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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.