“ Type: Sorbets & Ice Cream „
Today I'm reviewing something that I get through quite a lot of when the weather's warm, as it has been this last wee while. And guess what? It's not beer (although I've been known to work my way through a fair bit of that). I'm talking ice cream.
Ice cream in general, and CARTE D'OR in particular. And if we're going to get pernicketty, CARTE D'OR SPAGNOLA in detail.
(Is it just me, or does Spagnola sound more like some sort of pasta dish than a dessert?)
Let's pop open the tub and dive right in.
The ice cream itself is a pale yellow, vanilla coloured affair with the purply, dark cherry sauce rippling throughout. There's not an awful lot of said sauce and in fact, it looks suspiciously like a plain vanilla ice cream that has had some token flavouring added as an afterthought.
Hmm, smells OK. Again, vanilla is the dominant aroma, but there is a bit of fruit kicking around in the back.
A quick lick of the spoon, and my suspicions are allayed. Perhaps it looks and smells mainly of plain old vanilla (actually, there's nothing wrong with that - vanilla's an excellent flavour. It's just that...well, y'know - I'm just being picky), but it definitely tastes of cherries...big time. Actually, I really can't think of much more to say about the flavour, it's hardly complex. It's a creamy, smooth vanilla flavour which is enriched by the dark fruit of cherries - perhaps a hint of nuts in there (or am I trying too hard?).
Nope, pretty basic stuff...but nice with it.
There are around a dozen black cherries adorning the top of the ice cream, but I thought these were rather artificial tasting, and actually quite nasty. I ate a coupl
e and binned the rest - not very nice at all.
The ice cream has a really smooth texture and has good stickability, it's almost impossible to get it off the spoon...but a little perseverance pays dividends (as does having a tongue like a cow).
So, is it any good?
Yes, it's quite nice. It's not too fruity - it's not too sweet. It's not too rich - it's not too bland. In short, it's a pretty decent ice cream that I think would be hard put to offend anyone. Unless you don't like cherries, of course. But then, why would you buy it if that was the case?
Not exactly the most luxurious, or interesting ice cream in the world, but pleasant enough.
Carte D'or Ice Cream is available in a wide variety of flavours - far to many to list here. It's not my favourite brand, but it's not bottom of the pile either. Interestingly, it's part of the giant Unilever corporation who are responsible for many famous brands from Birds Eye to Surf, and even Ben & Jerry's Ice cream (well, I thought it was interesting...ish).
A 500g tubs retails for around £2.89 and can be found in most supermarkets, although prices and availability will vary.
Thanks for reading
If I ever went on 'Mastermind' my specialist subject might well be Cherry Ice Cream (well its no weirder than the bloke who chose 'Cements Used In Hip Replacement' now is it?!) I see myself as something of a cherry ice cream connoisseur and although Ben and Jerry's 'Cherry Garcia' reigns supreme as the ice cream of choice in my household there is a young pretender to its throne...enter Carte D'Or Spagnola ice cream. Carte D'Or ice cream isn't new to the market and according to my 'extensive' research is the number one brand in Britain - one in 10 people have now eaten Carte D'or ice cream (that was my useless fact for the day - an even more useless one being that enough Carte D'or ice cream is sold in Britain each year to stretch from Lands End to John O'Groats and back again - imagine the hassle getting to work if you had to negotiate a long line of ice cream tubs all over the place - it would be chaos...although you could pass the time eating the ice cream I suppose!!) I first tried Spagnola several years ago in France when it was popular in little individual tubs. I don't know if those are available over here yet, I haven't seen them anywhere - the tubs available in the supermarket are the large 'family sized' 500g tubs. The immediate benefit of Carte D'Or ice cream over some of its 'funkier' rivals is the fact that it come in a plastic container rather than a cardboard one - it won't end up all soggy and squidy. The oval flat container means you are also less likely to eat the whole thing straight from the tub - it's less easy to hold, which makes it better for your waistline! The ice cream itself is creamy vanilla coloured with dark cherry sauce running through it. The sauce looks like quite a small amount and you would be forgiven for expecting it to be a 'hint of cherry' sort of flavour. Its not! It's CHERRY!! The fl
avour is strong without being too sweet or overpowering but it's certainly Very Cherry. Even the ice cream that does not have cherry marbling through it and looks like plain vanilla is flavoured. It is quite a natural sort of taste - obviously not as delicious as real cherries, it has a slightly marzipan undertone to it, but it certainly doesn't taste chemically. It's very pleasant. It smells quite chemically though which is a bit off putting but once you taste it all is forgiven! On top of it, looking rather forlorn I have to say, are 10 black cherries who look like they had gone to a fancy dress party as prunes! I ate them first rather than mixing them in, but to be honest the didn't really taste of anything - they would probably have been better chopped up and mixed in to add texture to the ice cream which is very smooth. This smoothness I found, made it an idea product to create McDonalds style 'thick shake' - it tastes delicious melted down ( I can pretend that I found this out because I was being imaginative, but truth be known it was in fact because I left it out of the freezer and it melted - nonetheless, a very happy accident.) Calorie wise, my tub was keeping quiet - clearly a sign that its full of calories and bad things, but I've said it before and I'll say it again - Its Ice Cream, its not a health food, its good for you in that indulgent 'making you feel happy' sort of way. Your waistline may suffer but if it makes you feel good, who cares, you can't have it all! It is apparently suitable for vegetarians as well. Carte D'or Ice Cream is available in a wide variety of flavours. It's not top of the range ice cream but it is very nice and a little more sophisticated than the Ben and Jerry's brigade. (If it were a Spice Girl it would be Victoria Beckham - not as posh as it would like to be, its adopted a name to make people THINK its posh but compare
d to the others its really quite sophisticated - certainly not as loud and in your face as Ben and Jerrys 'Geri Garcia'...sorry, I thought that was quite funny ? if you are not as big a fan of Cherry Ice Cream and the Spice Girls as I am then you might not and I can only apologise for myself!!) The 500g tubs retail at around £2.89 and are available from most supermarkets, although they are regularly on special offer so its worth keeping an eye out for that. To sum up - try this if you like cherries and ice cream - if you don't, don't bother!!
The school holidays started today and already, I am stressed. Milk on the kitchen floor, kitchen roll spilling out of the bins, three of my little angels <cough splutter> have been up and fighting since 8am, the other just dragged herself out of bed at 10:20am. Oh, and mother-in-law’s due round any minute. I decide a bit of comfort eating is needed. Thankfully, my very understanding partner came home yesterday with a bottle of Baileys and a tub of Carte D’Or Spagnola. No wonder I’m marrying him a year today! I ate half the tub of ice-cream last night, now I’m finishing it off, while writing this. Hmm, being paid for eating ice-cream, what a wonderful idea! But I need to share the experience with you. Here, have a virtual spoonful. Nice, eh? No, you can’t have any more, don’t be greedy! Spagnola is basically the cherry flavour. To be honest, it isn’t my favourite flavour, I prefer banana or strawberry or raspberry, but the cherry isn’t bad at all and much nicer than cheap ice-cream versions! This one comes in an oval tub, 500g. It is clear with a gold rim round the tub and has a small label with a picture of a bunch of cherries on it. When you open it, it looks lovely – all pink swirls on creamy vanilla ice-cream with real cherries dotted on the top. Even if you were served this in a bowl, you would know it’s expensive, classy ice cream. It is soft, even when it’s been put back in the freezer overnight – yes, even I couldn’t eat 500g of this in one sitting! The vanilla is a yellowy-white, a lot paler than cheap versions of vanilla. The cherry is a dark pinky-red, its tanginess a nice contrast to the subtle vanilla tastes. Okay, now the tub is empty (yum yum, what diet??), I can turn it over and let you know what’s in it. Once you can decipher the minuscule writing and find out the English bit, you discover it is describ
ed as ‘ice cream with cherry sauce and cherry pieces’. The main ingredient is reconstituted skimmed milk, but there is optimistically 25% cherries and 4% cherry pieces. It doesn’t say how many calories it has or how much fat, but that’s bound to be a good thing, ha ha! Carte D’Or is expensive at around £2.50, but well worth it as a treat. We usually buy two cartons of Asda ice-cream a week, £1 each and that lasts the six of us. I don’t think you could squeeze six portions out of a Carte D’Or tub, if you tried – and no, you’re not trying, it’s MINE!
This ice-cream is one of the more luxurious offerings on the market, I should know as I have eaten most of them! It is not exactly cheap though, but if you go to Morrisons supermarket they are doing a special deal where you get a pound off the asking price, £1.59 for a 900ml tub is a bargain, go there now! The ice-cream itself comes in an attractive, elongated oval shaped tub, not as big as I would like but it is distinctive. The name Carte D'Or isn't what I would call very appetising though, Car Door? I have been trying to find out what it means, as well as Spagnola but my foreign languages aren't up to par and the web isn't much help either. I thought Carte D'Or was French and Spagnola Italian, let me know in the comments any clever people! Jeeves wasn't much help I can tell you! What you get is a gorgeous combination of rich, creamy vanilla ice-cream interlaced with a rich yet tangy cherry sauce. Plus the bonus of whole cherries on top, unfortunately they are rather tight with the cherries, only four in the tub I bought today for testing purposes! The combination of the rich and sweet vanilla offsets the sour (not that sour) cherry sauce and this is what makes this dessert work so well. The ice cream is smooth and soft, you can easily scoop it out straight from the freezer without much effort, no more bent spoons in our house! Apparently this is the most popular dessert in the country at the moment, Wall's (Unilever) sell enough annually to stretch from Lands End to John O'Groats, surely it would melt though? The pack doesn't tell you how many calories are in a serving so you can eat as much as you like with no chance of putting on any weight, sorry that is not the case! My fiancé is permanently on a diet so has to stay clear of this, I hide it away so it cannot be raided - you know what I am talking about right?
This is a wonderful icecream that contains whole cherries - a rare ingrediant and a delightful variation. There's a lovely fruity suace which contrasts really well with the smooth creamy icecream. The ice cream quality of carte d'or is excellent and the price is quite acceptable. You can get generous helpings for four people out of one pot, or if you aren't a glutton, you can make it last a lot longer. Carte D'or is available from any decent supermarket and is a distinctive brand of unusual, well designed icecreams.
Sensationally smooth ice cream, swirled with an indulgent cherry sauce and topped with real cherry pieces. It all adds up to a luxuriously fruity concoction.