Thursday, September 4, 2014

Melona Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberry Syrup - H-mart: Cherry Hill, NJ

Melona Taiyaki Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberry Syrup - H-Mart: Cherry Hill, NJ
More fish-shaped sweets! The H-Mart in Cherry Hill, New Jersey has fairly large freezer section filled with all kinds of ice creams and desserts (well it's large when compared to Asian Food Market's itty bitty freezer aisle), and during our last trip to H-mart, my boyfriend and I picked up a few different flavors of these Taiyaki-Ice Waffles.

There's quite a bit of packaging to this item. For this specific flavor, several of the bars are individually wrapped with a gold and pink plastic bag, similar to most ice cream bar packages in the grocery aisle, and then those bars are wrapped in one giant plastic bag that mimics the same design as the individual packages. The design for this item is pretty straight forward, it mainly features an illustration of the fish-shaped waffle and a cut away section revealing it's specific flavor combination. The flavors in this line vary from vanilla and red bean to vanilla and strawberry, which both sound yummy, but neither one of those options are impressive or exotic.

Which means that this item is more of a novelty than anything else.

I have to confess, we bought right into the gimmick and purchased these because of their fishy-shape. (I really wanted to photograph them.) The flavor combination of a wafer, vanilla ice cream, and a layer of strawberry syrup is pretty basic as far as things go, we can easily find this flavor combination in a lot of desserts that are both Asian and American, but none of them would have been as fun to photograph or eat.

When unwrapped, you can see the "waffle" exterior is actually more like a wafer than any kind of "waffle." To me, this looks like the same material as a "cake cone" or those little Satellite Wafers you can buy in old fashioned candy shops, but it's impressively detailed to look like a fish. Was this thing vacuum formed into some kind of taiyaki pan? Even my homemade taiyaki didn't retain as much detail as this fishy-wafer.

This fish-shaped confection doesn't have much of a smell, but I find a lot of frozen treats rarely do. Alright, time to bite this little guy's face off and see how he tastes.

I took a bite, and the wafer-exterior tore apart just like those wafer candies I mentioned earlier, although the texture was a bit on the softer and staler side since it's been exposed to ice cream for quite some time. The wafer made a slightly crunchy sound as I bit into it, but it didn't really have a flavor of it's own. This exterior tasted mild and crispy, just like a cake cone, and it added a slightly styrofoam-y and rubbery texture to the frozen treat. As for the ice cream, it tasted just like the generic vanilla ice cream you can buy in large plastic tubs as grocery stores in America. There was nothing special about it, but it was enjoyable. As you can see I didn't get any of the strawberry flavoring right off the bat, so I took a few more bites.

I hit a pretty decent amount of strawberry syrup after 3-4 more bites, and the flavoring was just as generic and artificial as the vanilla ice cream. This strawberry syrup may have actual seeds in it, but it tastes really processed and artificial. If I had to compare it to anything it would be that Hershey's strawberry syrup that used to make strawberry milk.

This item was fun and enjoyable, but it's a novelty. The fish-shaped exterior is the only special thing about it, and once you get past it's fishy shape, the flavors are generic and artificial. I think this is a fun item to eat every once and a while, but I wouldn't say this is a must-try and the wafer coating wasn't really convenient or cleaner to eat than any other ice cream bar. After a few photos I noticed that the seal around the edges wasn't completely closed, so ice cream began melting and dripping out of it's tail.

There are other delicious ice creams at H-mart that taste a lot better, but they admittedly aren't as adorable. I'd say this is worth trying once, but mostly for cute photos and the experience of eating a fish-shaped ice cream.
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