REVIEW: Caffe Panna Black Cherry Chunk

Hidden amongst the layers of epic fudge-y peanut buttery decadence in Caffe Panna’s New Years Pack is a not so subtle homage to one of Ben & Jerry’s all time sellers. Black Cherry Chunk is fresh black cherry ice cream studded with amarena cherries and Callebaut chocolate chunks.

Yes, this ice cream, in recipe, is a carbon copy of Cherry Garcia, yet in execution is taken to a whole new level — I love this pint. The simplicity and derivative nature of this profile isn’t likely to turn heads, but its place within this pack is brilliant and oh-so-necessary. The base is perfectly sweet with a genuine tart cherry flavor and a surprising saltiness in the finish. It may or may not be from the use of cream cheese in the base but there’s a level of salt and richness I didn’t expect from a fruit ice cream and it’s fantastic.

The prominent shards of Callebaut chocolate are also sensational. They have a lovely bittersweet flavor and hint of fruitiness that works so well with the base it’s much more complex than meets the eye. I like Cherry Garcia and its old time-y palette more than most ice cream bloggers seem to, and this blows it out of the water. The shards are thick enough to have a satisfying snap but thin enough to finish with a delightful melt-in-your-mouth sensation. 

The literal cherry on top of this surprisingly satisfying salted fruity pint are the candied cherries. They have -zero- iciness and are coated in a wonderful syrup that makes them quite sweet in the best way. There’s a nice floral and slightly boozy note that reminds me of amaretto or almond extract coming from the cherries as well. I don’t know if that’s from the type of cherry or the base of the syrup but I love it, just like every component in this homage to the homage of the great Mr. Garcia.

Rating: 9/10

Found at: Goldbelly ($114.95 for 6 pints)