“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Monday, August 6, 2012

Not quite there yet: An Open Letter to Straus Creamery

organic banana ice cream

Last Saturday I went a familiar journey for my family. We got burritos for dinner. This enterprise always seems to take more money out of my pocket than it should but such is life, eh?

Here's how it goes.
The Fam wants burritos for dinner, all except The Boy who would rather have pizza. No worries, there's a pizza place down the street from the burrito place where we go that sells by the slice. A slice of pizza that he will eat is way cheaper than the burrito he won't, right?

Here's the sequence of events that causes the trouble -

I drive to the street where the taqueria and pizza place are located and park the car.
I go into the pizza place and order The Boy his slice (single slice of pepperoni) plus, since I really like their salads and their bleu cheese dressing, I get one of those, but I can't just get a small salad, what if my family wants some of the salad, too. I have to buy a large because I'm not going to share a small salad. There's $15, (tax and tip included) out of my pocket. This place is super yummy, but a bit pokey. I have to order the pizza first to maximize my time.
While they are making my pizza and salad I walk over to the taqueria and order my burritos. I get The Fam's usual (Chile Relleno Burrito for me, Super Carnitas for Hubby and Bean/Cheese/Rice for The Girl). $18 out of my pocket, again, including tax and tip.
While my burritos are being made I go into the little market that separates the pizza store and the burrito store. This little market is a little pricey, but great. I'm not complaining about the prices, really. It's a little independent market that has a great produce department (they always seem to have a really great and diverse selection of apples), interesting candy, great sodas with interesting flavors, and really good ice cream. Their beer selection is a little lacking, but there's a liquor store on the corner so, no worries. I usually hand over a good $20 to this place each time I visit.
I go back and pick up my burritos, then walk over to the pizza place and pick up The Boy's dinner and my salad.
I go home.
All in all, it's about a $40 dinner, about $10 a head. Expensive dinner for just going out and getting burritos, but pretty yummy just the same.

OK, so here's my complaint / observation from last Saturday's adventure.

Being that I'm just about 32 weeks pregnant, and have gained less than 10 pounds total, I gave into a craving and got some ice cream for dessert. I toyed with getting standard Chocolate, and then something fruity like Strawberry, but then something caught my eye. Straus Family Creamery Organic Banana Ice Cream with Brown Sugar and Chocolate Chips. It sounded really interesting and really yummy.  The flavor brought me back to when I was a kid and we'd be at summer camp and make these things called "banana boats" where we'd carve out a canoe in a banana and stuff the canoe with chocolate chips and marshmallows, wrap the whole thing up with foil and throw under the camp fire's dying coals while we ate dinner. After dinner we would dig out our bananas and eat them while they were still too hot to eat, we'd all burn our mouths, but they were super yummy and we'd be mad we couldn't have more than just one.

My intention was to put The Boy to bed, then crawl under a blanket with The Girl, two spoons and a pint of ice-cream and watch "Say Yes to the Dress" or something like that.

What could go wrong?

As it turned out, nothing really went wrong, but it didn't really go right.

I liked the ice cream better than The Girl did, but I didn't go crazy for it. It definately didn't bring me back to my "banana boat" days. I could see where they were going, but they weren't quite there yet. The bananas tasted like Banana Flavor and not enough like Bananas, much like Laffy Taffy flavor, the Brown Sugar wasn't subtle enough and the Chocolate Chips tasted a bit waxy (although I find that most chocolate chips in any kind of ice cream, in any brand has this texture / flavor - it's a problem that plagues every creamery, not just Straus).

This ice cream was definately a winner in the making, but not quite blue ribbon yet (or Gold Medal yet - we are in the middle of the 2012 olympics, afterall).

I suggest they take it off the market, do a little bit more R/D and bring it out again later. Maybe lighten up on the Brown Sugar, add more bananas (and banana chunks?) and remove the chocolate chips in favor of adding a chocolate ribbon. Ribbons seem to be better crowd pleasers than chips.

In the meantime, I like the Straus brand and trust it to make yummy things. If I see another flavor that strikes my fancy, I will most certainly buy it without hesitation.

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