The sandwich section in supermarket freezers devoted to ice-cream novelties is getting crowded, we discovered this Memorial Day weekend.
Just as warmer weather draws near, a new and intriguing sandwich is starting to appear alongside such perennial favorites as the Klondike, Mud Pie and It's-It.
The newest candidate to satisfy our hot-weather hunger for something both coolly refreshing and easy to handle has a sophisticated European flair to it. It's the Blisscotti, a sandwich in which a thick layer of ice cream is enclosed between two thin biscotti biscuits. Biscotti are crunchy Italian cookies often flavored with hazlenuts, anise seeds or almonds. Their popularity in the United States in recent years has paralleled the popularity of specialty coffee drinks, into which they customarily are dunked to soften them for easier eating. (In Italy, the firm biscuits traditionally have been dipped in the sweet wine vin santo, not coffee.)
The biscotti used for the Blisscotti aren't so much thick and sturdy as thin and pliable, with a somewhat buttery and almond flavor. They are firm enough, however, to hold solidly the dense yet creamy ice cream. The cookies also are spread with a thin layer of dark chocolate, but on the inside, against the ice cream, helping keep fingers clean.
The flavors mark a departure from the typical vanilla ice cream of more traditional ice cream sandwiches - "silky strawberry," "very vanilla bean," "cream coffee chip," "lively lemon zest" and "marvelous mint chip."
We tried the lemon and the coffee chip, finding both true to flavor, refreshing, balanced and rich. They weighed in at 230 calories and 8 grams of saturated fat for the lemon, 240 calories and 8 grams of saturated fat for the coffee chip.
Created and made by Cold Standard Inc. of Renton, Wash., and distributed by Dreyers Grand Ice Cream Inc., they sell for a suggested retail price of $3.49 for a two-sandwich box. We found them at the Safeway along Alhambra Boulevard, but Whole Foods Market, Albertson's and Raley's, among other markets, also are to be stocking them, say company representatives.