The tales of the Magnum bar were legendary long before it reached these shores. Thespia in particular spoke with hushed tones about the awesomeness of Magnum ice cream bars from her time in Europe. So of course when I did my scan of the freezer aisle to look for new things to write about and saw these, I snagged them. I also saw the slightly mental commercial in which a beautiful woman runs across parked traffic to get at a semi full of ice cream bars. Expectations were high–based on what I’ve heard over the years, these have essentially been painted as the Second Coming of Vanilla Jesus Dipped in Chocolate.
The main thing to get out of the way is that it’s pretty delicious on the whole. It’s vanilla ice cream dipped into Belgian chocolate, which has then formed that awesome crumbly shell. For once, the picture on the packaging does show you almost exactly what the product looks like: bite it and the chocolate splinters. These things are death on a stick, however, since just one is half your RDA of saturated fat for the day. And they come in packages of three, which they probably did because putting four in a package would have invoked unwanted comparisons to horsemen.
[ad#longpost]Now…it’s delicious, don’t get me wrong. But what I found slightly disconcerting is the realization that I was enjoying mainly the chocolate and nothing else. The vanilla ice cream didn’t seem to be registering that much. So in the name of science, I pulled out a spoon, smacked away some of the chocolate and then ate a couple of large bites of the vanilla solo. And there’s…not much to it, really. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate as much as the next three people combined, but I do also love me some fine vanilla ice cream. I know “vanilla” is a derogatory term that can sometimes mean bland or uninteresting, but if that’s your opinion of the flavor then you haven’t been snacking on the vanilla ice cream I like to. Or, more probably, you’ve had the ice cream that’s in the center of this bar. The ice cream Magnum has seen fit to use is less vanilla ice cream rather than “that stuff we included because just putting out a solid bar of frozen Belgian chocolate would have been excessive beyond what we think we can reasonably get away with.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Ice cream as a transport vehicle for chocolate is just as valid as coffee being a transport vehicle for caffeine. Sometimes when I want to just cut to the chase and leave out that entire “sipping over the course of a half-hour” or so nonsense, I’ll just down some NoDoz. And if I really want vanilla ice cream, I can just, you know, go have some. I just find it odd that an ice cream bar that’s supposed to be the epitome of freezer decadence (“The pleasure is all yours…”) doesn’t put the pedal to the floor. Because take this chocolate and add in some full-on vanilla (I’m thinking Haagen-Dazs’ vanilla is good, but I have had better), put that in an ice cream bar and it would probably reduce people to drooling lunatics with desserty goodness. This just makes me curious about their other flavors, especially the Double Chocolate (putting chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla). If you double the chocolate, then what?
But bottom line: is this a fine example of an ice cream bar? Yes. Is it the finest you’ll ever have? No. It’s quite good for what it is and I’m sure as hell not going to deport it.