My reviews: A superlative ranking of ice creams!

Superlative ice cream rankings as we say goodbye to summer and I only have FIVE WEEKS LEFT!!! (and boy, I am so over everything ).

A few weeks ago I was telling my husband that I probably shouldn’t be the one to go to the grocery store, because no matter what, I come home with like three ice creams, two bags of marshmallows, yogurt, Cheetos Flaming Hot, and Funyuns. And no actual food, because I am a garbage person??

He agreed but also hinted that someone has to be the junk food buyer and someone has to be the responsible buyer, and it looks like that is now my role sooo…. I bring to you the best ice creams I have tried this summer, and likely all bought at the same time, hah. Hey, the freezer is there for a reason- ice cream and frozen pizza. You may be shocked, even surprised to learn: the winner was NOT chocolate peanut butter!! I know, blasphemy! BUT stay with me.

The winner of this year’s best grocery store ice cream is…. Western Family’s Signature Double Chocolate Cupcake!

I know, I was surprised myself but this ice cream is so incredibly rich and it has these lovely little sprinkles providing fun pops of colour throughout without being trite or tired, kind of like the Americans weird love of sprinkles called ‘Funfetti??’

Plus unlike peanut butter cup, the flavour appears to be evenly dispersed soooo to all of you mining for a rich vein of peanut butter cups, or peanut butter…You don’t need to! The taste is all in it, you don’t need to dig through half of the container seeking the one interesting chunk. That, to me, is priceless. Friends, get yourself this ice cream. You will NOT regret it.

I love product innovations and will seek them out because I think companies should be trying harder. On that note, bear with me on this rant but: I hate buying shards of pretzels jazzed up to make it seem like ‘hey great new product!!’ NO. I am buying YOUR mistake. Bring back the whole pretzel, you cheap bastards!

In other news, I still buy them because I like pretzels and they don’t seem to make whole ones in the fun new flavours these days.

Moving on to second place is Ian’s favourite and a pretty fun new flavour buuttt the quality is very much of the ‘frozen dessert’ mediocrity that is Breyer’s and the like. (I see they are calling it ‘light ice cream’ which is a pretty nice spin there, Breyers. Want a job at GCPE?) Try out the Nanaimo Bar ice cream as one of their ‘taste of Canada’ flavours and prepare for an interesting textural but still very on-the-note of Nanaimo bars.

It has flakes of coconut, mixed in with a fairly rich and delicious ice cream base that is marbled yellow/chocolate just like a good ol’ fashioned Nanaimo bar. Now, it’s not punching above its weight at all- that is reserved for actual ice cream, not a fakey one, however it’s a really nice take on something Canadian and a fun eating experience. Give it a try!

Third place (I couldn’t give this ranking to peanut butter cup- I just couldn’t do it to my truest love) so I am springing on you a new ice cream altogether. Enter the dairy-free offering from Coconut Bliss. I tried the Madagascar Vanilla Bean (by accident, thought I was buying chocolate peanut butter), and the Sea-Salt Caramel Chocolate. I actually really enjoyed the Madagascar Vanilla Bean once I got over the fact it wasn’t chocolate but it does have a pronounced and unsurprisingly heavy coconut flavour, so if that’s not your gig steer clear. The Sea-Salt Caramel Chocolate I like a bit less, and that did surprise me a bit, possibly because it still have a very heavy coconut base flavour that doesn’t mingle amazingly well with predominantly caramel flavouring? And I also expected it to be chocolately with caramel, but it’s the other way around- caramel with chocolate bits. So…yeah. Not a big hit but not bad either. If they go on sale (I found them for 2.97 a pint at Country Grocer) then give them a go!

As we bid adieu to a summer that seemed so very short, I also have a message to the ‘mother’ that got in my face to yell at me after her child ran into me when I was jogging on the Breakwater: I hope you NEVER get to enjoy another ice cream again, you ass. Also when you yell at a person about ‘why would anyone think they can run here’ and ‘this is a PUBLIC place’ I guess to cover her poor parenting, when there are about four other runners also enjoying a lunchtime run on the Breakwater, well hate to break it to you but die mad about it.

End scene.

Snickers vs Mars vs 3 Musketeers

In the showdown between candy bar giants, who was the winner? (sidenote: US seems to prefer candy bar to our more regional ‘chocolate bar’)

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Clearly Snickers was the winner, with a balanced palate of salty/sweet (but not cloyingly sweet) and a pleasant texture of nougat/caramel/chopped peanuts, that appealed to most in the office. It has the added bonus of protein from the peanuts, so it is practically a health food. Maybe even a vegetable, if we want to go US-style here. Seasonal variations on Snickers bars include almonds and dark chocolate!

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Second place is kind of a toss-up between Mars and 3 Musketeers *I wanted to write 2 Musketeers, I mean it only has nougat (more marshmallowy) and chocolate so what is the third element here?

Mars lost ground in this round due to the overwhelming sweetness of the whole bar. A stiffer nougat chew was nice, but it’s so sweet it makes all of our fillings ache. Caramel is a good touch but again, just too damn sweet. Plus, no peanuts so…It seems overwhelmingly bad for you. I can’t even justify it really. Their seasonal variation at one point was Mars Maple, available only in…drumroll please…Canada. It’s just a Mars. What more do you want??

3 Musketeers also failed here due to its marshmallowy texture and no added fun features like nuts or caramel. A bland marshmallow bar? I would eat that and I still really like them (and the internet says 3 Musketeers has experimented with strawberry marshmallow nougat and also dark chocolate, so they have some intrepid fans for sure)…But here it just got lost in the wishy-washy sweetness and no backstory.

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Also this might be in our future too if we keep this up past Halloween! Thank you to my colleague for providing the chocolate bars for our taste tests.

New Reese’s Easter Egg: My review!

Thanks again to the generosity of Stephen May, and as promised- a review as soon as I had time/ate it! As you can see, my Reese’s Egg had a fold where the second eye was supposed to be so the chick is giving me a jaunty wink…

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Opened it up and it has a patterned egg with festive Easter designs and the Reese’s logo. It seems they try harder than Cadbury’s, but also my suspicions are that the Reese’s Egg is slightly lighter than Cadbury. Can we get an exact weight on each, please? Want to make sure nobody is getting ripped off here in the cut-throat world of Easter candy.

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Opening it up, it’s glorious. Full peanutbuttery glory, full to the brim and it tastes EXACTLY like a better Reese’s peanut butter cup – chiefly because the ratio of peanut butter filling to-chocolate- is even higher. YUM!

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It does have a strange, almost licorice after -taste that I am noticing 3 minutes after eating it, but that’s not going to detract from it for me! It’s very good, and it beats Cadbury’s hands-down. (But I will still buy & hoard Cadburys too, because who are we kidding?!). The chocolate shell may be a bit cheaper and thinner- it seemed much softer than Cadbury’s right off the bat.

Fly in the ointment- the price is silly. I saw them at Save-on for $1.19 this weekend and as high as $1.29 at the less competitively priced Pharmasave and Shoppers. Please- this is a small treat and the price is not competitive. Wait for these things on sale, or better yet…cut out the middle man and buy a jar of Reese’s spread- less festive but so good! I like eating it with pretzels. And a jar does not last long around me.

That is my one caveat for all Easter (and probably Halloween) candy- it’s just not worth what the price is for novelty items.