Until last night, I had thought that anything that Strickland's Ice Cream
churns out of those gleaming machines can do no wrong. But its maple bacon flavor is not what I would consider as Strickland's finest hour.
It's not that it didn't taste like it should. It is, in fact, the bacon-iest bacon ice cream imaginable. If you're really looking to have breakfast meat mixed in with your dessert, this is the ice cream for you. Every tablespoon is populated with at least a teaspoon of crumbled bacon. But upon tasting it, I think I'm done with bacon ice cream.
I flirted with it the concept at Slater's 50/50 with their bacon milkshake and I think liked it only because I expected to hate it. But I nearly gagged on the bacon-syrup flavored milkshakes Jack in the Box peddled. And now, with Strickland's attempt, my conclusion is that I fundamentally reject this flavor in general; if one of the best ice cream makers in our county can't do it, it probably shouldn't be done.
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The ice cream itself is delicious--a vanilla-base with a caramel-like and smoky sweetness coming from the maple flavoring, but it's the bacon that's the problem. Because it's been soaking in the milky liquid as it churns, the crumbled pieces become soggy and as a result, inordinately chewy. It's like eating bits of beef jerky, which mucks up the smooth texture that Strickland's soft serve is known for.
This isn't the first time that Strickland's produced it. I had missed the last few times it had it as its flavor of the day and I commend them for being the frozen treat experimentalists they are; but this one will not be going on my Strickland's greatest hits list, which remain green tea, lychee, taro and peppermint bark, in that order.
4523 Campus Drive, Irvine, CA