N.C. Double Scoop: Sweet Cream 16
September 2, 2008

We're really getting down to the nitty-gritty here with the classic trio of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate, still pushing their way through. Personally, I'm going to be hitting refresh on the salted caramel/chocolate poll, hoping salted caramel can whip up a frozen miracle.

(Confused? Explanation is here, the big ass bracket is here, and voting is NOW!)

Cookie dough v. butter pecan. I'll be a broken record this round, but, for the first of several times: I do love and order both! Well, that's not exactly true. I don't order cookie dough at Mitchell's but I do buy it by the pint. When cookie dough came along, it was all new and different and sort of racy. Who puts cookie dough in ice cream?! They're two totally separate desserts! This is crazy talk! Ooh, but it's inventive. It's intriguing! It's like how that cookie store (not Mrs. Fields) in Calhoun Square started selling chilled raw cookie dough along with their cooked cookies in 1986. Yet…I love my butter pecan. I order butter pecan at Mitchell's and I also pint it from the store. I want it to win, but I think cookie dough and newfangled ideas will take this one. Hey, give salted caramel and bacon another twenty years, and they'll champion out as well.

Salted caramel v. chocolate. At the risk of belaboring the "how much chocolate is too much chocolate?" discussion we had in the comments, I am just not a chocolate ice cream fan. If I wanted chocolate, I would eat chocolate. And I do. Occasionally. If I'm going to have chocolate ice cream, I want something in it, like marshmallows and nuts or cayenne and cinnamon. It just doesn't make it as a flavor on its own. And salted caramel? Believe me when I say that this flavor is head, shoulders, knees and toes (knees and toes) over moldy old chocolate. Sad thing is, because so many haven't tried it and seem to be voting only on what they have tried, I think we're going to see the end of the flavor I once hoped would go all the way.

Cookies and cream v. Heath Bar Crunch. These are my two favorite Blizzard flavors. They used to be my little sister's two favorites as well. Right after I got my driver's license, we'd look for any reason to dash off to the Dairy Queen in Edina and get Blizzards. (I was 16, she was 8.) We'd get one of each and split them, but somewhere along the way, cookies and cream became her best last chance for lactose and she stopped sharing. I really still have a great nostalgic love for both and put them on equal footing. It's like how I feel about Picard and Sisko: they're both amazing captains/commanders, they're just different. (And don't try to catch me out on some racism charge by guessing which is which, 'kay?) I'm stalling, I know. So, well, let's just slap cookies and cream for the win. Win it for Vanessa.

Mint chocolate chip v. chocolate chip. At the risk of making Glark punch, like, his fifth baby of this bracket, I'm bored by the pairing. So, chocolate chip is vanilla ice cream with flat waxy chocolate shards in it, right? And the vanilla is never really very good, is it? While I do think the chocolate in the mint choc chip is also waxy, I know for a fact that I've never ordered chocolate chip. I've only eaten it when friends had it and, even worse, it was ice milk. Remember that crap? All watery and nasty and supposedly better for you? Whether you remember it or not, that ice milk prejudiced my palate against chocolate chip. Mint chocolate chip will pass through this round.

Strawberry vs. Neapolitan. I like strawberry; I also like vanilla and chocolate. I don't buy any of them on their own, but Neapolitan, I buy by the gallon. They don't use very good ice cream in it, and every package inevitably has way too much of one of the flavors (usually chocolate, which is always the poorest quality comparatively), but in the right proportions, it's heaven. That said, does this match-up seem…kind of Oedipal to anyone else? Or like that Jeff Fahey movie where he gets an arm transplant and then the arm tries to kill him? I'm overthinking this. Neapolitan, narrowly.

Peanut butter and chocolate vs. dulce de leche. Good peanut butter and chocolate -- i.e. the peanut-butter chunks aren't the size of a Volkswagen and/or oily -- is actually somewhat hard to pull off, but I still used to eat peanut Beetle and chocolate from Baskin Robbins by the ton as a kid. Dulce de leche is also good, but very rich, and may not have the market penetration it needs to win.

Vanilla vs. Chubby Hubby. Ooo, tough one. Vanilla is a classic and has a strong cross-platform appeal. I do like a little salty in with my sweet, though, from time to time. The issue is that the Hub is over-accessorized; it needs to look in the mirror before it goes out, and take off one thing. I'm guessing vanilla here.

Peanut butter cup vs. coffee. Even tougher! I seriously have no idea. I could make an equally strong argument for either to prevail; it's impossible. I will probably vote coffee, because it was the default flavor in my childhood freezer no matter what the frozen medium (up to and including those gackalicious Tuscan yogurt bars…God, I despised those things), but I can't call the winner and neither would surprise me.

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