Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: Haagen-Dazs Salted Caramel Ice Cream Bars

I've been steadily making my way through the bulk purchase of Haagen-Dazs ice cream bars that I made a while back and today's review is the final flavor of that splurge.  That splurge allowed me to pick up this box of three Haagen-Dazs Salted Caramel Ice Cream Bars for $3.00 at Meijer.  Now, I'm okay with salted caramel as a flavor combination, but I think the sudden surge of products revolving around that flavor is absurd.  I mean, the flavor combo is fine, but it's not as good as the amount of products available would suggest.  But, I guess trying these out will allow me to determine whether these are a successful addition to the world or a failure.  Before I bite in, each bar in this box is 3.0 fluid ounces and comes in at a premium 290 calories.

The exterior of these bars is a smooth, hardened milk chocolate.  Based on prior experience, I know that chocolate is brittle and will break easily, but it at least holds up to some gentle knocking.  It's only my teeth that will defeat this one.  As you can see on the picture on the box and also in my picture above. there is also a swirl of salted caramel that is woven into the premium vanilla ice cream.  While not as plentiful as the box would suggest, that salted caramel is definitely noticeable and does carried a bit of a burnt caramel smell with it.  The chocolate is standard stuff in that it smells like sweet chocolate and that's all one could really expect, especially if you've eaten these Haagen-Dazs ice cream bars before like I have.

After my first bite, the chocolate and vanilla ice cream were just as I expected.  The chocolate broke apart easily and quickly melted in my mouth.  It's flavor was sweet, rich and decadent, which is pretty much standard operating procedure for Haagen-Dazs.  Balancing out that decadence from going to far was the smooth, cooling and only moderately sweet vanilla ice cream.  If the bars had only those components, they would be more than tasty on their own, but there is obviously the salted caramel aspect to take into account with these bars.  That salted caramel definitely had enough salt that it announced its presence and in fact it was so salty that it bordered on being dry.  There was only a faint hint of sweetness, but I don't believe that was from the salted caramel, but instead from my taste buds mixing the sweetness of the milk chocolate coating and vanilla ice cream.  When I took a look at the ingredient list, it said that they used sea salt in this one, so that absolutely makes sense based on the level of bite the caramel snapped at me with.  One thing that was moderately disappointing was that the caramel swirl did not quite have the level of gooeyness that I was expecting.  Don't get me wrong, there was some, but I was expecting a bit more.  It wasn't enough of a disappointment to ruin the bar for me though.

Buy It or Fly By It?  Of all the Haagen-Dazs ice cream bars that I've looked at so far, I've got to say that this was my least favorite due to the saltiness.  Like I said, I'm just not that huge of a fan of the salted caramel flavor combination.  That said, it was still tasty enough that I definitely would give it a BUY IT rating.  While this my not exactly be my cup of tea, people that love that mix of salty and sweet will love this one because not only is it those two things, but the milk chocolate and vanilla ice cream bring in that standard Haagen-Dazs decadence which takes it up a level.


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