I usually try to stay with national brands on this blog, but sometimes I'll be wandering through the store and I'll see a regional brand that piques my interest and that's what happened with the subject of this review with the Velvet Ice Cream Company Buckeye Classic Ice Cream. I figure what better time than fall is there to review a product based out of Ohio that shares a name with a tree nut and also one of college football's preeminent powerhouse teams? Also, I have a bit of an attachment to Buckeyes (the candy, not the team) since I used to make them every single year in a family cookies/candy competition that my family had around Christmas every year. For those of you that don't know what a Buckeye is, it's a candy made of a peanut butter mixture and then dipped in chocolate so that it resembles the nut itself and quite honestly, it is freaking delicious (here's a Wikipedia link if you want to learn more). As for the nut itself, it's worthless and if you ever want to make an Ohio State Buckeyes fan mad, tell them their team is named for a worthless nut. Of course, you should probably make sure that your team is not named Hoosiers like mine is before making that joke because at least there is something that their name represents. No one quite knows what a Hoosier is.
Okay, enough of my incoherent rambling...I picked up a 1.75 quart container of this at my local Kroger, an Ohio based grocer and thus the connection to an Ohio based ice cream maker, on sale for $2.99 and it contains 14 servings of ice cream at 180 calories per serving.
This container is constructed with a base of peanut butter ice cream mixed in with a swirl of Mackinac Island Fudge. Also in the container are small Buckeye candies that I would classify as about the size of a small grape or marshmallow bit like you'd put in hot cocoa. The fudge is swirled into the container plentifully and while the Buckeye candies are not plentiful themselves, they are at least spread well enough that you aren't going to feel you are getting shorted. The peanut butter ice cream itself carries a strong aroma of peanut butter and based on looks and smell, this container does an excellent job representing all the characteristics that you'd expect in something that is trying to emulate the candy.
When I took my first spoonful, I tried to incorporate only the peanut butter ice cream so that I could get an accurate gauge of its flavor alone and what I was met with was a peanut butter flavor that was not was very hearty and extremely rich. In fact, it stopped just short of the line of being overpowering. Next up was a spoonful that incorporated some of the fudge with the ice cream and what I got was more richness as the fudge could have been given that characteristic as well. Mixing the ice cream and fudge basically gave you an incredible taste of chocolate and peanut butter mixed together and there definitely was no confusion as to what I was eating, meaning the peanut butter and chocolate flavors were so strong that they declared their presence. In addition to those two flavors showing their muscle, I was also met with the occasional Buckeye candy that brought that chocolate and peanut butter flavor combination in the form of a quick and crunchy burst in your mouth as opposed to letting it melt in like the ice cream and fudge. The break-up of the texture with these candies was a great addition and much needed because if you need to "melt" your way through an ice cream, it can sometimes get boring, in my opinion.
Buy It or Fly By It? C'mon, it's chocolate and peanut butter and based on my little Christmas story above, I'm quite the fan of Buckeye candies, so I give this a BUY IT rating. The one caveat I will attach to this though is that this is an ice cream that should be eaten in limited portions because if you eat too much of it at once, you could potentially be overcome by how rich this is. I usually steamroll right through every single container of ice cream that I get, but even I had to put the spoon down on this one at times in order to allow myself to not be overcome. Still, even with that caveat, this is a very good product (and a true peanut butter and chocolate lover's delight) and definitely not a worthless one like its namesake is to nuts or its football team's fans are to the world. I kid, I kid.