REVIEW: Caffe Panna “👻”

Caffe Panna’s Fall Pack is essentially a love letter to cinnamon, spice, and everything nice. Amid pints of apple crisp, pumpkin s’mores, and cinnamon buns, there’s one simply titled “👻” with only one base flavor and one mix-in. Is it “Ghost?” Is it “Ahh!” Is it “Boo”?. I like Boo, so I’m gonna stick with Boo. However you want to say it, 👻 is cinnamon stick infused Panna sweet cream with chewy ranger fudge chunks.

The cinnamon stick infused Panna sweet cream has the quintessential texture that makes Caffe Panna so special. It is velvety and rich and looks just as beautiful as it tastes. This base is simple elegance, with a mild sweet cinnamon undertone that’s anything but scary. As a cinnamon freak I could handle a lot more, but I actually appreciate the restraint here, letting the high quality dairy notes in the sweet cream really shine, with some subtle spicy accents to carry the profile.

When it comes to decadent candy I’m actually not a very big fan of fudge. Oftentimes it’s WAY too sweet, lacking balance, and a bit gritty — not here, this fudge is excellent. I’m hard pressed to remember how many times I’ve had actual fudge in an ice cream. I’ve had plenty of fudge swirls, and I adore the ganache from Salt & Straw, but straight up boardwalk style fudge chunks in ice cream might be a new thing for me; at least of this quality. The Rangers Fudge chunks are big and take up nearly my entire spoon, with a firmness that’s dense but just soft enough to spoon through when properly tempered; revealing a potent bittersweet chocolate flavor that leans into the sweet with only a touch of salt. I prefer breaking the chunks in half to enjoy them with more of the creamy base for a classic fudge sundae type of texture and taste.

This pint evolves a bit half way through, the fudge chunks get denser and some of the fudge starts to bleed into a bit of a swirl — unexpected and delicious.

The flavors on display are simple and classic, yet so well executed I can’t deny how much I love this deceivingly stripped back homage to two ingredients that can, at times, be at odds with each other. BOO may be the most simple flavor in the Fall Panna Pack but it is far from one that should be glossed over.

Rating: 9/10

Found at: Goldbelly ($114.95 for 6 pints)


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