Friday, February 17, 2023

Honeycomb, Hold the Honey - Van Leeuwen French Ice Cream

I thought I had already reviewed this, but I guess I never got around to typing it up. Since I've bought it twice, safe to say. I like it. 

But the funny thing is, there is no honey in this. 

Opened, the base is a warm, buttery, yellow color.

As I scooped it up with my spoon, it makes me think of cheese. Specifically, brie with a drizzle of honey, but not in terms of flavor or texture. More in an affordable decadence kind of way. This is French ice cream, which the package explains has a lot of eggs in it. Given the fact that eggs are a precious commodity these days, this feels extra fancy, but not, "putting yourself into debt," kind of fancy. 

Taking a bite, it definitely feels more custard-y than other ice creams, and it has a sweet honey-flavoring...that's actually caramel. I bought this the first time without reading the package, and had just assumed that it was going to be honey flavored, or had a honey swirl, or honeycomb bits, or something. But that isn't what this is. 

It's caramel honeycomb-CANDY flavored ice cream. Not honeycomb as in bees. A little disappointing for me at first, since I do love honey and will occasionally treat myself to a hunk of honeycomb from the farmer's market, but I love honeycomb candy as well, so I wasn't devastated. (It's just ice cream.) Since honeycomb candy feels more niche, especially in America where it isn't all that popular, it was unexpected.  

The honey illusion is fairly convincing. If you go in thinking, "honey," and try this, you'll definitely think it's honey flavored...until you hit a slightly darker tan area. In those spots, the caramel flavoring really shines through. When I was making fudge for the winter holidays, I had one batch of vanilla that got a little too hot on the stove, and had a slight caramel flavoring. It wasn't enough to go full-caramel, but it had a lightly golden and more toasty flavor than standard vanilla. That is what the tan areas remind me of. Almost-caramel. 

It reminds me of an elevated vanilla and caramel sundae.

Custardy and decadent, I can't imagine adding whipped cream or fudge toppings, but I feel like it is missing something. It would definitely benefit from some kind of textural element. Especially since it's honeycomb-candy based, which is known for it's crispy crunch. It would have been nice to see that included in one way or another. Like little dark chocolate coated honeycomb candy bits. (The chocolate more-so as a barrier to keep the candy crisp than to add any additional sweetness or flavor.) 

I would top my pint with Violet Crumble bits for the ultimate experience, but as-is, it's a really delicious and well executed ice cream. (I just wish it wasn't so dang expensive!) 

Fans of this would also like:
 Marionberry Cheesecake Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, Real Honeycomb from the farmer's market, Honey Butter snacks, or Honeycomb Chuao chocolate bar 

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