Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Adventures in Ice Cream: Reading the Fine Print

If I allow my husband to go to the grocery store alone without a list of four things that he absolutely must come home with, one of the things he brings back is ice cream. But he’s not selfish about it; there’s always one for him and one for me.
Going out for ice cream (to Coldstone or Dairy Queen) means chocolate with cherries for him and vanilla with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for me. Bringing it home from the grocery store, for him, means cherry ice cream with chunks of chocolate in it (the closest he can find to his favorite), which he then immediately smothers in more chocolate syrup. But for me, it’s a little trickier.
In the past, Breyer’s has teamed up with Reese’s to make actual Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream. But they’ve never been able to get it exactly right (in my opinion, anyway). They’ve tried chocolate ice cream with ribbons of peanut butter sprinkled with chunks of peanut butter cups. They’ve tried peanut butter ice cream (I mean, I like peanut butter, but peanut butter ice cream? Yuck) with ribbons of fudge, sprinkled with chunks of peanut butter cups. The only one who gets it right is Denali’s Original Moose Tracks. Denali (which isn’t located anywhere near Alaska but is instead headquartered in a small town just south of Grand Rapids, Michigan) teams up with various ice cream brands to get their product out to the world, so depending on your location, it could be Kemp’s, Meadow Gold, Dean’s, or any other ice cream maker you can think of. (But luckily there’s a handy locator on their website.)
Denali’s Original Moose Tracks ice cream is vanilla (As God Intended) with ripples of Moose Tracks fudge, with little peanut butter cups sprinkled through it. Sure, they’re not brand name Reese’s, but they’re just as good. And no one is trying to make me eat peanut butter ice cream.
I’m not sure if Blue Bunny was ever one of those privileged brands that were honored to sell Denali Original Moose Tracks and then had a falling out, or if they just got jealous of Denali’s success and decided to copycat.
In what I can only imagine was a super sneaky meeting involving all the creative bigwigs, Blue Bunny decided to call their version "Bunny Tracks." And none would be the wiser. It is also vanilla ice cream with ripples of fudge, but you have to be careful when buying. The 1.75 quart paper carton contains the above in addition to little bunny-shaped peanut butter cups. The 1.75 quart plastic tub, however, will try to foist a caramel ripple off on you alongside the fudge, and some kind of cheap chocolate covered peanuts. Not a single peanut butter cup to be found.
Now, don't get me wrong, caramel and chocolate covered peanuts are all well and good in their own particular... idiom, but their place is certainly not in my ice cream. And I think it's a pretty shabby trick boxing two completely different ice cream flavors in exactly the same wrapping but in slightly different shaped containers. But I guess you can’t expect much from a company that is copying coincidentally making a very similar product to that of Denali’s Original Moose Tracks.
So if you ever want to try my favorite kind of delicious ice cream, make sure your husband grabs whatever brand is partnering with Denali in your area. Or give him strict instructions to read the fine print on the Blue Bunny box. Or just send him to the grocery store alone enough times that he knows what to come home with.
That’s what I do.

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