product.

In the end, the takeaways from this review are as follows: Unicorn Kisses is a fun diversion but is gross to drink, and you should stay far, far, far away from Candy Mountain.

(Nutrition Facts – 8 fluid ounces – 0 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.29
Size: 1 liter
Purchased at: Star Market
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Double rainbow. No calories. Revisiting childhood memories. Alliterative animal names.
Cons:Swiper, no swiping.” Llama tongue. Overly sweet and artificial. Vintage candy.