Thursday, June 14, 2007

Häagen-Dazs Reserve

It's National Dairy Month and the tempatures are getting naturally I'm obsessing about ice cream again! This time around I've chosen a slightly sophisticated line of ice cream to go crazy over. It is Häagen-Dazs Reserve and I 've now tried three of the five Reserve flavors, and all have ranged from good to great. The flavors are: Brazilian Acai Berry Sorbet, Amazon Valley Chocolate, Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Bar, Hawaiian Lehua Honey and Sweet Cream, and Toasted Coconut Sesame Brittle.

The Hawaiian Lehua Honey and Sweet Cream ice cream is pretty good. It's very creamy and has swirls of honey inside, but is a bit too sweet for my taste. The Toasted Coconut Sesame Brittle however, is my favorite flavor thus far. It's inspiration comes from Thailand, "where coconut trees line white beaches and the local markets are filled with exotic Asian spices like ginger and sesame". This flavor has a surprisingly complex taste, providing layers of texture.

Here's a little history of the The Toasted Coconut Sesame Brittle:

Last year, Häagen-Dazs invited consumers to submit their ice cream flavor ideas for a chance to create their next flavor. The finalists were featured on a Food Network special about the contest. Sticky Toffee Pudding was awarded the winning flavor, even though the two runners up seemed to be more popular with the fans (Toasted Coconut Sesame Brittle and Cannoli ice cream).

Clearly though, Häagen-Dazs paid attention and ended up releasing Toasted Coconut Sesame Brittle as part of their new Reserve line. There is no mention of the fact that the flavor was an entry in the contest. Hopefully the woman who submitted the original flavor got some sort of recognition from the company for coming up with the idea...she is truely a genius!

If these flavors are a bit too adventurous for you're taste buds, you can always stick with Häagen-Dazs (recently improved) Dulce De Leche, which contains smooth caramel swirls complemented by a hint of cinnamon spice.

For more info Häagen-Dazs Reserve site.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Top Chef Season 3

Normally I'm not the biggest fan of reality television, but if food is at center stage then I'm all over it! So, this is just a little reminder that Season 3 of Top Chef premieres this coming week (June 13th) on Bravo. This time around the show will take place in Miami and will feature returning judge Chef Tom Colicchio and lovely host Padma Lakashmi. The panel will be rounded out with the addition of Ted Allen (of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) and Gail Simmons. If you tuned in to Bravo this past week you may have caught a special "all-star grudge match" between four Season 1 contestants (Harold Dieterle, Stephen Asprinio, Tiffani Faison, and Dave Martin) and four Season 2 contestants (Ilan Hall, Sam Talbot, Elia Aboumrad, and Marcel Vigneron ) with proceeds going to charity, in which the teams serve their meals to the new chefs of Season 3.

For clips, recipes, and more info visit the official Top Chef Site.