You know, growing up, I was never really a fan of Haagen-Dazs. It seems that each time I taste one of their flavors, I am pleasantly surprised and I can honestly say that their track record has gained favor. I am not sure if I have ever had cherry vanilla ice cream, but something about the flavor called to me from the ice chest of the local supermarket. I am not sure why that flavor stood out from the other Haagen-Dazs flavors, the packaging is all the same. Maybe it was the two cherries dangling like Ms. Pac Man bonus points in the lower corner of the container.
Eating this ice cream along with upcoming holiday events is sure to add a few pounds; my winter coat as I like to call it. The DV of saturated fat is 45% and each serving has 33% cholesterol, wow. Looking at the ingredients, all were recognizable and some of the more diverse ingredients listed were egg yolks and black cherry juice (which would explain the color of the ice cream). The color of the ice cream threw me off because it was a grayish, smoky plum. I totally expected vanilla, cream colored ice cream with black cherries distributed throughout. Even more, the top layer of this ice cream was an odd color with what looked like a rash of cherries reminding me of, I hate to say it, measles or an old, bad scar.
The ice cream did have a light cherry smell and I could taste the vanilla in the aftertaste. There were an abundance of black cherries that were crushed inside. It seemed like the pieces were mostly cherry skins with a little pulp attached. Individually, these cherries did not add much flavor; the flavor was in the ice cream itself. I believe this was why the cherry juice was added. The cherry flavor was authentic and was delicious. The texture of the ice cream was definitely creamy.
About one inch down, I noticed a lack of cherries as compared to the rash on the top layer. I found one cherry the second scoop down but it did not take long for more cherries to surface once I started to scoop further. I did not feel that Haagen-Dazs Cherry Vanilla ice cream was artificial in any way. The cherry flavor was natural and very tasty! This ice cream is a cherry lovers dream! Cherry Vanilla is also a great dessert by itself as it was very satisfying. It was sweet enough, but not so sweet you wanted to drink water or eat something salty right afterward to balance out your tongue.
I think Kris is trying to kill me off and take over the web site. Why else would she choose two ice creams in a row that have fruit in them?
Do I really need to comment on the Haagen-Dazs container? I'm not trying to be a humbug, but they don't really do anything all that different from one container to the next. It's the reason I can never really find what I might want while looking at their containers in the freezer section of my local grocery store. Is it vanilla ice cream? Is it chocolate ice cream? Is it "Cherry Vanilla" ice cream? I don't know. I have to open the freezer door and look closely before I can ever really tell.
Now don't get me wrong, Haagen-Dazs packages their ice cream in a nice container. The gold and maroon colors certainly add a touch of class to the overall presentation, but I just wish they would do something a bit more than have a different title and small ingredient picture for each flavor. Heck, I'd be happy if they just made the ingredient picture bigger, which they seem to have done with the cherries for their "Cherry Vanilla" ice cream.
We opened the container and I noted that Haagen-Dazs is one of those leading-edge companies that puts a seal their ice cream. However, after taking the seal off, I almost wish we had just left it that way. This ice cream is ugly ("U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi, you ugly!). Seriously, this might be the most disgusting looking ice cream I've ever seen. Remember that the container says this is "Cherry Vanilla" ice cream. When I think of cherries, I think of pink and/or red. When I think of vanilla, I think of white and/or a light yellow color. So, imagine my surprise when we removed the seal for Haagen-Dazs "Cherry Vanilla" ice cream and found a purple ice cream with purple spots in front of us; especially after seeing bright red cherries pictured on the container. Typically, I would stop right there thinking I had gotten a bad batch or something. In all honesty, this ice cream reminded me more of blueberry pancake mix than it did ice cream.
No matter, I sucked it up for the team and tasted the ice cream. It had a very subtle cherry flavor that wasn't near as powerful as what I expected. The taste was rather unspectacular, especially considering that I was eating purple ice cream. Realistically, if you're looking for cherry ice cream, this will work, but I doubt it's going to be the best you can find. If I were looking for Haagen-Dazs "Cherry Vanilla" ice cream and my local grocery store were out, I'm pretty sure I could find another brand that would substitute just fine.
Overall, even overcoming my dislike for fruit, this ice cream was rather boring. It was okay, but that's about it. The cherry pieces were manageable and consistent throughout, but that and the texture of the ice cream were the only saving graces of Haagen-Dazs "Cherry Vanilla" ice cream. Maybe it's a good thing that all the Haagen-Dazs containers all blend together in the freezer because I won't realize that I'm overlooking "Cherry Vanilla."