The Good: Does not taste bad
The Bad: Expensive, Indistinct flavor, Not great on the nutrition front
The Basics: If Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate chocolates actually tasted like vanilla bean for their center, they might be worth the expense, but because they do not, they are hardly worth trying.
Recently, my mother came to visit from Upstate New York for my birthday and it was a real treat to see her. In addition to showing her the sights in Michigan and going to many cool casinos, we did a bit of shopping. Between my mom and my wife, I came away from the weekend with a fully stocked pantry full of a ton of delicious treats, many that were purchased for me to enjoy and review. One of the foods that my mother picked up for us was a selection of candies. The first one I am getting around to trying and reviewing is the Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate. Sadly, this was hardly a superlative chocolate.
The Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate is a single-serving chocolate that is reminiscent of a chocolate marshmallow egg, like what one finds around Easter. My wife made that observation and I could not describe it better than that; she truly hit the nail on the head! For the expense, almost a dollar a piece, the Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate is a poor value for what one gets. They are not bad, but for the price and quality, consumers ought to expect better.
Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate chocolates are roughly two and a half inch discs of chocolate that are about three-quarter inches thick. Each of the chocolates comes individually wrapped in a blue and white plastic wrapper. It is worth noting that while I usually rail against the environmental impact of such things, it is hard to imagine these (and other) Russell Stover chocolate squares not wrapped. This keeps each one clean, unmelted and intact.
Each chocolate disc has a flat bottom and a somewhat textured top. In this form, the 2 oz. individually-wrapped chocolate allows one to get a single serving per pack. Given that each Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate is roughly a dollar, these are pretty expensive for the quality.
Ease Of Preparation
These are candy, so preparing them is as simple as opening the wrapper. The Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate chocolates recommend freezing the candy for at least thirty minutes as it is intended to vaguely emulate an ice cream treat. For the review, we left the Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate in the freezer for about two weeks, so it was very adequately frozen. Having tried one at room temperature and now multiples that were frozen, freezing the Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate does not make it "pop" any more than when it is at room temperature.
Opening the blue and white foil wrapper from around the Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate chocolate square, the consumer is met with a surprisingly chocolatey aroma. The dark chocolate that coats the frozen center is fairly aromatic, though is smells much more like cocoa (like hot cocoa, as opposed to dark chocolate) than it does firm, rich chocolate. Regardless, the scent from the Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate is very inviting to anyone who loves chocolate treats.
In the mouth, the Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate tastes sweet and mildly chocolatey. The fairly thin chocolate shell that surrounds the white sugary is dark, but sweet. It is not overly dry as one might expect from a dark chocolate. The center does not actually taste like vanilla bean. Instead, it is generically sweet, much like an Easter marshmallow egg that has been frozen. The grainy texture to the Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate also reminded me of cookie dough, so the flavor is not very intense, true to vanilla bean or overly distinct.
The Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate leaves a slightly sweet, mildly dry aftertaste in the mouth for about two minutes after one is done consuming them.
The Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate are candy, so it is tough to look at these for something nutritious and then blame them for not being healthy. The primary ingredients are sugar, chocolate processed with alkali, and cocoa butter. There is nothing unpronounceable in these candies and outside a few stray preservatives near the end of the ingredient's list, everything in them sounded pretty palatable!
A serving of the Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate chocolates is considered one piece. From each chocolate disc, one takes in 290 calories, 140 of those calories being from fat. There is 6% of the RDA of cholesterol (20 mg) and 90 mg of Sodium (4% RDA). The 9 grams of Saturated Fat represent 47% of the RDA of saturated fat. Each Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate has 3 grams of protein. There is a smattering of Iron (8% RDA), Vitamin A and Calcium (4% RDA) in each chocolate.
Honestly, these are candy and anyone looking to them for actual nutrition needs to get a reality check. These are not Vegan-compliant, nor are they recommended for anyone with a nut allergy as they are produced on the same equipment that peanuts pass over. They are not marked as kosher, either, which be because they pass over the same machines as tree nuts and contain some egg ingredients. They are partially produced with genetic engineering.
The Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate chocolates remain fresh for quite some time. Purchased just two weeks ago, our chocolates would not have expired until the first of March, 2017, had we not eaten ours up first. one assumes that if they are kept in a cool, dry environment - or frozen as they are recommended - they will not melt or go bad. Given that they are individually wrapped in a very sealed package, it is hard to imagine just what it would take for these to go bad outside melting and then refreezing.
I applaud those who actually throw the wrappers away in socially appropriate places, as opposed to litter. Outside that, there is no real cleanup needed, unless one is eating them in a hot environment. In that case, it is likely one would need to wash their hands. If these chocolates melt into most fabrics, they will stain. Getting them to melt, though, appears fairly difficult as the dark chocolate is very solid!
I had no inherent bias against the Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate chocolates when we first received them. In fact, I tend to get excited about trying new things, so the Russell Stover Freeze-It Vanilla Bean In Dark Chocolate were intriguing to me. But the rather generic flavor and their expense made them impossible for me to recommend them. They do not taste terrible, but they do not taste like vanilla or vanilla bean, so they rate very lowly with me.
For other Russell Stover chocolate reviews, please check out:
Russell Stover Triple Chocolate Mousse chocolate squares
Private Reserve Mississippi Mud chocolate squares
Whitman's SoHo Assortment
For other food and drink reviews, please visit my Food Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.