Sunday, July 1, 2012

Blue Bell's Birthday Cake Ice Cream

I love ice cream in ANY form. Häagen-Dazs shakes. Ben and Jerry's sundaes. Soft-serve Tasti D-Lite. Futuristic Dippin' dots. I mean, I cannot tell you the things I did would do for a vanilla ice cream square, coated in frangible chocolate, and wrapped in a silver-foil wrapper. Shameful! Yup, nothing gets me torqued like frozen dairy. But, I must say, being a native Texan, I think I am genetically programmed to prefer Blue Bell (not to be confused with Blue Bunny) over any other brand. I like to pretend I'm an egalitarian of sorts and don't discriminate, but when I have the choice, I go with the Bell.

One evening, after a typically long day at school, I decided to motor to the grocery store (Wal-Mart, y'all!) for ink cartridges and a few Top Chef Healthy Choice TV dinners. I tucked my little Honda Civic in a back row spot and jumped out of my car. My plan was to make this trip bandit-style quick since I was still uncomfortably dressed in business cas(ual): black dress pants, tailored button-down red shirt, ballet flats, and a vintage headband restraining my unwashed hair. I scurried to the entrance, glanced at my au naturale reflection in the glass doors, and went inside.
After flashing a toothpaste grin at the Betty White greeter, I grabbed a hand-held blue basket to shop. I weaved through the nondescript aisles and made a mental note to not make impulsive purchases. (For those of you wondering: I bought those detoxifying foot pads from Japan anyway.) I got some HP 61 ink in the electronics section and made my way to the frozen food aisle.
As I was picking my Healthy Choice dinners of choice, I felt a familiar chill. I peaked over my shoulder and noticed the frosted locker of Blue Bell ice cream was staring at me. I paused. I pondered. Yup, I most certainly do deserve ice cream.
And what kind did I deserve?
Birthday Cake by Blue Bell!
Let me tell you--and this might be my southern swag talking--but nothing can compare to this ice cream. I think it is quite possibly the best dessert in the entire world. It is so delicious that, when you put it into your mouth, a flood of flavor triggers the summation of eating brownie cake, topped with vanilla ice cream, glistening with chocolate icing and sprinkles. All. In. One. Bite. It's more scrumptious than a Christian Grey fantasy. (whoa. super kidding!)
I skipped over to the freezer like a kid in Dylan's Candy Bar. A blast of icy air tickled my cheek as I opened the glass door. The shelves were jammed with a Light Bright mix of different half-gallons and pints. I riffled through the frigid gold rimmed cartons and--- oh my God, you guys! I didn't find any birthday cake. Womp-womp. No one saw that coming, huh? Wrong.

Birthday cake is what the creamery has dubbed a “rotational flavor.” Which, I for one, find ridiculous; it's not like this novelty uses seasonal ingredients. Plus, after several google searches, I still don't know the exact rotation schedule of this time-sensitive ice cream! It's like trying to quantify the genealogy of a Melungeon, i.e. impossible.

My first impulse was to take my index finger and scribble something dirty on the ice-brushed glass. But, as a symbol of my love to the splendiferousness that is the Blue Bell brand, I made the decision to channel the urge into something productive. I picked three NEW flavors, threw them in my hand-held shopping nest, and fled to the self- checkout. That's right, you cool cats. It's ice cream review time!

I've never had any of these flavors. I just wanted to see if the novelties were worthy of the should-be-birthday-cake shelf time. These are my foodie opinions thereof:

Red Velvet
Eating anything red velvet-y instantaneously transports me to the days I would sit at my great-grandmother's kitchen table, read Highlights, drink hot tea, and eat five slices of red velvet in one go. Dee-licious childhood diabetes. So obviously, I had to try this flavor, both for the ice cream and the nostalgia.
Guess what? It is rather tasty! Blue Bell somehow extracted the essential flavors of the Jägermeister colored cake we all know and love and packed them in ice cream. It's a spoonful of vanilla infused with a sweet mélange of different sized red velvet bonbons and subtle nuances of cream cheese. Yes, a satisfactory dessert. But, for whatever reason, it does leave me wanting something more. Chocolate sauce? No. Sprinkles? No. Maybe I'm just missing the over-whelming aftertaste of cream cheese frosting.
Orange Swirl (Vanilla Ice Cream and Orange Sherbet)
I do love orange sherbet. And I do love vanilla ice cream. But, I just don't think they should be combined; the flavors interfere with each other's tongue tasting pleasure. It's as if the light freshness of the orange sherbet collapses into the ice cream and loses its integrity. The whole pint reminds me of when they slather Hawaiian shaved ice with condensed sweet milk.
Note: I think this flavor would be totally appropriate if you ever wanted the whipped version of an orange creamsicle.
Strawberry Banana Pound Cake
Honestly, this ice cream combination sort of confuses me. Pound cake is a stand-alone dessert; it has the rich and decadent taste of melted butter dusted with sugar. There isn't a need for additional ingredients...except maybe extra butter. So why would Blue Bell attempt to fuse the freshness of strawberries and bananas into this dense buttery concoction?
Answer: Because a weird blend can be good! It's like when Rachel screwed up the trifle on the Friends (Season 6) Thanksgiving episode and ended up with the beef-pudding. Everyone thought it would be disgusting. Then Joey takes a bites and is like, “What’s not to like? Custard? Good. Jam? Good. Meat? Gooooood.” Joey, I totally get you, dawg.
This tastes exactly like banana. It's a strong and foamy banana flavor that has been sprinkled with bite-sized hints of strawberry. I think the pound cake must have disintegrated or something.
Close-up shot of Birthday Cake
All in all, the new Blue Bell flavors made for a decent ice cream experience. Nothing too memorable, though. And most certainly nothing that trumps the greatness that is Birthday Cake. I think everyone, even the lactose intolerant folks, should tell ask Blue Bell to gift the world year round with birthday cake ice cream. We should all get to experience this holiday treat. It's not like it's 'Christmas cake' or 'Hanukkah cake.' It's Birthday cake! And everyone has a birth-day. It's not an exclusionary celebration, guys.
Oh, and Blue Bell, don't tell me it's impossible. Impossible would be me being mentored into writing shape by Mindy Kaling after dropping major coin on an authentic deckchair from the Titanic and playing 16 straight hours of Halo.

P.S. I'm now 14 miles wired from all of this ice cream and having a little too much fun pretending to be Lea Michelle, pretending to be Rachel Berry. WILL YOU LOVE ME FOREVERRR??