The marriage of Oreo and Baskin Robbins is a bonafide summertime tradition, and very much in line with our whacky-ass global warming patterns, this year’s team up is coming early. 2017 gave us the okay All About Oreo and surprisingly good Oreo Cheesecake, while past flavors like Oreo Malt Madness (2015) and Oreo Birthday Cake (2016) ran away with BR’s best limited scoops of the year. Whether this means we’ll be getting three or more Oreo collabs in 2018 or if Baskin Robbins has bigger plans for the hottest scooping months of the calendar year is unknown, but to kick off the Oreo-sanity the brand went back to the drawing board for a flavor that seems so obvious it’s hard to believe it’s brand new. Oreo ‘n Caramel features salty caramel ice cream with Oreo cookie pieces and a caramel swirl.
While I wasn’t a big fan of the Salty Caramel base in First Class Camouflage, I’m actually really digging what I’m tasting here. BR’s straight forward Salty Caramel isn’t a flavor that’s made it’s way into my local scoop shop’s dip cases as a seasonal release, so this is the most exposure that I’ve gotten to it and I’m impressed. It’s velvety smooth with the perfect ratio of melty mouthfeel and fatty density. It’s sweet and salty with deep but not burnt caramel notes that sing off of the spoon like Miaskovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Minor.
The salty base is perfectly complimented by the thin runny caramel swirl that integrates itself into nearly every bite. It’s actually kind of hard to tell how much caramel flavor is coming directly from the base as opposed to the swirl, but it doesn’t really matter because the two are in perfect harmony. The gooey texture of the caramel swims in the dairy’s density striking a beautifully choreographed pose for my tastebuds.
Against the two sweet caramel layers of the scoop the ample Oreo pieces really pop with lovely bitter cocoa presence and softened cookie-in-milk texture that is classic ice cream 101. The pieces vary from smaller integrated crumbles to surprisingly big chunks chock full of crème filling and squishy glee. I’m not too crazy for standard Cookies & Cream, but the slight change in base and addition of the swirl let the Oreo’s shine and bring the fun back to this potentially tired scoop shop staple.
For all of the experimenting Baskin Robbins have done with Oreo’s over the years, this back to the basics approach of letting Nabisco’s grocery darling be the star of the show is impressively delicious. It isn’t overflowing with unnecessary amounts of candies or different flavors of ice cream, it’s stripped down, classic, and in its simplicity it really shines.
Found at: Baskin Robbins ($3.19)