Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Vanilla Bean Espresso Ice Cream & My Bizarro Body’s Ability to Stay Awake: Caffeine and More
Junk Food Nation, I’ve taken many roadtrips in my life and have driven for many hours at random times…early morning, late night, rush hour, lazy afternoon, dusk, dawn, etc. When it gets really late, near my bedtime, and I need to push through, I find myself doing crazy things to stay awake: slapping myself, pinching my legs, fidgeting in my chair, etc. Thankfully, I’ve never fallen asleep at the wheel.
The two things people usually resort to, caffeine and rolling down the window so the cold gets in, don’t work for me. In fact, they do the exact opposite; if I’m driving late at night, drinking coffee or cracking the window only serves to make me more sleepy. I blame my bizarro body for this – it LOVES to adapt to its surroundings. It’s a shame I’m not a bigger camper – I’d probably be really comfortable with it.
(1) When I crack the window to let cold air in, my body senses the cold air, but instead of little the temperature contrast to snap me awake, my body starts to go into a semi-hibernation mode. That is to say, my body will try to conserve at much heat as possible, and will slowly shut down my bodily systems, making me more and more drowsy. I automatically get really still, and try not to move. Snooz-ville, here I come.
(2) Alternatively, if I drink caffeine, my body senses the stimulant, but instead of letting the drug speed my blood, stimulating my limbs to be active, my body does two things. First, it will pump my blood REALLY FAST to get the caffeine out of my system, and then second, it will try to slow my blood waaaaaaay down to compensate for the foreign entity. For me, caffeine helps if I’m at work, moving around – then my body knows to use the force to MOVE. When I’m sitting and driving, not moving, however - caffeine might as well be NyQuil.
Since we’re on the topic of caffeine, let’s move right into today’s junk food and a continued celebration of Frozen Food Month: Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Vanilla Bean Espresso Ice Cream!
Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Vanilla Bean Espresso Ice Cream is one of the four limited edition flavors Häagen-Dazs has this year. I’ve already reviewed their Coconut Macaroon and Spiced Caramel Biscuit variety – so this makes #3.
Coffee flavored ice creams are nothing new, especially since our society has been drinking Starbucks Frappuccinos since the dawn of time. Ice coffee and blended iced coffees have people used to the flavor of cold and coffee and milk and sugar. I’m curious to see what this ice cream does differently.
The vanilla flower, as displayed on the lid and label of this Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Vanilla Bean Espresso Ice Cream, really is a pretty thing. It did always confuse me when I was younger why many vanilla products like yogurt would feature this flower…was vanilla flavoring this flower dried and ground? Did these flowers taste like vanilla? I had Willy Wonka dreams, picking stems off vanilla trees and chomping on them.
Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Vanilla Bean Espresso Ice Cream consists simply of vanilla bean ice cream, and a espresso swirl throughout. Can’t get much simpler than that. In fact, it’s almost too simple…will this live up to the hype? And by hype, I mean the voices in my head?
I always preferred vanilla bean vanilla ice cream over french vanilla ice cream, so I was excited to see the ingredients in this Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Vanilla Bean Espresso Ice Cream. Does pectin make my pecs look better? (Note: I don’t think so.)
Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Vanilla Bean Espresso Ice Cream revealed! Good signs: clearly speckled vanilla bean ice cream, and the espresso swirl has permeated the ice cream throughout, giving a nice mottled coloring. Bad signs: WHERE’S MY SPOON???
There we go. At first scoop, this Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Vanilla Bean Espresso Ice Cream aesthetically pleases: easy to scoop, and that swirl is dark and and luscious – looks almost like chocolate syrup or the Dr. Pepper Cherry Dessert Topper I reviewed earlier.
After just one bite, this ice cream might contend for one of my favorites…ever. Like, ever ever. I’ve enjoyed coffee-flavored ice creams in the past, like Starbucks’ own ice cream, but this Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Vanilla Bean Espresso Ice Cream might take the cake.
As I said earlier, we know what to expect when it comes to coffee ice cream – but the depth of coffee flavor in this one is like none other. The espresso twirl is so rich that it has an almost chocolate flavor even though no cocoa is present in this ice cream. The deep espresso flavor is so powerful that it’s almost too much on its own, but when swirled with the most perfect vanilla bean ice cream – well, then you get a real treat.
This doesn’t taste like iced coffee or any watered down milky espresso. This tastes like sweet cream topped with a ribbon of espresso punch. The richness is definitely of a dessert that requires slow eating, not chugging or slurping like a Frapp. I found myself just putting the spoon in my mouth and letting the eyes roll back in my head, the flavor was so good.
I have to say, this is my favorite Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition yet. While the other ones I would eat and scrunch my face and say MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM, when I ate this one I think I actually cursed out loud.
If you can find this, and you like coffee/espresso, try it. Now.
Sincerely, Junk Food Guy