Saturday, August 7, 2010

Coffee and Ice Cream: REVIEWS!

So this is a long story.
One day the Oxford Summer Seminar students went to Blenheim Palace. Hannah and Thom wanted ice cream so Hannah leant Thom money to buy one to split. He wanted a "fab" but they were out. So he bought a Calippo which turned out to have pineapple in it. Pineapple makes Hannah's mouth itch. So Thom ate it and owed Hannah money.
it was decided one day that Thom and Hannah would eat ice cream for lunch one day.
that day was today.
Today was also the day Hannah had her first cup of coffee. Right now, her fingers are flying across the keyboard and she could go run five miles. The coffee was consumed also in the company of a Thom Gulino at Blackwell in Oxford. It was a grande sized Cafe Nero Latte.
Here we go....


I think she likes it!

I did not drink the entire thing with a straw. 
Both coffees were enjoyed over jovial conversation pertaining to both party's childhoods. 
verdict: Hannah likes coffee but is unsure if a. it will ever replace tea b. if she would drink it daily
feeling: like she could run 5 miles

Next Hannah and Thom went to fulfill their quest for ice cream. They decided to purchase five different ice cream bars and do a review panel. What a wonderful idea for a saturday afternoon!

Before we go...

(l-r) Bounty Bar, Flake Bar, Crunchie Bar, Maltesers Bar, Fab Bar
in the order we tried them....
What Nestle says: "Real Strawberry and Vanilla Flavoured Ice Lolly with Chocolate Flavoured Coating (6%) and Sugar Strands (5%)"

Hannah: I think it looked a bit lame, especially because we were anticipating this one in particular after having been let down before. It was pretty much a fruit bar covered with a layer of gummy vanilla and then another layer of gummy chocolate and sprinkles. They really do mean it when they say 6% and 5%! The "hundreds and thousands" as the sprinkles are called were quite pretty.  

Thom: To begin with appearances, there's no more aesthetically-pleasing iced treat than the fab bar. As to texture, the mix between smooth vanilla, crystallized iced strawberry and chocolate coating hits it right on the head. The pop of genius invention."

Hannah: I think the Fab Bar was not the most delicious thing out there. As far as the strawberry part went, it was pretty much a generic fruit bar. The vanilla coating was a bit gummy and the chocolate was as well. My favorite part by far were the "hundreds and thousands" sprinkles which I ate all of : ) The above photo shows the bar from the side, showing the layers. 

Thom: While the bar was originally intended for girls between the ages of 5-15 years, the bar has now become known as "the Man's Iced Lolly." Here the "real men wear pink" philosophy seems to carry over to "real men eat pink iced lollies." And let's not forget taste. Strawberry, vanilla, chocolate? It's the classic cosmopolitan ...though the lolly might benefit from a bit more on the chocolate end of things.

Would you buy it again?
Hannah: I don't think so. I think I'd rather just get sprinkles. 
Thom: "I'd make this my consistent choice of treat on warm days...being certain to remind people that "real men eat pink iced lollies."

Summary: We thought this bar was okay. I think we had different ideas of how it tasted. I'm sure Thom liked it more than I did; he had bought two and finished this one. I ate the sprinkles; always a sprinkles fan! 

Mars says: Dairy ice cream with crisp, light honeycombed, cocoa coated centers covered with a coating containing milk chocolate. 
(we're pretty sure this alliteration is intentional)

Hannah: I was most attracted to this bar because of the bubble-like shape. It reminded me of something one might buy at Disneyland. As for it's unwrapped splendour, it was indeed quite bubble-shaped and completely covered with a chocolate covering.   

As you can see, I'm quite intrigued by the thought of eating something so bubbly!
Thom: As appearances go, the vaguely snowman-shaped aesthetic is both unique and pleasing. And one can’t go far-wrong with the neat compact appearance lent by the hard chocolate shell.
Hannah: I thought this tasted like a generic ice cream bar. My favorite part was the "light honeycombed, cocoa coated centres". The outer covering for me was a bit too sweet, as chocolate coating tends to be and the ice cream in the middle was generically soft ice cream bar ice cream. I like the taste of the little balls and would rather had a bowl of those than the ice cream bar I think. Without them and it's shape, it would have been quite regular. 

The inside!
Thom: While I love chocolate, the combination of milk-chocolate shell, the comparatively sweet vanilla ice cream inside, and the malt chocolate candy pieces resulted in a bit of an excess sweetness. This in mind, the treat might serve well enough as an after-meal dessert.

Would you buy it again? 
Hannah: I don't know. I might if I was in a pinch. (but who chooses ice cream in a pinch?) The inside, like I said, was the only redeemable part for me. 

Thom: While I would purchase the malteasers ice cream again, it would not be a first choice on a frequent basis. Better shop around a bit before using this treat as a fallback

Summary: We thought this one would be completely generic without the honeycomb flavored cocoa crispie centres or whatever they were. Thom ate most of the outer coating, while I ate most of the inside. This was the only bar we did not entirely eat. 

Bounty Bar
Mars says: "Coconut dairy ice cream covered with a coating containing milk chocolate"

Hannah: This bar looked completely normal. The coating was that ubiquitous milk chocolate coating that seems to obscure the insides of each ice cream bar. I was unsure what I would find but it sure smelled good. I rather like coconut. 
Thom: The appearance of the Bounty bar is simple and smooth—comforting to the eye, one might venture to say. It’s difficult to go wrong with the basic look, though this one won’t pack as much distinctive aesthetic punch as the fab.

Hannah: I loved this one. While the outside tasted as one might expect, having been previously exposed to such a milky coating, the middle was creamy ice cream with little flecks of coconut in it. I loved the creamy coconut taste and the little bits of coconut, although it was a bit sweet. 

this is a testament to how much I like it. 
Thom: For those who enjoy Mounds chocolate bars or Almond Joy’s this treat will be the one for you. Rich and sweet, it managed not to overdo it on the sweetness end of things. A good bit of unique coconut and chocolate pleasure. 

I think he likes it too!
Would you buy it again?
Hannah: oh yes!! especially if they ever decreased the sugar, or made it without the chocolate covering. OR if they covered it with a more bitter dark chocolate coating. oh yes. 
Thom: While the fab bar would remain a first choice, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up a Bounty again for a more chocolaty treat.
Summary: We liked this bar. Thom ate the coating and I finished the majority of the inside. I love coconut ice cream. 

Flake Bar

Cadbury says: "crisp biscuit cone filled with vanilla flavour ice cream and a milk chocolate flake bar"
Hannah: I thought this looked pretty. I've always wondered what a flake bar was and this was a good way to find out. It's basically a swirled chocolate bar. I like the aerated chocolate they have here and this one is done in flakey layers as opposed to bubbles, which is a nice change. Very aesthetically pleasing. The cone wasn't a biscuit. It was normal cone. 

I was most fond of the little cup-shaped plastic covering to protect the flake bar sticking out of the top. 

Thom: With the cone and chocolate-toped vanilla ice cream, and with the chocolate flake bar in the top, the Flake has a nearly classy appearance. In terms of aesthetic it manages to be both basic and drawing. Thom with the flake bar. 
Hannah: I thought this one was interesting. The flake bar was basically a milk chocolate bar with an interesting texture, which did appeal to me. A bit sweet though. As for the ice cream, it was just vanilla ice cream. I was a bit confused as to the big to-do about this cone because it was basically a vanilla cone with a flake bar stuck in the top. I could have done that myself. The vanilla ice cream was a bit sweet and I had Thom eat most of it until we got to the cone. I finished that cause I like the end where the chocolate fills the cone : )

The cup thing

too sweet?

Thom: Tasty! However, the vanilla ice cream seems to a bit sweeter than one might expect. This facet is thankfully balanced by the chewy cone. Overall, quite nice, though mildly weary towards the end

Would you buy it again?
Hannah: no, I don't think so. I might as well just buy a flake bar and get some vanilla ice cream. I was not impressed with this. The flake should have been in the ice cream itself. 

Thom: While craving a good-old-fashion ice cream cone but unable to obtain one, the Flake would be the way to go. Still, it won’t hold up the Fab on an average day.

meh blurrrr
Summary: I liked the cone part. We weren't impressed, overall. 

Crunchie Blast
Cadbury says: "Honeycombed flavoured ice cream covered in milk chocolate with popping candy"
Hannah: I thought this one looked quite normal from the outside. It had that milk chocolate covering again. This covering was dotted with little bubble-thing-lumps that I can only imagine were the popping candies? Unless those were to be in the ice cream itself....I had no idea what this was going to look like on the inside. Pretty lame name, if I do say so myself. 

"omg! it's yellow!"


Listening to the popping candy!

I hear it!


Thom: Unfortunately the lumpy/crispy quality in candy or deserts has never appealed to me. This desert looses out on the looks and name categories (One might expect a candy corporation to devise a more creative name than “Crunchie Blast.”)
Hannah: I liked this one. The usually too sugary milk chocolate covering was nicely balanced by the popping candy. I was distracted from it's usually gack-ish taste by the pleasant popping occurring in my mouth. The honeycombed flavoured ice cream was pleasant but eventually got too sweet. I was pleased by the honey-colour, however. 

Thom: The chocolate covering and popping candy is what keeps this ice cream bar afloat. Not only is the chocolate of relatively good quality, but the fact that the popping sets in just as the last bit of chocolate dissolves accomplishes a very nice effect. However, the ice cream itself (honeycomb flavoured) looses the taste test. Too sweet and strange without being pleasing, the experimental nature of this ice cream leaves one wanting.

Would you buy it again?
Hannah: I might. As always, I'm not a fan of the outer covering, although with this product, it was made bearable by the popping candies. The honeycombed ice cream, while delightful both aesthetically and palate-wise initially, quickly became too sweet. 

Thom: Sadly, I’d have to pass this one by in the future. While its novelty made it a pleasing enough one-time experience, there are more well-rounded options in the freezer.

Summary: I think we had conflicting views that converged. The more I ate of this bar, the less I liked it. We had a good time with the covering, or rather the popping candies. The inside, after the shock-factor, was little more than a sweet treat. 

Thom loved the fab best, which is funny because I did not. He bought two and finished this one. 

I chose to finish the bounty bar. I loved the coconut flavor!!
although I totally don't remember double-fisting those two!!
I gave the outer covering of the bounty to Thom, who seemed to be able to stomach it's sweetness. 


almost gone... : (


1 comment:

  1. Well, I would say you both have a solid future in ice cream review writing, or any other writing for that matter (though I think you would be hard pressed to beat the fringe benefits of that job)! Very clever and yummy post!