Thursday, October 23, 2008

Double Rainbow Chocolate Sorbet: My Newest Form of Chocolate "Insurance"

In the July issue of Self magazine, Renee L. Todd shares her successful weight loss tactic in the article "I'll have that brownie tomorrow." Rather than depriving herself of even the possibility of consuming the treats she craves, she hides a Toblerone bar in the back of her sock drawer as an "insurance plan." Because the Toblerone bar is always accessible to her if she wants it, she doesn't have to "worry about a future without chocolate." It will always be there for her, and as a result, she no longer feels compelled to eat something she doesn't necessarily want just because it won't be there the next day.

The point of the article was striking to me. For years I have been doing the same thing, without even realizing it. My office drawer at work is packed with a variety of chocolate goodies like Trader Joe's chocolate covered cashews and See's Candies, and my supplies at home often push the capacity limits on my freezer space. The piece seemed to justify my expenditures on Trader Joe's Ice Cream Bon Bons, Soy Creamy ice cream, and Jell-o Pudding Snacks, and after reading it, I began buying with even less restraint than before.

A couple weeks ago, when I opened my freezer to an avalanche of edamame pods and frozen corn, and I noticed that the expiration date on my pudding (10/16/08) was drawing disturbingly near, I realized I had a problem. By having so many options available to me as a form of chocolate "insurance," I had grown incredibly wasteful and financially irresponsible. Plus, after my recent discovery of the Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream, I was having a hard time getting through the rest of my stockade of desserts. I hadn't even touched the Double Rainbow Chocolate Sorbet that had been hibernating in my freezer for the past six weeks.

After cleaning out a few unnecessary items from the dark corners of the space (including the seriously underwhelming TJ's Mini Mint Ice Cream Mouthfuls), I made a promise to myself that I would not purchase any more "insurance" until I had cleaned out what I already had. First up was the nearly expired pudding, and then, this past Thursday, I took my first dip into the Double Rainbow Chocolate Sorbet.

I was skeptical at first. Sorbet has never been something I particularly crave or covet. Sometimes in high school I would buy a carton of Dreyer's lemon sorbet to help me get through a particularly arduous study session or paper, but aside from those few occasions, I kept my eyes focused exclusively on ice cream or frozen yogurt. But when I saw the Double Rainbow chocolate sorbet at my local Trader Joe's, my hand instinctively reached for it. I had to have it.

Some quick research on the Internet uncovered that Double Rainbow was actually the first company to make chocolate sorbet, and the San Francisco Chronicle had even named it the "Flavorite Calorie Correct Indulgence." With only 1.5 grams of fat and 120 calories per 1/2 cup serving, I could see why. But still, could any frozen dessert that is 99.5% fat free possibly be any good? It's chocolate -- doesn't it need the fat and dairy to be a tasty form of dessert insurance?

With only moments to spare before "the Office" began, I brushed my apprehensions aside and scooped myself out a restrained serving of the surprisingly dark-colored sorbet. It looked almost fudge-like, but with little crystals of ice from the time spent in my freezer. I let the sorbet sit a couple minutes (because ice cream and faux ice creams are so much better when melty) and then swirled it around a bit with my spoon so it would reach the perfect soupy consistency.

Unlike other sorbets that turn runny almost as soon as they hit the bowl, I liked that the Double Rainbow sorbet held some of its form. It was almost like a frozen pudding snack, a comparison that struck me again when I took my first bite. Yet as I continued to spoon the soupy chocolate sorbet into my mouth, I marveled at how rich it tasted -- almost like a dark chocolate bar. I did somewhat miss the luxurious texture of a traditional ice cream and almost wished I could insert some heavy cream into my bowl, but overall, I found the sorbet to be pleasurable.

That night I came to the conclusion that I probably wouldn't purchase the sorbet again, but after finishing my second and third bowls earlier this week, I was a bit sad that it was gone. I almost wished that I had purchased more chocolate sorbet insurance instead of the chocolate bon bons that I am now working my way through.

With two days to go before my next TJ's run, I may just break my original promise to clean out my chocolate reserves before investing in more. I think Ms. Todd would approve. (Even if my freezer does not.)


Esi said...

There used to be a Double Rainbow store down the street from me when I was growing up. And then they closed it and put up a freakin' Togos. I miss it.

Futile Sniffer said...

It's like we think on the same wavelength! I have a pint of Haagen Dazs Peppermint Bark ice cream in my fridge. It's definitely my insurance pint! I was going to even write about it too. It's delicious. I don't usually buy fully loaded ice cream because greedy scooping accidents happen making 4 servings become 1. However, this little pint has lasted a few days.

I feel like I would feel the same way about the Double Rainbow Chocolate Sorbet. I'm sure it's nice, but I would be secretly dreaming of more dairy and cream in it. I think, through influence of your review, I will raise my insurance to the Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip plan. :)

Diana H. said...

Mmm peppermint bark -- that sounds incredible! I try not to keep full fat ice cream on hand either, but every once in a while...

I hope you do try the Soy Creamy Cherry Chip -- so delicious! I think I might have to polish off a big ole bowl tonight!

Fit Armadillo said...

I just fell in love with the Mango Tangerine sorbet by Double Rainbow and found your blog while searching for nearby stores. Now I'm excited to check out the chocolate one. I'd never think to buy a chocolate sorbet because others that I've tried just weren't that great. Thanks for the tip :)