N.C. Double Scoop Round of 32
August 25, 2008

Aaaaand we're back, baby! Boy, there sure were a lot of heartbreakers in that last round, weren't there? I would not have predicted a loss for AmeriCone Dream, and it ended even closer than I imagined. It's also clear that outside of restaurants, cookbooks, and Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco, the country's not yet ready to cuddle fringe flavors -- avocado, ginger, bacon, and olive oil -- to their breasts. (And we even cut out flavors like Parmigiano-Reggiano [totally exists] and balsamic strawberry before getting started.)

Good thing I didn't even bring Dr. Mathra's favorite Mitchell's flavors into it at all, because I don't know how people would take to purple yam (Ube, tastes like cotton candy, but not in a vomiting-at-the-fair way) and Peruvian pumpkin (Lacuna, very pumpkin-latte in flavor) without being able to try them out on their own. There's a tip, though, if you're ever in San Francisco, try Mitchell's tropical flavors because they are unparalleled. I mean, criminy, they have TWO kinds of coconut there! Ah, well, more for me.

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

Cookie dough vs. black raspberry/Oregon blackberry. My bias here is obvious -- thanks to my mom's quart-a-week habit back in the winter of '73, if you cut me I bleed purple -- but cookie dough is really really good. I salute black raz for fending off the AmeriCone in the last round, but it's enough of a niche preference that I think its fun is over. Cookie dough for the decisive (but not embarrassing) win.

Butter pecan vs. peppermint. Nothing against peppermint; it's just not a flavor I would make a point of ordering, and not everyone likes a minty dessert (cut to: Glark, punching a baby). Then again, not everyone likes a nutty dessert, but butter pecan is a classic, and I predict that it prevails here.

Java chip vs. salted caramel. If salted caramel didn't have its passionate adherents before -- and it had many more than I'd anticipated -- it for sure earned a few followers after readers (and Keckler) sung its praises in the last round. Java chip is good shit, but it's going to have to fight. Too close to call.

French vanilla vs. chocolate. I don't care for plain French vanilla. Something about the color is gacky. Plain chocolate isn't my favorite either, but it's my pick in this face-off, and probably the majority of voters' as well.

Cookies and cream vs. fudge ripple. Mmm, fudge ripple: just enough going on, without overwhelming the palate. That's a minority view, though, so cookies and cream wins going away, which I have no real problem with.

Sticky toffee pudding vs. Heath Bar Crunch. Name recognition carries the day, I bet, and Heath Bar moves to the next round.

Key lime pie vs. mint chocolate chip. Wow, tough call -- the intra-Gang-Green match-up is two fantastic flavors with very different appeals. I'll vote the reliable old institutional-paint brick o' mint choc, but I don't underestimate the power of crust (or of Glark punching a nursery-ful of babies). MCC, but barely.

Chocolate chip vs. rainbow sherbet. Hmm. I like both; I love neither. When it comes to sherbet, I tend to prefer a mono-flavored offering, and the rainbow verzh is one of those kids'-party, pleases-everyone-but-thrills-no-one flavors that doesn't inspire much excitement. Chocolate chip wins it.

Flight 2

Flight 2 Vote

Strawberry vs. pistachio. This is a hard one for me, actually, because I really like both flavors. Hell, I'll even have them together in a Mitchell's cup! The thing is, before we started the NCDS, I had no idea there was such antipathy for pistachio, so I'm thinking strawberry will take this one easily. It's classic, it's comforting, and it's damn good.

Lime sherbet vs. Neapolitan. Aside from agreeing with Bunting that chocolate really needs to cut out the ice cream coup crap, I really do kinda like Neapolitan. When I was a kid, I always felt like I was getting three times as much ice cream. It also reminds me of the wafer cookies I liked as a kid that came in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors. You never tasted anything so fake or so damn good. Sigh. I miss those cookies. Anyway, that being said, I think of all the sherbets, lime's probably the best and will probably beat down the Neapolitan-malaise.

Rocky Road/heavenly hash v. peanut butter and chocolate. Okay, for me this is one of those match-ups that comes right down to brand. Rocky Road NEEDS to have full-on marshmallows, not friggin' marshmallow swirl, HAAGEN-DAZS! In San Francisco, Mitchell's Rocky Road is killer. The chocolate ice cream is rich enough to make it purposeful and the marshmallows are all slippery and bitey and just good. (Oh, and my firm stance marshmallow vs. swirl/cream means I go for RR, not HH.) However, with peanut butter and chocolate I'm likewise Mitchell's-dependent. Somehow, their peanut butter is never too greasy and again, they get the chocolate ice cream just right. Still, this one's going to RR/HH because peanut butter-chocolate ice cream just doesn't appeal to a wide range of tongues.

Dulce de leche v. chocolate chocolate chip. I could not be more "meh" over this one. I had dulce de leche once and I really wanted to like it, but I just didn't. It was way too sweet for me. But then we have choc-choc-chip, which is -- as we've noted in the comments -- way too much chocolate for me. I like chocolate at times. I even crave it occasionally, but when I hanker for stomach satisfaction, I head for the Brie and cheddar. Cheese is my chocolate. I think there are enough people who love La Leche to oust the overly aggressive choc-choc-chip.

Vanilla vs. Irish cream. This is the thing, I love vanilla ice cream. I mean, I REALLY love it. It's rich and scented and goes perfectly with almost every dessert. Irish cream is lovely. Irish cream is just frozen Bailey's and there's nothing wrong with that, but when the chips are down, I'm going for vanilla. The thing is, too many people out there think it's boring, so I think Irish cream will win this.

Chubby Hubby vs. raspberry sherbet. Despite the kitchen sinkiness of the Chub, I do think it's pretty genius to put pretzels in ice cream. I could go without the chocolate coating on said pretzels, but I know it actually protects them from sogging out. Putting a peanut butter and pretzel-packed ice cream up against many flavors is already a ballgame, but against sherbet? Raspberry sherbet? No contest. The Hubby gets the win.

Praline v. peanut butter cup. ARGH! Another one pitting two of my well-liked flavors! However, going on sheer ecstasy value, it's peanut butter cup all the way. Praline is fine and I do like it -- again, when scooped in with another flavor -- but Ben & Jerry's PB cup got me through all my exams at college. I don't believe praline is a fave with many people (I believe Bunting called it another "granny" flavor), so I think PB cup will take this easily.

Grasshopper pie/Thin Mint v. coffee. Aside from peppermint, I'm not a mint ice cream person. Not alone, that is, because my favorite way to have GP/TM is IN a bowl of COFFEE ice cream. Not quite Sophie's Choice, though, because if I need one to eat the other, but will gladly eat the other alone, then, well, it's Sanka time and coffee's going to take this trick.

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