Sundae Shoppe Strawberries and Cream Rose Cones (Aldi)

A box of Aldi's Sundae Shoppe Strawberries and Cream Rose Cones
These are even better looking than they taste...and they taste great.

As I’ve mentioned before, I like chocolate, I like ice cream, and I like fruit, but I don’t typically like when all three of those combine. I’m of the belief that many things belong in ice cream, but fruit is not one of those things; my wife, on the other hand, completely disagrees. And this, my friends, is one of the reasons I know we were meant to be together. 

And yet, when I saw these ice cream roses in Aldi, as part of their pre-Mother’s Day Special Buy selection, I knew I had to get them. Well, of course part of it was to surprise my wife with them, but I also told her to save one for me...they looked so unique and cool I just had to try one for myself! 

One quick observation before we move on to the main point of this matter: I'm a little shocked that Aldi didn't release these under a more premium label, and with slightly more premium packaging, to boot. The packaging is kind of cute as-is, but it doesn't really scream "gift"...I think with a "Specially Selected" label and maybe some darker packaging, this could have really stood out a lot more. But what do I know? That's just my two cents. 

The top layer is a whippy confection of what tastes like strawberry whipped cream. Actually, no...that would give it the wrong impression, because it’s a rather strong, pretty realistic strawberry flavor, and not nearly as “airy” as a whipped topping would be. It's like a whipped cream with some substance, and is very good...that’s not something I’ll typically say about a frozen fruit flavor. It really does do a great job of setting the tone by getting things off to an exciting start.

Top view of Sundae Shoppe Strawberries and Cream Rose Cone, still in its packaging
The poor picture doesn't quite convey it, but these things are gorgeous.

Once you get passed that, you’re now about at the top of the cone itself; this is where I thought it would simply die down and become more like a standard Drumstick-style ice cream cone, albeit with a chocolate cone instead of a vanilla one, or whatever the hell plain cones are normally flavored like. But it has yet another trick up its sleeve: mixed into the vanilla ice cream are streaks of what appears to be strawberry jam. I didn’t think it was all that great - it certainly wasn’t anywhere near as decadent as the rose - but it’s a little more thoughtful - and visually appealing - than just plain ice cream. The cone, while chocolate, is still boring, but it at least provides more of an intriguing look than a standard white cone would. 

Even the last bite contains one final surprise: a bite of hard chocolate planted at the very bottom of the cone. It's not completely unexpected - many "regular" cones have this feature - but it's a nice touch that ends everything on a sweet note.

Now onto value: each box of four is just $3.49, which I don't think is really all that bad to begin with. But I also don't mind paying a premium when it’s evident that some extra thought went into them: each cone is individually wrapped in silver foil, while the strawberry “rose” is covered in a plastic dome to ensure that the entire thing stays intact until it’s ready to be eaten. It looks like a premium product, to the extent that the subject of your gifting might have a hard time bringing themselves to actually eat it. (Which, again, speaks to my question about why it wasn't presented as more of a premium product.)

This is that rare time where I’d have to say the experience of eating it was better than the item itself: outside of the brilliant rose intro, the rest is a mostly middling affair. But I’d gladly get these again, even if my wife didn’t love them as much as she did, simply because they’re beautiful to look at, and just plain different. Here's to hoping these become an annual Aldi tradition.

Overall: 8/10. Honestly, outside of the whipped rose topper, I found the remainder to be a mostly ho-hum affair, with streaks of strawberry jam mixed into vanilla ice cream, and placed in a chocolate cone tunnel. But I’ll be damned if these things aren’t gorgeous to look at; it’s evident that some time and effort was put into these, with each one individually wrapped in silver foil, and complete with a little plastic dome “helmet” to keep the rose intact. And all of this for under $4, for a box of four? It’s probably not a great spotlight gift for the mother in your life, but pair a box of these up with another thoughtful gift or two, and this will be a standout addition. One that, for the last time, deserves a more premium presentation.


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