The Good: Does not taste bad at all, Great ingredients
The Bad: Seriously unhealthy, Incredibly bland flavor, Expensive
The Basics: Haagen-Dazs Stracciatella Gelato is not at all worth picking up, despite being made of good ingredients.
I really screwed the pooch the other day with trying to help my wife with her new plan to eat healthy. I was at our grocery store and saw that the clearance section had a pretty significant number of frozen desserts on clearance (it turns out, they were revamping their frozen food section and wanted to eliminate their inventory rather than move it around the store!). Seeing a bunch of Haagen-Dazs for half price, I went a little bit nuts. I bought up all the sorbet that was on sale and then I moved onto the Gelato. Gelato, as it turns out, does not have the amazing low-cal benefits of sorbet. In fact, despite having about half the taste of most ice creams I have experienced, Gelato appears to have all the calories of full-fat ice cream. So, I now find myself reviewing a bunch of Gelatos and I started today with Stracciatella.
I decided to start with the Haagen-Dazs Stracciatella Gelato for a simple reason. Outside the Stracciatella Lindt Lindor Truffles (reviewed here!), I have no frame of reference for what "Stracciatella" is supposed to be. After having this gelato, I'm guessing "sweet cream." Regardless, this is an unremarkable gelato and any product that I find unremarkable that makes me blanch when I look at the nutritional information is virtually impossible for me to recommend or rate highly.
Haagen-Dazs Gelato comes in a 14 oz. (almost) pint container. The Stracciatella Gelato is a smooth Gelato without very thin shavings of chocolate in them. The chocolate is shaved so thin that it does not inhibit a spoon or scoop going into the pint container.
At (locally) $5.99 a pint, the Haagen-Dazs Gelato is an expensive frozen dairy dessert. That I found it on clearance for $2.99 was the primary reason I bought the pint of Gelato!
Ease Of Preparation
The Stracciatella Gelato is a simple Gelato with an additive that is so malleable that it can barely be called one. As a Gelato, preparation is ridiculously simple: one need only open the top of the container, remove the safety seal from the top, scoop out a half cup and consume! There is no trick to preparing or eating the Stracciatella Gelato!
Haagen-Dazs Stracciatella Gelato has virtually no aroma to it while it is frozen. As it nears its melting point, this Gelato takes on a faint scent of vanilla bean, but otherwise, this is a flavor that is presenting virtually all of its flavor through the taste, not the scent of the frozen treat.
On the taste front, the Stracciatella Gelato is light, creamy and sweet . . . with hints of chocolate. The ice cream (Gelato) flavor is not even a vanilla bean; it tastes like sweetened milk. That is problematic only in that it is not at all very flavorful. If one were to take coffee creamer, add sugar to it and find a way to freeze it without it crystallizing, they would have the Stracciatella Gelato. Mixed fairly liberally into this bland base are chocolate shavings. The chocolate shavings provide a waxy texture to break up the sweet, creamy flavor that covers one's tongue while eating this Gelato. The chocolate flavor only asserts itself as the gelato reaches its melting point and as an aftertaste in the mouth after the actual gelato is swallowed. Indeed, I tasted more chocolate from the Stracciatella Gelato by running my tongue over my molars and finding chocolate shavings melted in there. Otherwise, the sweet cream flavor entirely pummels the flavor of the chocolate shavings.
This Gelato has no aftertaste to it. The chocolate shavings, if any remain embedded in one's teeth, have a dark, dry, chocolatey flavor that endures there until they are entirely melted and then swallowed.
The Haagen-Dazs Stracciatella Gelato is a comparatively light Gelato on its own. The 14 oz. container represents three and a half half-cup servings. In the half-cup serving, there are 270 calories, 120 of which are from fat. The thirteen grams of fat represent 20% of the RDA of fat, with 35% of one’s RDA of saturated fat coming in the 7 grams of saturated fat in this Gelato. One serving has 90 mg of cholesterol (that’s 30% of the RDA!) and 40 mg of Sodium (2% RDA). The only other real nutrients are four grams of protein, 8% of the RDA of Calcium and Vitamin A in the Stracciatella Gelato.
Haagen-Dazs Gelatos have decent ingredients! Made primarily of Skim milk, cream and corn syrup, Stracciatella Gelato is entirely natural! There is nothing unpronounceable in the ingredients list. The Stracciatella Haagen-Dazs Gelato is neither Kosher, nor marked as gluten free. There are no allergy warnings on the package, though it is noted to contain soy ingredients. It does, however, contain milk and egg ingredients, so it is not at all Vegan compliant.
Haagen-Dazs Gelato is both a frozen and a dairy product, so it is pretty obvious that it must be kept frozen in order to remain viable. Kept frozen it remains fresh for months (my pint had an expiration date of September 2015, so I wonder if I'm not the only one who does not absolutely love this flavor).
The Stracciatella Gelato is fairly light, but the chocolate shavings in it are likely to stain. Moreover, as a dairy product, when the Gelato melts and gets onto fabrics, it will require one to wash it right out. On nonporous surfaces, the Gelato wipes off exceptionally easily.
Haagen-Dazs Stracciatella Gelato is bland and unhealthy. As it nears its melting point, it takes on more flavor than it ever has while solidly frozen, making it a troubling frozen dessert for enjoying on a hot day or after a hot meal. If one is trying to put on weight and wants a bland, semi-cold dessert to assist with that, this fits the bill. But, for those of us who love flavor, the Stracciatella Gelato is easy to pass by!
For other Haagen-Dazs products, be sure to visit my reviews of:
Peppermint Bark Limited Edition Ice Cream
Orchard Peach Sorbet
Coconut Macaroon Ice Cream
For other food reviews, please visit my Food Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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