>> Tuesday, July 31, 2012
It was around 9AM when the doorbell rang.
I wasn't surprised. After all, I had been expecting a delivery. 2nd St. Creamery had contacted me a couple weeks before asking me if I wanted to sample some of their premium ice cream. They were about to enter the Boston market, and wanted to give me a chance to taste it.
How could I say no? Ice cream is one of my all-time favorite foods, and I'm always on the lookout for new premium ice cream.
They said they would send me 8 pints so that I could hold a small party and share it with friends, family, or coworkers. I had given myself about 15 minutes in the morning to put the ice cream away before heading out for a work meeting in the morning.
I opened the door.
There stood the delivery man, holding a box about the size of a small freezer.
"I got one more in the truck for you!" he chirped as he ran back towards the truck.
I stood at the door, stunned.
He soon drove away, leaving me with two huge boxes at the base of the staircase leading up to the kitchen.
They were so heavy, I could not lift them by myself. I pushed them up the staircase to the living room area where I opened them up.
Why would 8 pints require such ridiculous packaging?
They had accidentally shipped me eight 8-pint packs.
Yes indeed. I had SIXTY-FOUR pints of ice cream and just a normal-sized refrigerator at home.
What's a girl to do?
At this point I knew I was going to be late for my work meeting. There was no way I could put all these away in 5-10 minutes.
Seriously, how does one deal with 64 pints of ice cream?
I emailed the person at work and asked for a reschedule, which he kindly obliged.
Meanwhile, I tried pushing the boxes up to the level of the kitchen. I eventually was able to get some of the ice cream pints into the freezer. I left the rest in the styrofoam box (filled with dry ice) knowing the ice cream would last at least one day.
Later on that evening, after desperately calling a few friends and giving away about 15 pints of ice cream, I managed to squeeze the remaining 50 or so into my freezer.
Yes, I had to throw away a bunch of old stuff and move other stuff into the refrigerator, but I somehow managed to get it done.
A couple weeks later, as promised, I had a party at my house for about 30+ people who all sampled the three flavors that were sent to me.
Guests munched on ice cream while I asked them their opinions about the three flavors.
Tons of Brownie
This first flavor is a simple vanilla based ice cream with "tons of brownies" mixed in. Those that liked it enjoyed the generous chunks of brownies that were relatively evenly spread throughout. Out of the three flavors, however, this one was the least popular. More than one person thought the brownies did not give the overall ice cream enough of a deep chocolate-y flavor. Several people found the ice cream too sweet.
Personally, I also found the overload of brownies a bit too sweet for me. The brownies did not necessarily contribute much of a deep, quality chocolate flavor to the ice cream. Instead, it mostly added unnecessary sweetness.
Copper Kettle Caramel
This second ice cream was pretty popular with the guests. More than one person liked the surprisingly "pop" of caramel flavor you get when you bite into the chocolate covered caramel pieces. People liked the rich, creamy texture of the ice cream overall. Some guests also found this ice cream to be overall a bit too sweet.
Personally, I had expected to like the Copper Kettle Caramel the best out of the three because I'm a huge caramel/burnt sugar fan and typically love anything made with those ingredients. Surprisingly, although I thought it was reasonably tasty, I also found this flavor to be a bit overwhelming. I think the generous amounts of chocolate covered caramels inside the ice cream was too much, causing a sort of in-your-face saturated sweet experience that didn't quite suit my preferences.
I may be in the minority here since I am quite sensitive to desserts that are very sweet. The types of people who love desserts that are full of sweet and gooey chocolate-y and caramel-y chunks of stuff may really enjoy this (and there were definitely guests who picked this as their favorite).
Black Hills Strawberry Rhubarb
The Black Hills Strawberry Rhubarb was a clear winner out of the three that we sampled. It was by far the most popular ice cream served that night. The strawberry ice cream had an authentic and solid strawberry flavor. The small pieces of pie crust mixed throughout the ice cream added a complex, cookie-like texture that I liked. It also tempered the sweetness of the ice cream. There were frozen bits of jam spread throughout the ice cream - something I was not a huge fan of because, again, it made the ice cream a bit too sweet. Interestingly, no one could actually taste any rhubarb flavor in this ice cream (though, to be fair, most people admitted to not knowing exactly what rhubarb tastes like).
At the end of the night, I gave each guest a pint to take home. Almost everyone requested the Strawberry Rhubarb, and I actually ran out of that one before all the guests had left.
A funny comment became, "if you want the Strawberry Rhubarb, you should leave the party NOW before it runs out."
Second Street Creamery is making some unique flavors of ice cream, many of which have cute, personal stories attached to them.
The ice cream is reasonably dense and quite creamy. It is definitely better than your average supermarket ice cream (e.g., Hood, Breyers, Dreyers, Edy's, etc), although it do es not quite reach the level of the highest level premium ice creams, such as Haagan Daaz, Ben & Jerry's, and any of the local artisanal brands.
In general, the flavors are good, but not as refined and subtle as the best premium ice creams I've had. They seem to achieve "bang" from intense, bold flavors such as the chocolate covered caramel pieces, large chunks of brownies, or a mish-mash of strawberry jam, frozen strawberries, and pie crust.
The biggest consistent feedback is that the ice cream is a bit too sweet, at least for the Asian palate. At the same time, most of those same people told me they thought the strawberry rhubarb ice cream was very good - the least sweet of the bunch.
Would I buy this in a supermarket? Depends on the cost. I think if they price this somewhere in between the super premium ice creams and the more "ordinary" supermarket ice creams, they will do quite well. However, if given the choice between 2nd Street Creamery ice cream and Haagan Daaz or Ben & Jerry's, I might still pick one of those brands. Of course, these days I usually make my own or get them from my favorite ice cream place.
In any event, it's still a perfectly fine ice cream. As I said, my guests absolutely loved the strawberry rhubarb ice cream, and several really liked the other two flavors as well. If you have a sweet tooth, you may not think these ice cream flavors are too sweet at all. You may, in fact, think they are perfect.
I'm so relieved. I now only have 10 pints left in the freezer. I'm thrilled to get my freezer space back.
Thanks to all my guests for happily eating the ice cream and each taking home a pint to enjoy! You've all helped me immensely!
Scenes from the Ice Cream Party
Disclaimer - I received the 64 pints of ice cream for free from 2nd Street Creamery. All the opinions are my own.