I bring this all up in relation to Trader Joe's Golden Caramel Swirl Ice Cream because it's very relevant. At the very least, in our own purchase, there was no golden caramel swirl in the Golden Caramel Swirl. None. No swirl. At all. Zip. Nada. And I refuse to believe that, against all odds, the one that I, one of the galaxy's foremost amateur hack reviewers of all things Trader Joe's, just so happened to snag would be the only carton in existence nearly completely devoid of any caramel.
Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce this particular dessert claims to contain. Barely there. 2. Both the chocolate and French vanilla ice creams are way too rich and vibrant for a flavor like caramel to really shine through, so it's there but way too subtle. Eh, maybe, but then again, probably not. 3. It just ain't there. Now you're talking.
Anyways...aside from the whole "for all intents and purposes, there's really no caramel in the Golden Caramel Swirl ice cream" snafu, it's actually good ice cream. The French vanilla is impeccable, and darn if it isn't some good, rich, tasty chocolate. But that goes back to the opening pepperoni pizza analogy - doesn't matter how good the rest of it is if what's supposed to be there isn't. The little write-up on the side of the package prattles on about this being some sort of "gold medal candidate" or some silly Olympic-ish verbiage. Well, in my book the abject absence of the caramel is pretty much an automatic disqualifier, and let's not even get the East German judge started. Ice cream seems to be something that's a hit or miss for TJ's, and this is a definite miss. Sandy's gonna be nice and, while noting it could use something like some crunchy ice cream cone bits, give it a 2.5 despite its major fault. Me? Sorry.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Golden Caramel Swirl Ice Cream: 3.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons