REVIEW: Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Tangerine Shortbread
Guests have arrived. It’s 4:00 P.M. The tea is ready; a fresh pot hits the table. A tiered stand in the center of the table holds light snacks for guests to enjoy – an inspired selection of finger foods to hold hunger at bay until dinner. Good thing you wore your fancy pants, because it’s tea time, baby. On the menu? Ice cold ice cream, tangerines for some reason, and shortbread cookies. Sound familiar? It shouldn’t, because that’s not what they eat at tea time in the UK. Introducing Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Tangerine Shortbread Ice Cream, inspired by tea time in the UK.
The brand new Destination Series by Haagen-Dazs features flavors inspired by popular travel destinations around the world. Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Tangerine Shortbread is supposedly influenced by tea meal in the UK, but none of my research suggests that tangerines or ice cream are common choices here. Haagen-Dazs should have flavored this ice cream like finger sandwiches and crumpets, but… whatever. I’m intrigued particularly by this tangerine business because it’s not a common ingredient in mainstream ice cream. Shortbread cookies are close enough to scones – something you might actually have during teatime in the UK – so let’s just stretch our imaginations and eat some ice cream with our pinkies raised to the sky.
Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Tangerine Shortbread features creamy vanilla ice cream, ribbons of sweet tangerine curd (gross), and buttery shortbread cookies. Haagen-Dazs didn’t half-ass this flavor; the ingredient list is sexy. The tangerine swirl is comprised of tangerine juice concentrate, tangerine extract, lemon juice concentrate, and good ole’ butter. This is separate from the butter used in the shortbread cookies, mind you. Sugar, butter, sugar, butter, sugar, tangerines & vanilla. YUP.
The first word that comes to mind after the first spoonful of Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Tangerine Shortbread: refreshing. The most salient flavor in this base is the sweet, smooth vanilla that Haagen-Dazs does best. This flavor is layered with a moderately tart, tangerine bite that is present in every spoonful. The combination is reminiscent of an orange sherbet, only creamier and with a vanilla twist. I don’t anticipate this flavor working for everyone, but I find it decently delightful. The tart tangerine keeps the ice cream from being overly sweet.
The disappointing part of Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Tangerine Shortbread is the shortbread cookie mix-ins. Most of the cookie chunks in this pint are simply too small to produce a noticeable flavor. The shortbread pieces are soft and mushy and don’t add much in the way of texture, either. My pint had ONE piece of cookie that was rather enormous, and to its credit – this bite did generate a huge buttery shortbread flavor that complemented the other two flavors surprisingly well. This bite made me resent all other bites, because I only got to experience this flavor once. If your pint is more consistent with the mix-ins, you may be higher on the overall product than I am. But as mine is, I’m left wanting more.
Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Tangerine Shortbread is a unique flavor combination that draws comparisons to a rich orange sherbet or an orange creamsicle. If you like to get down with fruity ice cream, I reckon you won’t be disappointed. But the execution on the shortbread cookie mix-ins could be improved. Did this feel like teatime in the U.K.? No. It felt an awful lot like reviewing an ice cream alone in a cold, dark basement.
Shortage of Shortbread Cookies Rating: 7 out of 10
Fails to Reach Its Final Destination Rating: 8 out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 out of 10