Tag Archives: ice cream

Product Review: Nestlé Temptations Flavors of the World Dutch Speculoos Flavored Ice Cream

1511590_401086316690183_1776087462_oProduct Name: Nestlé Temptations Flavors of the World Dutch Speculoos Flavored Ice Cream
Type: Ice Cream
Price: PHP 215.00
Where To Buy: In all major supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide

Review In A Nutshell:
For a product that uses a not-so-simple ingredient, a clean, straight-forward presentation is all it needs to win an ice cream lover’s heart.

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Hi there! How’s 2014 shaping up for you so far? I hope it’s not as frazzled as mine because I do realize that I have let 2013 pass by with only a few posts added.  I sincerely hope to change that as soon as I get Sydney,  which is my laptop, fixed.

However, I’m taking some time off this self-imposed hiatus (sort of) to write this product review.  Can I get a hurray? Hahaha.  I figured since I just finished reading a companion novel that featured a handsome Dutch, why not celebrate this accomplishment by treating myself to a flavored ice cream inspired by that character’s country? The idea sounded good to me.  Also, this is me fulfilling a review request sent over by one reader (still surprised and thankful, so I shall blush).

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Challenge accepted! Oh, my poor wallet. Haha. 😉

Since I started doing product reviews for this blog two years ago, I seemed to notice some food fads. In 2012, it was this particular brand of ice cream bar. My review for that product was quite popular and it still remains to be one of my top-viewed posts on this site. In 2013, I think, the food fad was Speculoos Cookie Butter.

Truth be told, I have yet to try this brand of Speculoos Cookie Butter and it annoys me that I have not seen or bought a jar of it locally. Every local personality I know and love have either tweeted or instagrammed themselves eating this product enough to make feel green with curiosity and envy. The good thing with food fads in this country, there will be some enterprising company who will make treats using Speculoos Cookie Butter as an ingredient.  And I was right on the money; I did get my Speculoos Cookie Butter fix and surprisingly, all of them were ice cream. The first was with Bono Artisanal Gelato. The second was with McDonald’s. And now, Nestlé with their Dutch Speculoos flavored ice cream which is part of their Temptations Flavors of the World line.  I distinctly recall that Pancake House and Krispy Kreme offered Speculoos Cookie Butter products last year; I regret not trying them out.

Image courtesy of Vera Greutink of Grown To Cook (www.growntocook.com)

Image courtesy of Vera Greutink of Grown To Cook (www.growntocook.com)

Speculoos, to the curious mind, is a spiced shortcrust biscuit that is traditionally eaten on or before St. Nicholas’ feast in the Netherlands. Spices used include cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom and white pepper.  The amount of spices alone suggest that this is not your ordinary cookie; it has a bite and packs a really good punch flavor-wise.  I have recognized this in my first two fixes of Speculoos Cookie Butter ice cream and I was not disappointed.  Thus, you can understand my expectations as I try on this one from Nestlé.

Here I go! The family gets to share too. :)

Here I go! The family gets to share too. 🙂

The first thing that came to mind when I ate my first two spoonfuls was that sense of familiarity, like  seeing an old friend who disappeared for years. By the succeeding spoonfuls though, you start to see that your friend had a makeover and it shocks you enough that you cannot decide whether you like it or not. Then, you get to a point wherein you have formed your opinion and politely say to your friend, “I love you but no, it’s too much.”

In my recent review of the product line, what made it a win for me was that the flavors were delectable and luscious but not over-the-top with sweetness. The first three flavors had a lot of texture and contrast, something which I failed to experience with this new one.  Speculoos Cookie Butter as an ingredient is quite over-the-top so to taste it as the ice cream’s flavor base and swirls/chunks of it with every scoop (just to remind you what you are eating) is too in-your-face, more annoying than pleasant. I was looking for something to balance it out, which made me resort to eating some salty chips along with it — a habit I like doing more as an act of indulgence rather than compensation. Honestly, I’m not entirely disappointed about the product but I wished some editing was made in terms of the flavor and contrast aspect of the ice cream, either…

– loose the Speculoos Cookie Butter swirls/chunks but keep the flavor in the ice cream itself;
– add dried fruits or nuts for texture; or
– keep the swirls/chucks but make the ice cream just plain vanilla.

I know that by doing the latter, Nestlé would not be able to differentiate from the other companies who have been offering the same.  So I wished they would have gone for the first suggestion.  Sometimes, keeping it simple may end up being the best thing. And for a product that uses a not-so-simple ingredient, a clean, straight-forward presentation is all it needs to win an ice cream lover’s heart.

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My Rating:
2.5 out of 5 stars

My Two Cents:
If you want a quick Speculoos Cookie Butter fix, you can get a cheap one for about Php 45.00 a cup (until that food outlet changes their dessert menu again) or the more expensive yet decadent one for Php 130.00 a scoop (I doubt this will disappear in that gelateria’s menu).  If the first recommendation disappears, then your next affordable bet would be this product.  However, among the four flavors in the product line, this is going to be the last one I’d be tempted to buy again.

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DISCLAIMER:
This is not a sponsored blog post. Like my other product reviews, I purchased the product and tried it out.

Image featured at the top of this review is courtesy of Nestlé Ice Cream Philippines’ Facebook page. Other images featured are my own.

Product Review: Nestlé Temptations Flavors of the World Ice Cream

1250_320387884760027_82622719_nProduct Name: Nestlé Temptations Flavors of the World Ice Cream
Type: Ice Cream
Price: PHP 199.00 SRP
Where To Buy: In all major supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide

Official TV Commercial:

Review In A Nutshell:
Each 800 ml. tub gives you an ice cream flavor that is unbelievably delectable and luscious, but not over-the-top with sweetness, which is definitely very European.

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Today marks the end of my long journey of eating three tubs of ice cream. Well, not really. Haha! The first time I saw this product in the cold storage of nearby supermarkets at work, I swore to myself I’d have my fill and make a product review. No regrets really despite the… uh… pounds I’ve added (*hides*) and… erm… the money I spent.

My European Journey Through Three Tubs of Ice Cream :P

My European Journey Through Three Tubs of Ice Cream 😉

Nestlé Ice Cream under its Temptations brand launched the Flavors of the World line-up in the Philippine market around April 2013. This new line-up features three (3) very European flavors — French Salted Caramel (France), Italian Coffee Affogato (Italy) and Belgian Chocolate Praline (Belgium) — adding up to its already enormous selection of ice cream variants. It retails at Php 199.00 and in it is only available in 800 ml. tub sizes.

At face value, it’s intimidating to try even a tub because it is very expensive. For its retail price of Php 199.00 and its 800 ml. tub size, you can get two (2) tubs or even a half-gallon of ice cream for the same price with other brands. Also, I think I’ve mentioned in my other reviews that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so it did not really encourage me. However, when I do need a sweet fix, my instant go-to treat is vanilla ice cream! I don’t care where it comes from, as long as it’s vanilla ice cream, I’m good. In a way, the product itself passed the first stage of my curiosity maze: it’s ice cream so I’ll probably like it. What really got me to start trying these flavors were two words which sounded music to my ears: “Salted Caramel”. You can probably guess which of the three flavors I picked up first.

From Bottom Left to Top Right: Italian Coffee Affogato, French Salted Caramel, Belgian Chocolate Praline

From Bottom Left to Top Right: Italian Coffee Affogato, French Salted Caramel, Belgian Chocolate Praline

In terms of taste, each of the flavors offer something really different — from the rich salty, gooey caramel to the bitter coffee — but share one thing in common, it’s love with every spoonful. Each 800 ml. tub gives you an ice cream flavor that is unbelievably delectable and luscious, but not over-the-top with sweetness, which is definitely very European. With ice cream, I generally don’t finish a cup easily because of the richness of the buttermilk but I didn’t have a hard time with this. Also, the addition of cashew nuts (Italian Coffee Affogato) and bittersweet chocolate chips (Belgian Chocolate Praline) gave texture to the creaminess of the ice cream — plus points in my book. The longer you indulge in your tub of ice cream, you inevitably start forgetting how expensive it is. You even rationalize that it is still cheaper than buying two scoops of gelato from a mall stand or store in Greenbelt or Podium.

Desserts, such as ice cream, are the one of best indulgences a person can have. If Nestlé Temptations Flavors of the World Ice Cream’s goal was indulgence, it sure hit its target. However, I’m not sure how soon before I get another tub but it’ll definitely have one with either salty caramel or cashew nuts in it. 😛

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My Rating:
4 out of 5 stars (the price is still a deterrent, sorry)

My Two-Cents:
If you like ice cream and don’t really mind the price, this is definitely a must-try. And don’t scrimp, try all flavors, as in ALL. I hope they don’t remove it from the cold storage shelves anytime soon because I’m starting to see less of it.

My Ranking of the Three Flavors, Taste-Wise
1. French Salted Caramel: if you haven’t tasted any ice cream with a hint of salt, introduce yourself to this flavor.
2. Italian Coffee Affogato: for coffee-holics out there, this is definitely for you.
3. Belgian Chocolate Praline: what surprised me is that it wasn’t too sweet or chocolaty, good for a non-chocoholic like me.

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DISCLAIMER:
This is not a sponsored blog post. Like my other product reviews, I purchased the product and tried it out.

Images above are courtesy of Nestlé Ice Cream Philippines’ Facebook page. Other images featured are my own.

Product Review: Magnum Ice Cream Bar

Product Name:      Magnum
Type:                            Ice Cream Bar
Local Flavors:       Classic, Almond, Chocolate Truffle
Price:                            PHP 50.00 – 60.00
Where To Buy:     In most major supermarkets and
24-hour convenience stores nationwide

Review In A Nutshell:
If you’re an ice cream bar connoisseur, you would know that Magnum is really at its A-game when it comes to ice cream bar products, in terms of variety and taste, so it does pay to try one, if not all, of the flavors available locally, but it’s not something to be eaten on a daily basis.

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My road to discovering Magnum started from an officemate who briefly shared about it after visiting a wake far off north of Metro Manila one Friday evening, early March 2012. The weather wasn’t as hot then like today but it didn’t quell my curiosity to try something new, especially when it comes to any food item. As soon as I passed the nearest convenience store to our home, I bought myself a Magnum ice cream bar, an Almond-flavored one. I nearly minded paying PHP 60.00 for it but my curiosity got the best of me. In a few days after that, I was able to try out all three (3) flavors in the market. Despite burning a decent-sized hole in my pocket, my curiosity was satisfied enough to think about posting this product review that aims to answer the question whether or not it lives up to its current hype, which drove nearly most of my friends to a tizzy when their Facebook timelines were flooded with nothing but Magnum-inspired shoutouts and pictures.

But before I proceed with my review, I did a bit of research and learned more about the history of the product. Magnum was created back in 1987 in the United Kingdom and it was no different from how it looks today: a thick bar of vanilla ice cream covered in a rich chocolate shell… Belgian chocolate, if I may add. The British/Dutch company, Unilever, is behind Magnum and has successfully marketed the product to a lot of countries worldwide. The brand became so popular in countries like Australia that it would carry a national variant (I mean, Big Choc Bikkie? It doesn’t get any local than that.). In the United States, it currently sells these flavors (click on each link to see the mouth-watering awesomeness): Classic, Almond, White, Dark, Double Chocolate, Double Caramel, Mint and Mochacchino. In the Philippines, however, we have Classic, Almond and Chocolate Truffle. As shared earlier, I was able to try all three flavors within a week. Overzealous much, I know, but more than a month since it was launched, my total Magnum bars eaten count is less than 10. Except for the three I first ate, the rest were treats from generous officemates. No joke. Surprising, isn’t it? Here’s why…

If you’re an ice cream bar connoisseur, you would know that Magnum is really at its A-game when it comes to ice cream bar products, in terms of variety and taste, so it does pay to try one, if not all, of the flavors available locally. I even look forward to the day when a lot more flavors are available (Caramel or Strawberry Cheesecake, pretty please.). But in a tropical country where ice cream brands make their products more accessible (a.k.a. pocket-friendly) to the masses, Magnum is a bit pricey.  For its PHP 50.00-60.00 price range, you can buy two (2) ice cream bars of the same kind (Hello, DQ Dilly Bar!) or the creamy, fruity ones from Korea (Hello, Melona!).  If you think about it more, just by adding an extra PHP 50.00, you can get a full pint, or half-gallon, of ice cream from the same company that sells it, which good enough to share for the whole family. Crazy, right? So why even try it?

For appreciation’s sake, I guess, even if it’s for only one flavor and that’s it. Maybe that’s just the foodie in me talking. At least, I can say that I tried it and in a way, I somewhat earned the right to praise (or bash) the product since I dug deep in my pockets and paid for it. Honestly speaking, Magnum is good enough to try out but for something to eat on a daily basis, no. Imagine the calories and the sugar content, not to mention its icy burn on your wallet, folks. Like all desserts, it’s meant to be indulged in, not a staple in your diet (unless your body and wallet can afford it, then lucky you).

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My Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

My Two Cents:
Try one flavor then stop.  And please, spare your friends in your social networks from posting pictures featuring you savoring a Magnum bar. It’s too cheesy and tacky. Just eat it; people don’t need to know it.

However, if you’re going to try it out and you’re unsure which flavor suits your taste best given your limited budget, read the flavor guide below based on my own assessment.

Philippine Magnum Flavor Guide:

From L-R: Classic, Almond & Chocolate Truffle

Classic: Plain vanilla ice cream covered in Belgian milk chocolate shell. Perfect for those who don’t like too much frills while enjoying an ice cream bar.

Almond: Plain vanilla ice cream covered in Belgian milk chocolate shell with almond nuts. Perfect for those who like some crunch in their ice cream.

Chocolate Truffle: Plain chocolate ice cream with chocolate truffle syrup covered in Belgian milk chocolate shell. Perfect for the chocoholics out there who like a good mix of creamy and bitter chocolate ice cream.

Other Facts:
– At PHP 50.00-60.00, Magnum is still relatively cheaper compared to a Haagen-Dazs ice cream bar which is sold for PHP 150.00-200.00. Furthermore, a Magnum bar in the US retails at $ 2.59 and in the UK at £ 1.50. Wow!

– Click here for a list of national variants from countries where Magnum is available. Now, you’ll no longer wonder why I desperately want that Strawberry Cheesecake flavor. I don’t mind trying that Big Choc Bikkie Magnum too. 😛