It’s … it’s … an ice cream po-boy?

When it comes to ice cream sandwiches, nothing is finer (in this Bay Area girl’s most humble opinion) than an It’s It. These rather notorious cookie and ice cream sandwiches have been around since 1928 and, regrettably, I tend to judge all other similar confections by their standard.

Now admittedly, It’s-It has gone somewhat downhill since I was a kid. The ice cream isn’t as creamy and the cookies seemed to have shrunk, but I will never forget being a sweaty, hungry 10 year-old girl who was treated to pizza and It’s-Its after a continuous stream of disappointing soft ball games. (*Our coach was flaky and cut out on the team right before our big game, taking all of the candy money we earned with her, but that’s another story). Smooth, dense chocolate ice cream sandwiched by two, chewy oatmeal cookies and dipped in dark chocolate … I can almost taste it.

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Screaming for New Orleans Ice Cream: Mardi Gras Pie

To me, the combination of marshmallow. graham cracker and chocolate means S’mores. But, it seems that in the South, this magical combination also equals the ever-popular Moon Pie. Don’t roll your eyes, but I have never had the pleasure of enjoying a Moon Pie, and even though there are Mardi Gras krewes that are known for throwing this treat out to avid parade-goers, I’ve never caught one either. 

Regardless of this lack of Moon Pie experience, it doesn’t mean that I like this combination any less. In fact, I could easily devour S’mores (at home or in front of a campfire) until the proverbial cows finally make it back to the homestead. That is why when New Orleans Ice Cream Co’s owner Adrian Simpson offered to drop off a couple of pints of his newest flavor for me to try, I jumped at the opportunity.   
Dubbed Mardi Gras Pie, this heaven-in-a-cardboard-pint consists of creamy marshmallow ice cream (yes, I said marshmallow ice cream) with an extra marshmallow swirl, thick dark chocolate flakes and soft bits of graham cracker. Could you imagine this throw at the next Mardi Gras parade? Better practice shouting “Throw me something, Mister!” because I’ll definitely be your competition.

Screaming for New Orleans Ice Cream: Chocolate City

What a delicious way to satirize former Mayor Ray Nagin’s gaff during a speech on Martin Luther King Jr. Day after the horrific levee failures of 2005. New Orleans Ice Cream Co. created a scrumptious combination of their ultra-premium, dense, dark chocolate ice cream mixed with a hefty helping of creamy, white chocolate chips.

Too bad life can’t be as simple as ice cream, because this tastes like harmony to me.

Screaming for New Orleans Ice Cream: Coffee & Chicory

Coffee and me, we’re buddies. We’ve been buddies for a long time. I can remember a love affair with coffee that stretches even before my mom obsessed over her first Bunn Coffee Maker, one that likely originated with my grandmother’s love of Folgers and my mom’s stock of coffee candy that lured me into it’s sticky wrapper again and again after the very first piece. When I scored a job out of high school (that wasn’t at my father’s video store), I did grunt work for a friend who did interior design for the high and mighty rich folk in Hillsborough. Every morning, we had an iced coffee from a tiny coffee house on El Camino Real. This was my first taste of fresh-roasted coffee and I’ll never forget the rich, complex flavor of our daily double espressos over ice.

Naturally, it’s no surprise that one of the first things that drew me in about New Orleans culture just happened to be a cafe au lait made with that notorious coffee & chicory blend at Cafe du Monde. Coffee & Chicory from the New Orleans Ice Cream Company is just like that first delicious cup o’ joy.

This ice cream had a wonderfully creamy consistency and with each spoonful, the rich flavor of coffee, chicory, cream and sugar spreads across your tongue. It’s not difficult to luxuriate over each bite, lost in a world of coffee bliss, until your spoon hits the bottom of the carton and you’ve finished an entire pint. It’s easily the finest coffee ice cream I have ever had the pleasure of devouring in one sitting.

Screaming for New Orleans Ice Cream: Praline Crunch

Although I’ve lived in New Orleans for over a decade, I am still corrected for mispronouncing certain words. Some pronunciations are waved over, but so-help-you-God if you call our city “New OrlEEns,” mistake a “streetcar” for a “trolley” or pronounce praline “PRAY-leen.”

The latter happened to me just the other day while I was gobbling a pint of New Orleans Ice Cream Co.’s Praline Crunch. My friend Dani gave me the evil eye and enunciated, very clearly, “PRAH-leen, Kim. It’s PRAH-leen.” Oops! Regardless of my bad habits and mispronunciations, PRAH-leen ice cream has always been one of my favorites. My mother also had a thing for PRAH-leens & Cream (though she called it “PRAY-leens & Cream”) and it would be her scoop of choice when we visited the local ice cream parlor.

New Orleans Ice Cream Co’s Praline Crunch (mispronounced or not) is one mighty delicious version with creamy PRAH-leen ice cream, rich with the flavor of brown sugar and butter, and ridden with just enough PRAH-leen coated pecans to make crunching into each one feel like the very first time. Perhaps with enough of this ice cream, I can correct my pronunciation, moaning “PRAH-line” bite after mouthwatering bite…

Screaming for New Orleans Ice Cream: Red Velvet Cake

Although it might be considered sacrilege to say down here in the “Deep South,” I’m just not a fan of red velvet cake.  I’ve tasted a ton of different incarnations, including my own, and the flavors or texture never really appealed to me. Well, except for the cream cheese frosting, let’s be honest here. I could eat cream cheese frosting till the cows came home (oh will they ever come home?).

So when I opened up the pint of New Orleans Ice Cream Co’s Red Velvet Cake, I was all ready to hate it. Thankfully, I was wrong…

Their oh-so-decadent Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream had been transformed with thick, chewy chunks of red velvet cake and a thin ribbon of chocolate swirl running throughout. I had no difficulties gobbling this pint down all by myself. Maybe I should try Red Velvet Cake again?

Screaming for New Orleans Ice Cream: Satsuma Dreamsicle

Everyone knows what a Dreamsicle tastes like…right? Just think back to when you were a snot-nosed kid, chasing down the ice cream truck (Hello!), loose change bouncing in your pocket, anxious and even a little nervous to place your order with the man in the truck window. You’ve only enough coins for one, but you know what your inevitable choice will be…a Dreamsicle.

You peel back the sticky paper revealing a frosty, orange popsicle and take that first deceiving bite through the cool orange crust, only to reveal more sherbet! It’s the next bite that sends you into creamy vanilla bliss that soothes the sour citrus and at once, gives you the best of both worlds.

Well, New Orleans Ice Cream Co. has brought back those memories of youth tenfold with Satsuma Dreamsicle, a tangy combination of local satsumas with creamy vanilla bean ice cream. Well done, I say. Well done.

Screaming for New Orleans Ice Cream: Hubig’s Apple Pie

I thought I’d brighten this Monday, add a little sunshine after several days of rain (and more to come) with ice cream! Monday is as good a day as any to eat ice cream, perhaps even better than most because for me, it’s a day that always can do with an extra dose of oomph.

Possibly one of the best combinations since Captain & Tennille or Kermit & Miss Piggy, New Orleans Ice Cream Company & Hubig’s Pies have teamed up to offer us Hubig’s Apple Pie ice cream. It is a truly harmonious marriage of decadent, creamy vanilla bean ice cream and chunks of sweet, fried apple pie. After gobbling my pint, I was only disappointed by the quantity of Hubig’s Pies in the mix…I wanted more! New Orleans Ice Cream Company owner Adrian Simpson agrees and plans kick it up for future batches. Happy Monday!

Screaming for New Orleans Ice Cream: Mississippi Debris

Although I was going to save this one for last, I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. New Orleans Ice Cream Co.’s Mississippi Debris is my absolute favorite flavor and I had to share for all those chocolate lovers out there just like me. If you are the kind of fanatic who loves digging chunks of goodies, both salty and sweet, out of your pint, crunching on bits of chocolaty yum, then this is the flavor for you. It’s a munchy paradise of rich chocolate ice cream packed with truffles, malt balls, hunks of chewy brownies, chocolate-covered almonds, cherry cups, marshmallows, chocolate flakes and a delicious fudge swirl…whew!

John and I literally fought over this particular flavor and it was the first one to disappear out of all the different flavors we had. If you live alone, you’ll be safe with one pint. If not, be sure to buy enough Mississippi Debris for everyone or it just might get ugly up in the family freezer…

Screaming for New Orleans Ice Cream: Brandy Milk Punch

For those of you who have never been here, Brandy Milk Punch is a uniquely New Orleans cocktail traditionally served during the holiday season, but you can easily find it anytime of year. A fairly simple concoction, it consists of brandy (duh), milk (double duh) and powdered sugar that is shaken till frothy with ice, strained into a glass and sprinkled with nutmeg. It’s tasty, easy to drink and, if poured by a local, heavy-hand, guaranteed to knock you on your butt. New Orleans Ice Cream Co. took this iconic, Crescent City cocktail and turned it into some seriously fabulous ice cream…

Incredibly creamy, rich and laced with brandy flavoring, the folks at New Orleans Ice Cream Co. have outdone themselves. I can easily say, with no hesitation, that this is one of my new favorites. My poor BF John was only able to score one small taste before I inhaled the rest of the pint. Go get your own!