I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting ice creams. With an eye towards things involving stimulant, naturally. So when I first browsed through the freezer aisle and caught an ice cream that called itself Caffeine & Cacao…actually had the balls to list “caffeine” in its title? I was, as you might expect, intrigued. Throw cacao in there with it and I was very interested. Buzzy, cacao-infested goodness–sounds great. But after purchasing, the thought struck me: what if they were serious? What if caffeine was now an ice cream flavor?
Most of you might not be aware, since most of you probably aren’t insane and thus don’t have powdered pure caffeine in your kitchen and have been known to make your own caffeinated water (cough), but caffeine does have a flavor. It’s rather unpleasant, actually. That’s why you can only put so much caffeine into caffeinated water before that bitter flavor starts to push through. Highly caffeinated bits of confectionery throw lots of sugar and more at caffeine to try and offset its flavor. But what if someone was bonkers enough to try and make an actual caffeine-flavored ice cream?
Also, as you might have surmised by the Athens, Georgia reference…this is apparently from a local ice cream and sorbet forge called High Road. This flavor suggests that they are ice cream wizards of immense power. Let me try to describe this to you:
The ice cream base is there as a transport service for all the other tasty bits I listed above. However, unlike my Magnum bar review of recent days, the ice cream isn’t just sort of there. It is milky, creamy, and the sort of thing that if you had by itself you’d be content with. The coffee flavor isn’t screaming “Coffee” in your face. Sometimes you need that. Sometimes you need coffee to wrestle you to the ground and take your wallet. But this is just a nice smooth coffee–one that isn’t just a transport mechanism for stimulants…it’s just pleasant to have. And the chocolate flavor comes alongside the coffee so well you almost forget it’s there. Little bits of punctuation are provided by the cacao bits for when you want a darker taste. It’s honestly one of the most balanced arrays of flavors in ice cream I’ve encountered to date.
There is, however, one downside. If you find yourself fighting to retain self control when confronted with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s or Haagen Dazs, then you are screwed. Because this flavor combination is so deceptively smooth and subtle, you will find yourself eating more than you meant to. Just plan on it. This is the ice cream equivalent of those cocktails where you can “barely taste the alcohol” and as a result you drink eight and wind up not remembering where you left your pants the next day.
I found my pint at Whole Foods. High Road does have a store…but they can’t ship at the moment because, well, it’s summer. They come back online in September. But in the meantime: here. And for more info about High Road including their absolutely insane list of flavors, here you go.