Cannoli are an Italian-American staple made of fried pastry dough stuffed with a sweet and creamy ricotta or marscarpone filling that I’m unfortunately pretty uneducated on. I’ve only had the pleasure of eating cannoli a few times, and it’s been a couple of years since my lips braced the delicious Sicilian dessert. For as often as I’ve indulged in a cream filled doughnut, I’m honestly a bit ashamed by my lack of cannoli consumption, and I think a great late New Year’s resolution is to eat more of them. Just in time to get my resolution on track, Baskin Robbins have introduced a brand new pun-tastic flavor of the month for February. Cannoli Be With You combines mascarpone ice cream with chocolate chips, cannoli shell pieces and roasted pistachios.
The mascarapone ice cream is a touch less sweet than your average vanilla and similar to a sweet cream with a slightly denser but still very creamy texture. The expected cheesiness is very mellow, taking a backseat to the still prominent dairy cream flavor without any notable funk or depth. The mascarapone’s texture leaves a buttery coating on my tongue that let’s me know it isn’t just your average cream and egg yolks despite the fact that the flavor isn’t too rich.
The cannoli shell pieces are unfortunately a bit of a non-factor, as their size limits the amount of flavor they can really bring to the scoop. The pieces are small and almost flavorless, creating a clunky chunky texture without bringing any relevant taste sensation to the equation. The chocolate chips are good, but still nothing too spectacular, providing a hearty crunch and a bit of bitter cocoa flair with more chew than Baskin Robbins’ regular chocolate chip; although their irregular size keeps the different bites interesting
The saving grace of this flavor are the roasted pistachios. Pistachios are a super underrated mix-in and one that doesn’t make enough appearances outside of the usual green pistachio ice cream. The nuts are fully intact and just slightly but beautifully roasted with rich fatty flavor and only a hint of salt. I was expecting the scoop to be light on the premium priced nuts but they were in pretty much every other bite and brought a really unique twist to the rest of the average components.
For my taste, this isn’t really a successful cannoli ice cream as much as it’s a really good pistachio chocolate chip. Had the base been tangier with more funky nuance and shell pieces that were sizable enough to really matter it could be great, but as it stands it’s just alright.
Found at: Baskin Robbins ($2.99)