Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Digging in to Halo Top #Sponsor

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Halo Top Ice Cream. All opinions are my own.

I'll be honest: I've seen Halo Top Ice Cream* in the freezer section of the store, but I've never tried any. Until now. When I was approached to do product review, I knew virtually nothing about the company or the product.

As we made our way through the four flavors the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf and I chose, I learned a lot about Halo Top and, interestingly enough, discovered how differently the four of us view eating ice cream.

Oh, the flavors! D and I perused the choices and decided on Pistachio, Chocolate Almond Crisp, Black Cherry, and Sea Salt Caramel. You can view all of the Halo Top flavors here; our local grocery did have all of them. And, if you're wondering where you can pick up a pint or two - or more -, check out this pint locator.


About the Ice Cream...
When I saw the numbers on the front, honestly, I had no idea to what they referred. '240' read the Pistachio. All the others we chose were labeled with '280' and there were a few choices that had '320' or '360' on them. Turns out those are the calories - for the entire pint, not each serving. 

We pulled out a pint of another brand's ice cream, from our freezer, and the numbers started to make sense. Pint for pint: servings, same (4 per pint); cholesterol same per serving, actually Halo was slightly higher; total calories 280 per serving (other brand), 70 per serving (Halo Top), so 280 for the entire container; total sugar, one quarter of the amount (Halo Top) per serving, so the same total for the entire container.


Pint for pint, I was beginning to see the truth behind the foil wrappers that covered the ice cream. "Stop when you hit the bottom," declared one. "Save the bowl!" was another.


But, for my ice cream lovers, it's not about the number. Or, it's not just about the numbers; they are pretty well-trained to read labels! More importantly we wanted to know how it tastes...and how it stacks up to other ice creams that we love. So, we started with tiny scoops of all four flavors.


We discussed. We scribbled down notes. And we rated them against each other. Then we scooped more...and discussed even more. You wouldn't think that ice cream tasting could be so involved. But, my trio, well, let's just say that they take ice cream very seriously.


Our Thoughts...
First impressions were about the texture. Words used: airy, fluffy, light. It definitely feels lighter than other ice creams. Here's where I was surprised to learn how differently people are about why they eat ice cream.


My friends and family joke that I need an ice cream scoop. I have one, but it's a truffle-sized scoop. And it's all I need. I prefer strong flavors condensed into small servings. Kinda like how I drink my coffee. I'm an espresso gal versus a large cup o' joe guzzler.

I have seen people eat an entire pint of ice cream, my college roommate for instance and, yes, my husband, who is affectionately called the 'Sugar Pig.' But, I myself have never had the urge to eat an entire pint. 

Jake loved Halo Top because he could eat the entire pint and not feel guilty about it. "This is a guilt-free pleasure," he declared. "I can enjoy more of it without being overly concerned with sugar and -"

"Oh! I know, I know," interrupted one of the elves, "you mean because of diabetes - "

"And weight gain!" said the other.

"Yes," Jake continued, "both of those. The act of eating ice cream should be enjoyable. This one definitely is." 

So, where I eat ice cream for the flavor, my husband loves the texture and the coolness. "Ice cream needs to be refreshing." When I want refreshing, I drink water! "Ice cream needs to be pleasurable." Okay, I agree with that.


After the texture, we talked about the flavors. Words used: simple, mild, intoxicatingly sweet (when your mom is a food writer, these are things you say, I suppose).

We were divided on the Chocolate Almond Crunch. "Love-Hate" Jake wrote below the score that ranked it tied with the Sea Salt Caramel which I described as 'cloying.' We all agreed the Chocolate Almond Crunch wasn't chocolate-y enough. And where D loved the almond flavor, Jake objected to it, saying it reminded him of marzipan. "That's why I love it!" said the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf, an admitted marzipan fanatic.

We compared the flavors to previous ice creams of the same flavor and rated them. For instance, compared to other pistachio ice creams, where would this one fall? For both R and D, they declared this the best pistachio they've ever had. Jake and I both gave it a 4 and a 3, respectively. Again, I prefer stronger flavors and like biting into actual nuts.

Here's our quick list...

Pros: You can eat the entire pint, relatively guilt-free. The texture is airy and refreshing. And you can eat the entire pint by yourself. I wrote that already, right?!?! The. Entire. Pint.

Cons: The flavors aren't particularly sophisticated and they are mild.

We decided that if you make a mental shift away from wanting all the extras - chunks of nuts, ribbons of fruit, swirls of caramel - and you just want the flavor, Halo Top is a great choice. If you prefer more daring flavor combinations - I recently tried a Ylang Ylang & Fennel ice cream and Grapefruit-Juniper sorbet is one of my favorites - then this brand might not be particularly satisfying.

But, I'm going to say it again, if you want to dig your spoon into a pint of ice cream and eat all the way to the bottom by yourself, Halo Top is definitely the way to go.

Have you tried Halo Top ice cream? 
What did you think? I'm curious!

*Disclosure: I received complimentary product from Halo Top for the purpose of review. Comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own. I have received no additional compensation for this post. *



You can find Halo Top Ice Cream...
on the web

2 comments:

  1. I was hoping you tried the peanut butter cup. That is next up on my list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We looked at that one, but didn't get it. Maybe we'll try that next.

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