Ice cream tasting is not always glamorous; sometimes it involves trying ice cream flavors that might usually make someone pause. In our case, that was trying mac & cheese flavored ice cream.
This flavor appeared sometime earlier this summer and sold out so quickly that we couldn’t get our hands on it. Luckily, we are well connected with someone who lives right nearby a Van Leeuwen scoop shop in NYC, and when the Mac & Cheese flavor came out for a second time, a pint was procured for us.
It is, by far, the most out-there flavor that has made its way onto our spoons. We tried Old Bay Caramel in Baltimore, but that pales in comparison to mac & cheese ice cream.
For starters, they got the color of Kraft Mac & Cheese absolutely right. Immediately upon opening the pint, the signature orange-yellow color of Kraft Mac & Cheese stared back at me. I kept an open mind while diving in – after all, this flavor flew off the shelves, so it had to be good, right?
Honestly, wrong. It was something else. I have to give points for carrying out the flavor – this ice cream, no doubt, tasted like Kraft Mac & Cheese. However, it was highly disturbing in ice cream form. It was cold, smooth, and creamy. So it was a strong mac & cheese taste that had a cold, creamy texture. It didn’t mesh well for me. I am highly passionate about finishing ice cream, but I could not do that here. In fact, I only had two spoonfuls, and I needed a palate cleanser after the second spoonful because I had to get the taste out of my mouth.
Overall Scoops (out of 5, and just for this flavor):
1 Scoop: Major props to Van Leeuwen for executing the flavor as promised – it had a classic Kraft Mac & Cheese flavor. However, such a flavor did not work with ice cream. It was not good. At all. I respect the creativity of such an endeavor, but it was not worth it, in my humble opinion.
It should be noted that we have yet to try other Van Leeuwen flavors, but based on how smooth and creamy this flavor was, I’m looking forward to it! We’ll reserve our thoughts on Van Leeuwen until then. We’re very hopeful that the smooth and creamy texture will pair well with more classic (and desserty) flavors. In the future, however, we’ll be eating our mac & cheese and our ice cream separately.