Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review: Baskin Robbins Pralines 'N Cream Ice Cream

When I was a kid in the 1980s growing up in the Indianapolis area, there were a fair amount of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins stores.  For whatever reason, both of them (same company) decided to abandon the area throughout the 90s and only over the past five years or so have each of them started to come back to the area in sporadic locations.  None are near my house, which is probably a good thing for my waistline, but I've noticed recently that they've started introducing "pints" (actually fourteen ounces) of their classic ice cream flavors in my local Meijer store, probably for people like me that aren't near their Baskin Robbins ice cream shops.  Apparently these came out this past May and on a recent trip, I was armed with my ever-present coupon and decided to pick up a container of this Baskin Robbins Pralines 'N Cream Ice Cream at the sale price of $3.00 (plus my $1.00 digital coupon).  Each container is 3.5 half-cup servings and each serving is 220 calories.

If you don't know, candied pecans (pralines) are big in the South and just to make sure you know, here is the description from Baskin Robbins' website (also on the container) that focuses on that:  "Taste some South in your mouth! Sweet praline-coated pecan pieces and rich caramel in creamy vanilla flavored ice cream. Y’all will love it!"  That is just too good...not only do they put in a semi-dirty opening line (depending on how you read it; I'm obviously a dirty minded person), but then they put in the classic Southern accent mocking at the end by including a "Y'all."  That definitely made me giggle when I was reading it.  Anyway, I'll point out that all the described ingredients were in there and the amount of pralines actually surprised me.  Had I not been a slob and taken a picture of this before I ate half of it, you would have been able to see there were A LOT of pralines in the top half of this container and they were quite large.  I was impressed.  I was also impressed by the amount of sweet-smelling caramel injected into this too.  All in all, Baskin Robbins did an excellent just from a presentation perspective, so that was an excellent start.

I think it's first important to address the three components separately.  First, the vanilla ice cream was pretty much standard vanilla ice cream.  Flavorful and moderately creamy, it was a solid performer.  Second, the caramel was sweet and gooey...just how I like my caramel.  Not overly potent, it had the perfect amount of sweetness and that lack of overwhelming sweetness was good because of the third component, the praline pecans.  These candied coated because were sugary-sweet and had great crunch.  I've had praline pecans several times in my life and these were just as good as any I've ever had.  I wouldn't expect that in a container of ice cream, so that was a nice change of pace.  Finally, I rolled all three flavors together and they worked in perfect harmony.  The praline pecans brought crunch and sweetness, the caramel brought gooeyness and more sweetness and the vanilla ice cream added body to each spoonful and did a bit of a job taming the sweetness, which was important because without that, the amount of sweetness in this could have gotten out of control.  As it stood, this was what I like most about ice cream...sweetness, crunchiness and cooling flavor.

Buy It or Fly By It?  Like I said in my last sentence, this one is right up my alley with all of its characteristics, so it gets a BUY IT rating.  Now, if sweetness is not your thing or you can only eat sweetness in moderation, you might not enjoy this.  If you do enjoy sweetness though, this is a solid performer worth picking up, especially if you do not have a Baskin Robbins shop near you.


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