Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: Dean's Mackinac Island Fudge Ice Cream

I haven't exactly been fond of Dean's ice cream in my previous reviews, but like the glutton for punishment (or maybe just glutton in general) that I am, I was willing to give yet another Dean's flavor a try.  This time, it was Mackinac Island Fudge.  Previously, I had only reviewed their Country Churn (lower fat/calories) ice cream, so this is the first time that I've reviewed a full-on ice cream flavor of theirs.  I don't know that it'll make a difference, but I guess that is what I and all of us will find out!  I picked this one up on sale for $3.00 for the 1.5 quart container at Meijer.  Each serving in the container contains 160 calories and there's roughly twelve servings in each container.

As you can see on the packaging and in the picture above, this ice cream has a vanilla base.  The vanilla base is then mixed with a swirl of chocolate fudge and many soft, chewy fudge pieces.  I will say that there are not a ton of fudge pieces, but there are a pretty fair amount and considering that I've had issues with the number of mix-ins that Dean's includes in their ice creams before, this was a positive thing.  As usual though, the very thick fudge swirl was concentrated more in the center of the container and not really spread throughout.  Dean's really needs to do something to fix this, because it is getting annoying.

Annoyances aside, this one actually exceeded my expectations coming in.  While the vanilla flavor was not outstanding, it was quite solid.  It lacked the creaminess of a vanilla that you might find in a premium ice cream (not that I would expect that since this is not a premium ice cream), but it still held its own and did not fall victim to the "thin" taste that you get in a lot of budget ice creams.  The fudge swirl, while not spread as much as I would like, was thick, gooey and sweet and once I found it, I was delighted to included it in each spoonful.  What was especially delightful and by far the most surprising thing about the entire container of ice cream was the fudge pieces.  They were exceptionally chewy and carried a strong, sweet and wonderful fudge flavor.  I expected them to be rock hard, but much like Ben & Jerry's, Dean's successfully found a way to make sure that these pieces retained their softness in a frozen pint of ice cream and I commend them for that.  When you mixed all three ingredients together, you got a chewy, gooey and cooling decadent treat that I really could not have enjoyed any more than I did.

Buy It or Fly By It?  This is the first time that I can say this about a Dean's ice cream offering, but I've got to say BUY IT.  While the spread of the mix-ins left a little bit to be desired, as always is the case with Dean's, the ice cream container overall was a winner and definitely one that I would purchase again, especially considering that I don't have to pay "premium" ice cream prices to get it.  Granted, this is not premium ice cream at all, but it is still good enough for me to purchase it again and it is my opinion that you should do the same.


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