A self-confessed ice cream addict, I love seeking out new varieties, especially during National Ice Cream Month (July). I'm lucky enough to live near Hans' Homemade Ice Cream in Santa Ana, which takes care of any cravings for the real deal, but if I'm struck by the midnight munchies, store-bought has to suffice.
Although I'm still annoyed with Häagen-Dazs for reducing the size of their pints, I have to put my hands up and acknowledge that their Fleur de Sel Caramel flavor, from their Reserve collection, is as good as it gets. Bonus: the name itself has a lovely ring to it, especially when pronounced with a faux French accent.
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Salty caramel is an increasingly common trend--even Starbucks has a salted caramel hot chocolate--and it's not as weird as it sounds.
We're not talking bucketloads of salt here, just enough to contrast with the sweetness of the caramel.
In H-D's version, you get caramel ice cream with chunks of chocolate-covered caramels, and hints of Brittany sea salt in every mouthful. I honestly can't recall a better ice cream, whether artisan or mass-produced.
Try it, and tell me if I'm wrong.