Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Flavors: Häagen-Dazs Class of 2009

Häagen-Dazs has a variety of new products this summer. Their Reserve Series has a new addition, Carmelized Hazelnut Gianduja, which was less sweet than I hoped for. (By definition, gianduja is more chocolate than hazelnut, but the chocolate was barely present, much less deserving of helping name the flavor.) Limited Edition Peanut Butter Brittle is another new (and less than accurately named) flavor. It is dominated by a peanut butter swirl and has surprisingly few brittle pieces.

But never fear, dedicated ice cream fans! Häagen-Dazs, my favorite among mass-produced ice cream brands, has come out with a new line of products that is both delicious and inspiring:
Häagen-Dazs Five, ice cream made with only five ingredients! As an ice cream chef, this seems quite a feat because there are no stabilizers. What preserves the ice cream's fresh texture? Of those I've tried, each has the texture that is unique to mass-produced ice cream. It isn't quite the homemade feel, but it's close. The ice cream I make rarely has substantial leftovers--if you can imagine--but what leftovers there are tend to crystallize, freeze densely or have a slightly lumpy quality the next day. (Don't ask what the texture is like after two days; you'll have to ask an inferior ice cream chef!) But waxing philosophical on the chemical properties of dessert was never the mission of this blog...

Thus far, there are seven varieties of this new product line. The more original flavors in this line are also the most interesting: Brown Sugar and Passion Fruit. (It ain't exactly rocket science making vanilla or chocolate using only five ingredients, plus Häagen-Dazs already had those flavors down.) Brown Sugar, while simpler, eclipses Häagen-Dazs' other brown sugar themed ice cream, Sticky Toffee Pudding, winner of 2006's flavor search competition flavor search competition. Due to the product's minimalist nature, this new flavor has a uniform texture (mealy brown sugar) where I normally prefer something more dynamic, but it is so easy to eat! It is light, but not airy! Seriously, shovel it into my mouth! I love it! What starts as a casual taste quickly turns into a new item on the grocery list. As for Passion Fruit, the fruit is not overpowered, nor diluted by the creaminess of the ice cream. This fruit ice cream packs a punch!

There is one more new flavor worthy of mention: Limited Edition Dark Chocolate. I haven't tried this flavor because no grocery store I've been in for well over a month seems to carry it. If you see it, let me know (a) how it was and (b) where you found it. Or just mail it to:

Marisa's Ice Cream
c/o Brad's mouth
1 Ever-changing St
Transient Town, USA

Note from 2012: I did eventually find the Dark Chocolate, which I didn't find noteworthy enough to post about. It wasn't nearly as dark as the Häagen-Dazs flavor Belgian Chocolate.

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