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Roselani vs. Meadow Gold Macadamia Nut Ice Cream

Today we’ll do a side-by-side comparison of Macadamia Nut Ice Cream between Maui’s own Roselani Tropics Ice Cream brand and Meadow Gold’s Premium Ice Cream brand.

According to the label, Meadow Gold Dairies is based in Dallas, Texas, while Roselani Tropics Ice Cream is made right here in Hawaii on the beautiful valley isle of Maui in Wailuku.

The 1.75 quart carton of Roselani was on sale at Don Quijote last week for $5.99, while the 1.5 quart Meadow Gold brand was on sale at the same supermarket for $3.99.

Notice on the Meadow Gold label that this product features Macadamia Nuts from Hamakua Plantations.

Let’s pop the top and see what we’ve got, starting with Roselani…

Visible, sizable pieces of Macadamia Nuts, and a nicely tempered consistency.

Now the Meadow Gold…

Visible Macadamia Nuts on top, but much smaller pieces, lighter in color and more sparse. The color balance of these photos aren’t 100% accurate to how it appears in person, but I’ll say Roselani’s vanilla ice cream base has a slightly more cream-colored tint to it, while the Meadow Gold is more Ivory white.

Let’s plate a scoop of each one and have a taste…

Roselani Tropics Classic Macadamia Nut Ice Cream (left) and Meadow Gold Premium Macadamia Nut Ice Cream (right) with Caramel Syrup drizzle

How you like my sauce-squirting plating skillz with the Caramel Syrup? Stylin’ eh? lol Small ‘kine lopsided though, with the two scoops of ice cream a little too far on the right. But that’s OK, I’m just warming up.

Actually, that plate is just for show, as my “official” tasting evaluation was done with the ice cream in separate bowls with no caramel syrup to change the flavors of the ice cream itself.

So what’s the verdict? ROSELANI Tropics Macadamia Nut Ice Cream is the WINNER! As noted by it having a creamy tint to it, that reflects in its flavor as well, being creamy and full-bodied, while not being overly rich or sweet. Great balance. Most importantly, the pieces of Macadamia Nuts in it have a high quality, fresh, distinctively roasted flavor.

In comparison, the pieces of Macadamia Nuts in the Meadow Gold Ice Cream were rather bland and stale tasting, not to mention a bit smaller in size. Their Vanilla Ice Cream base had more of a low fat milk flavor, even though it’s not even touted as being “low fat”. I’m a little disappointed that the Macadamia Nuts in it didn’t measure up, as Hamakua Plantations Macadamia Nuts in the can are really good and comparable to all the other popular Hawaii brands.

Ultimately, because of the much better quality of the bigger pieces of Macadamia Nuts in Roselani’s, theirs tastes like Macadamia Nut Ice Cream, not Vanilla Ice Cream that just happens to have Macadamia Nuts mixed in it. Which at least in a side-by-side comparison here, the latter of which is how Meadow Gold tastes.

Since we’re talking Macadamia Nuts, you may recall those SPAM flavored Macadamia Nuts that were reviewed here not long ago. Well, yes, you guessed it, I decided to try adding some to a scoop of Macadamia Nut Ice Cream to see how it’d work out…

SPAM-flavored Macadamia Nut Ice Cream Surprise

Eh, it’s OK. The Vanilla Ice Cream quickly overpowers the SPAM-flavored powder coating the mac nuts. The savory flavor of the SPAM powder also doesn’t really agree with the sweetened milky ice cream, nor does the saltiness.

Then going to the EXTREME, I tried this…

“Hawaiian” Teriyaki SPAM & Pineapple Macadamia Nut Ice Cream Delight

Yes, that is exactly what you’re seeing: cubes of Hormel SPAM and Pineapple that was sauteed, then finished with a Teriyaki glaze, served with a scoop of Roselani Tropics Macadamia Nut Ice Cream, and garnished with lightly-salted whole Macadamia Nut peices, a sprinkling of Furikake and a “messily artistic” drizzle of Teriyaki glaze.  All of that artificially qualifying it to be named “Hawaiian”.

How did it taste? Horrible! lol What did you expect? Pass. Next.

Sorry, but Teriyaki and Vanilla Ice Cream DO NOT AGREE with each other. Nor did the very salty SPAM. After several bites, I immediately scraped the Teriyaki-glazed SPAM, Pineapple and sauce on the plate into a separate bowl so I could enjoy the ice cream by itself, thank you very much. I’m totally into the whole savory-sweet concept, but, bottom line, the dairy was the deal-breaker here.

Had that been a scoop of rice instead of ice cream in the center, by all estimates, of course it would have worked out. But God, as shown, that was so NOT good. “Hawaiian” Teriyaki SPAM & Pineapple Macadamia Nut Ice Cream Delight“? More like DISGUST!

Yet hey, at least give me a pat on the back for trying.

Rounding it up, I think Roselani’s Tropic Ice Macadamia Nut Cream is worth the extra price for the superior taste and texture of the roasted Macadamia Nuts in it, and full-bodied character of the Vanilla Ice Cream, not to mention supporting a local company.

What? Roselani Classic Macadamia Nut Ice Cream
Who makes it? Maui Soda and Ice Works, Ltd. Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii. www.Roselani.com
Where did you buy it and how much did it cost? Don Quijote (Kaheka), $5.99 sale price.
What are the ingredients? Milkfat and non-fat milk solids, cane sugar, macadamia nuts, corn syrup solids, mono and diglycerides, locust bean gum, guar gum, carraggeenan, vanilla flavoring, annatto color.
What are the nutritional values? Per 1/2 cup serving: 150 calories with 80 calories from fat; total fat 9 grams; saturated fat 5 grams; trans fat 0 grams; cholesterol 20mg; sodium 35mg; total carbohydrates 14 grams; dietary fiber 0 grams; sugars 12 grams; protien 2 grams. Vitamin A 4%; vitamin C 0%, calcium 8%; iron 0%.
Big shaka to: Full-bodied, creamy vanilla ice cream. Generous chunks of fresh-tasting, distinctively roasted Macadamia Nuts. Attractive label design.
No shaka to: The food industry tricking consumers by giving less product for the same price (1.75 quart vs. a full half-gallon ice cream carton).Teriyaki, SPAM and Ice Cream.
SPAM Musubi rating: 4

What? Meadow Gold Premium Macadamia Nut Ice Cream featuring Hamakua Plantations Macadamia Nuts
Who makes it? Meadow Gold Dairies in Dallas, Texas www.lanimoo.com
Where did you buy it and how much did it cost? Don Quijote (Kaheka), $3.99 sale price
What are the ingredients? Milkfat and nonfat milk, sugar, corn syrup, macadamias, high fructose corn syrup, sweetcream buttermilk, whey, contains less than 2% of guar gum, mono & diglycerides, xanthan gum, polysorbate 80, cellulose gum, carrageenan, natural and artificial flavors, annatto extract (color).
What are the nutritional values? Per 1/2 cup serving: 150 calories; 80 calories from fat; 10 grams total fat; 4.5 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 25mg cholesterol, 30mg sodium, 14 grams total carbohydrate, 0 grams dietary fiber; 11 grams sugar; 2 grams protien. 6% Vitamin A; 0% vitamin C, 6% calcium; 0% iron.
Big shaka to: A decent ice cream if not compared side-by-side with a much better brand.  Lower price. Uses ingredients made in Hawaii (Hamakua Plantations).
No shaka to: The very small pieces of Macadamia nuts are bland and stale tasting in comparison to Roselani. Vanilla ice cream base lacks “character”. The food industry tricking consumers by giving less product for the same price (1.5 quart vs. a full half-gallon ice cream carton).
SPAM Musubi Rating: 2

24 thoughts on “Roselani vs. Meadow Gold Macadamia Nut Ice Cream

  • February 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    I thought I’d seen it all when you introduced Spam Macadamia Nuts. Now this, Spam Macadamia Nuts and ice cream. Then “Hawaiian” SPAM & Pineapple Macadamia Nut Ice Cream Delight. I think you should call it “Stoners Surprise” and sell the recipe to Ben & Jerrys. If you want to try something really interesting try natto on top of ice cream. In Japan I’ve actually seen natto ice cream. hontoni oishii yo. ほんとに おいしい よ。 8)

  • February 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Milo, I thought Ben & Jerry’s mission statement for their entire ice cream line-up was “Stoners Surprise”. lol

    I love Natto, and have no doubt I’d enjoy it with ice cream.  Any suggestions on what flavor of ice cream to pair it with? Green Tea perhaps?

    Hey, now that I think about it, any ideas on pairing Natto with SPAM?!!!

  • February 28, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Kudos for trying to spice up your dessert! Better you than me. I’m totally addicted to Roselani’s Kona Mud Pie Ice Cream though. :-)

  • February 28, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    whoa spam on ice cream…in-ter-esting….you know in Japan they have shoyu for ice cream right?? they really do. (I’ve never tried or seen it in the stores)

  • February 28, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Kat, judging by how BAD Teriyaki paired with Vanilla Ice Cream is, I’m not counting my hopes very high on unsweetened ‘Shoyu Ice Cream’. Yet I won’t put it past the Japanese to pull it off!

    Kristin, I guess my next Ice Cream comparo’ will have to be of the (“Kona”) coffee flavors. Good stuff for sure.

  • February 28, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Well, even if it tasted bad, the ice cream spam delight was beautifully plated. Are you training for a second career as a food stylist, lol?

  • February 28, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Molly, obviously NOT. But I’ll soon be accepting students for an adult college night school course titled “Culinary Train Wrecks and Related Concepts”. lol

  • March 1, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Ho, you mento or what? Try using da ice cream for make mac salad next time and maybe, just maybe the teri spam will work with it! nah, jus kidding! lol

    You gotta see all the spam memorabilia they got at Target, it’s like they have a shrine there. I know what you get you for your Bday now.

  • March 1, 2010 at 7:01 am

    lol, that was just too funny. Good one on ya’ Pomai for trying something completely different.

  • March 1, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Heh. I think that was the first time a photo on this site didn’t make me drool.

  • March 1, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    OMG I cannot believe you put spam on ice cream! with furikake, too! haha. That’s almost as bad as the Iron Chef’s “Salmon Ice Cream!” :)
    But I am craving a Spam musubi right around now

  • March 1, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Aloha Pomai,
    All of us here at the Roselani plant in Wailuku, Maui say “mahalo a nui loa” for the excellent 4 Spam musubi rating for our Classic Macadamia Nut ice cream.

  • March 1, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    “‘Hawaiian’ Teriyaki SPAM & Pineapple Macadamia Nut Ice Cream Delight”?

    Way to take one for the team! Someone has to go there …

    Do you ever eat natto spaghetti? It’s served at Angelo Pietro with bacon — I could easily see switching the bacon with some grilled strips of SPAM.

    If shoyu flavored KitKats are anything to go by, shoyu flavored ice cream would be great.

    Or, next time you might crosshatch that caramel sauce with some drizzles of shoyu?

  • March 1, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Roselani’s ice cream is always great! Their Haupia flavor is delicious too. I always get a carton of Haupia ice cream when I have out of town guests.

  • March 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    BLAH! spam & mac nut ice cream? lol interesting but no thank you… besides that comment… i do enjoy roselani ice cream… my favorite combo is haupia with the mango flavor mmmm yummm! i think i’m gonna go eat some right now! haha

  • March 2, 2010 at 8:56 am

    OK, I have to say, I had to LAUGH OUT LOUD when I read this. I totally agree with the Roselani being da winnahz — they’ve been one of my favorites. Your impressive and bold combination of sweet and savory, while maybe not winning your taste test, sure looked pretty! I had a fancy Spam sushi where they had fresh mango over it – that was as much sweet as the Spam could take. I applaud your bravery and look forward to more bold flavor combos!

  • March 2, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Freaky. At some food cart in Portland, Oregon, someone is about to unleash their ice cream treat of the week. I’d try it, curious to know how hemajang my mouth would get.

  • March 3, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    I’ve had vanilla ice cream and natto. The ice cream was a little sweet so it went together. I think natto then spam / portuguese sausage / bacon – onion and scrambled eggs might be nice. Or make a fried rice. I think both the scrambled eggs and fried rice would encapsulate the natto so it wouldn’t be too sticky. Spam and natto musubi would also be be good. Actually saw that in Japan but the Spam wasn’t really Spam but a processed meat product.

  • March 6, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Milo, great suggestions. You gotta’ try Gyotaku’s “Nattochos”. Good stuff! I did a review on it here.

    John, trust me, you won’t want to try that one. lol

    Fat Fudge, they should come up with a website at http://www.ThisTastesGross.com. You won’t get fat on that SPAM Macadamia Nut Ice Cream concoction, simply because you just won’t eat much of it! lol

    Wasabi Prime, actually I purposely made it look hideous to tie in with the expected outcome of how it would taste. lol

    Kaleolani, Roselani’s Haupia Ice Cream is AWESOME. Certainly my favorite of the “tropically exotic” varieties. Next to that, I’d have to say Haagen Daaz’ Mango Sorbet is a close second, as that one tastes literally like eating a fresh, frozen mango. Very authentic flavor!

    Jean, good choice. Surely your out-of-town guests must be pleased with it.

    Debbie-chan, shoyu-flavored Kit Kats? Not. Get out of town! That doesn’t exists, does it? I hope not! I CANNOT see shoyu and chocolate working well together. Impossible!

    Aloha Bonnie, glad y0u folks at “da plant” enjoyed the write-up. Just do us a favor and don’t come out with ‘Roselani’s SPAM-flavored Ice Cream’. Please don’t. I’ve already proven it  just doesn’t work. lol

    Julia, yeah, the furikake didn’t really work with the ice cream either. That milky-sweet vanilla flavor of the ice cream is the problem in this case.

    Spotty, and it likely won’t be the last. lol

    Carol, thanks. I try. Sometimes in vain, but I try.

    Diner A, seen it. Only thing they’re missing is da’ ‘SPAM’ Rubbah Slippahz.

  • March 10, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Kristin, that is KRAZY!

    Her explanation of the kraze for Kit Kats in Japan is very interesting:

    “One of the reasons for KitKats’ immense popularity in Japan probably escapes many visitors.  Kitto katsu (きっと勝つ), a Japanese phrase which translates as “definitely win”, is very similar to the Japanese pronunciation of the brand name, which is *kitto katto*.  This has made KitKats extremely popular during high school/university entrance exam season as a good luck charm for students taking the tests.”

    I think I’ll have to start selling Kit Kats to Japanese tourists walking down Kalakaua avenue in Waikiki for a successful vacation in Hawaii! lol

  • September 9, 2011 at 5:52 am

    I purchased yyour ice cream at my local King Soooper’s store and ate most of it when I bit into a piece of silver. It looks like a piece of one of your machines. I could have chipped a tooth if I hadn’t looked down and noticed it before I put it in my mouth. Or if I put it in my mouth I could haave choked. The ice cream was Rocky Road ice cream. On the bottom of the carton it shows best used by 2/20/112 and the following:11-20 49-11 Melvin 13. I don’t want to pursue this further, but will find it necessary to do so if I do not receive a reply and what you feel should be done so it doesn’t happen again. Your qui\ick response is appreciated.

    Vivian J. McInnis
    Fort Collins, Colorado

  • September 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Aloha Vivian,

    You need to contact the manufacturer (either Meadow Gold or Roselani) directly. This blog is an independent review site that is not affiliated with any of the food product manufacturers or restaurants it covers.



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