Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rita's Italian Ice - Giving away free ices for the first day of spring.

So on the first day of spring, Rita's Italian Ice gives away free Italian ices to anyone who shows up- so naturally, we took the kids out to get a little treat.

Rita's Italian Ice Guy helping everyone celebrate the first day of spring
Of course, the local Rita's was completely mobbed, with an incredibly long line- too long to wait with three young kids. Luckily, there are several Rita's nearby, and it was a short ride to find one that was much less crowded.

Rita's sells Italian ices, soft serve ice cream, shakes, and a few other treats. During the summer months we usually pick up dessert there several times. The thing I like about them is that they always have interesting flavors mixed in with the old standbys - today's giveaway was no exception.

Eight free flavors at this particular location - other stores may have a different selection.

Rita's makes a simple product, using quality ingredients, I always like to find the most unusual flavor on the menu- and when you consider that today, I don't have to pay for it, there's no reason not to try something risky. Cranberry sounds like an interesting flavor for an Ice, so does Banana Split Cream... but Butterscotch Krimpet seems to be the winner for most unusual- Butterscotch is an easy flavor to mess up- too much and it becomes cloying and overwhelming- after a few more minutes on line, I'll find out of Rita's got it right.

Rita's Butterscotch Krimpet Italian Ice

The color was on the pale side, and I was expecting something with a darker caramel color. For a dessert like this though, I'm less concerned with how it looks and more concerned with how it tastes...

Enjoying my free Italian Ice in the car.
...and they got it right. The Butterscotch flavor was there, but was balanced well with a more creamy, cake-like flavor. The folks who formulate the flavors at Rita's seem to know when less can be more. The creamy notes seemed to take center stage with the butterscotch flavor taking more of a supporting role- when it easily could have been overwhelming. My wife and kids all went for the chocolate- a Rita's standby. They manage to get a nice rich chocolate flavor in an ice- one you'd expect from something more creamy such as ice cream. To top it off, the manager decided that she liked my kids and took a nice family photo of us that will eventually find it's way to the Rita's of Bridgewater, NJ website and/or facebook page. All in all, a nice short trip out with the kids for a tasty classic dessert.

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