It's a little curious to me, then, that these frozen desserts are marketed under the name of "S'more." No, not "S'more Ice Cream Sandwich" or even "S'more Frozen Dessert." Just "S'more." That's it. Listen, Trader Joe's, you and I both know you didn't flambé these on a stick in the middle of nowhere, so it isn't a s'more. Call me a semantic purist but you whiffed there. Also, after hearing on and on about great these were after our latest ice cream sandwich review, and these finally being in stock, and getting home quickly thereafter and putting them in the freezer right away and waiting a day or two after to pull them from the otherwise frosty realm of our good ol' reliable Kenmore to finally eat....ugh. Somewhere along the way, whether in packaging or shipping or in-store handling, you muffed this package, because all the sandwiches were obviously melted then refrozen more or less back in shape, and that wasn't my fault. Don't mess with the reviewer's package, especially when he's the self-proclaimed ice cream expert!
Regardless, they were in okay-enough shape to get an accurate gauge on them. They're definitely different from the Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches, so allow me to compare and contrast: For one thing, while the cookie on the Subliminals (can I call them that?) were the definite highlight, on the S'mores, they were not. That's not to say that they're bad. Like the Subliminals, they were of a softer variety, which I liked but were way smaller and thinner. I wanted more cookie for my sandwich, kinda like how the graham cracker in an actual s'more is a big part of the overall taste. Also, while the ice cream portion of the Subliminals is rather plain, for the S'mores, it's much richer. In fact, it's not even ice cream, but rather gelato (less butterfat and more sugar, which can also help explain the melting issue, but still...) and has lots of marshmallow swirled in. I'd actually say too much, as it seems out of proportion flavor-wise to an actual s'more. And while there's some good chocolate swirled in and flaked around, it doesn't quite cut it for me. Of course, I'm the guy who when crafting his own s'more likes graham crackers snapped a little bigger than necessary with a big ol' chunk of Hershey's in there, with marshmallow being more of a tertiary then primary flavor, so maybe it's just me, but overall they tasted more vaguely reminiscent of a s'more than actual all that s'mores-y.
Actually, it's not just me. Sandy agrees with that notion. "I liked them because they were ice cream-y, but that's about it," she said. I concur. Given a choice between these and the Subliminals, I'd choose the Subliminals nearly every time. I mean, these aren't awful by any stretch (I do like them overall) but to me, they just miss a little too much of the mark, and I'm glad my lovely wife stands in solidarity with me on this. "I'll give them like a 2 and a half," she said. That's exactly half of what she gave the Subliminals. Me? I can't go that low, but feel okay with a 3, a full Golden Spoon less than my Subliminal score. I'd be willing to give them a second chance...whenever they come back in stock...but I won't be holding my breath, either. Disagree? All good! Leave a comment and keep it civil!
Bottom line: 5.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons