Three different flavors and textures–but one clearly comes out on top

Spring has sprung, and that means new ice cream flavors are here! When it comes to seasonal flavors, no one does it quite like Haagen-Dazs, who releases two or three delicious flavors for every change of season, like the two chestnut mochi flavors that came out last fall.

On the other hand, when it comes to chocolate flavors in ice cream, we can’t deny the appeal of Godiva. Even though it’ll cost you a pretty penny, Godiva products are well worth it for their decadence. You just can’t help but feel like royalty every time you have some in hand.

So what should you do when both companies release delicious seasonal ice cream flavors? Why, buy them all to compare, of course! At the end of March, both brands released new flavors: from Godiva, the Honey Almond and Chocolate Sauce flavor, and from Haagen-Dazs, the Matcha Chocolate Cookie Decorations and the Almond Caramel Cookie Decorations.

We, of course, had to try them to find out which was best.

To be honest, all of them sound utterly delicious, and they’re all roughly the same size and price, so it would be difficult to choose one just based on cost performance. We’ve already tried both of the Haagen-Dazs flavors, and found them undeniably tasty. But how does Godiva compare? Let’s try it to find out.

The Honey Almond and Chocolate Sauce ice cream cup from Godiva sells for 298 yen (US$2.74) for 90 milliliters (3 ounces) of ice cream. This is actually a re-release, which was originally available last year for a limited time only, and only at 7-Eleven. This time, the package has been redesigned, and it’s now available in supermarkets, drug stores, and convenience stores across the country.

We didn’t try it last year, so this is our first taste of it. Upon opening the lid, our nostrils were immediately caressed with the sweet scent of honey. Apparently, this ice cream is made with domestically produced honey made from many different kinds of flowers. Nowadays, domestic honey is considered a luxury product, due to the decline of honeybee populations, so that makes this a very fancy ice cream.

With one bite, the rich taste of that expensive honey overtook our senses, and as the cream melted away within our mouths, we noticed there were some crunchy bits mixed in, too. It turns out that this cup also includes Belgian chocolate chips and candied almonds. There aren’t a lot of either mixed into the ice cream, but they offer nice little accents to the flavor and texture profile.

Tasty. Quite Tasty. But…

We wouldn’t say it blew us away. It had nice touches of luxury flavors, and it was a well-constructed ice cream, but it didn’t seem to have the impact we were hoping for. In any case, it’s not something that would make us say, “Well worth the 300 yen!” or “As I thought, Godiva’s ice cream is different!”

Of course, it was good enough that we ended up eating it almost to the bottom. And when we got there, we found a surprise…

Chocolate sauce!

One taste of that chocolate sauce on our tongues completely reversed our opinions of this ice cream. It was absurdly delicious. It sounds cliché, but honestly, it really felt like the best chocolate sauce we’d ever eaten in our lives. We hated that there was only a little bit in there, and that it was hidden at the bottom. When it was all gone, we wished fervently for another chance to taste it again.

Okay, this was worth 300 yen. And Godiva’s ice cream is different. They’re a chocolate maker, after all. The honey, the almonds, the ice cream itself…they’re all side players. If this cup was just made of that chocolate sauce, it would be more than enough.

After coming down from our chocolate high, we moved on to the Haagen-Dazs offerings, starting with the Almond Caramel Cookie flavor from the Decorations series. This one sells for 295 yen, and contains 88 milliliters of ice cream, so cost performance-wise, it’s pretty much even with Godiva’s. This flavor was also previously released in 2019, and was popular enough to make a comeback this year.

This ice cream is topped with sliced almonds and pieces of butter cookies, so much in fact that you almost wonder if there’s ice cream under there. It’s perfect if you’re someone who likes to add a good crunch to your ice cream.

Since we’d already tried this flavor, the novelty had worn off a little bit, but for the sake of making a fair comparison, we tried to go in with a fresh mind. We started with the cookies, which were of a quality level on par with the kinds of cookies people buy to give as gifts. Very tasty.

Before delving into the ice cream, we mixed the toppings in, as that is the recommended way to eat it. Our ice cream, by this point, was slightly melted and very soft, and mixed beautifully. We also discovered a lovely reservoir of caramel sauce on the bottom, which gave some nice striations to the ice cream. The visual appeal of this cup can’t be denied.

Flavor-wise, this ice cream is very sweet, creamy, rich, and thick. It has everything you could want in an ice cream; just what you’d expect from Haagen-Dazs.

Nutrition-wise, though, this cup loses to Godiva by a mile. While Godiva’s has 167 calories, Haagen-Dazs’ has 299, as well as 12.2 grams more fat. But that is probably what gives this ice cream a greater initial impact that Godiva’s.

Lastly, we gave the other Haagen-Dazs spring Decorations flavor a taste: the Matcha Chocolate Cookie.

This one is topped with a delightfully fragrant matcha powder and pieces of cocoa cookies, which look like chocolate chunks.

One bite of this ice cream confirms that it is, indeed, matcha flavored. The ice cream itself is matcha, so even with the chocolate cookies, all you can really taste is matcha. Supposedly there are little bits of white chocolate hidden within the ice cream too, but we couldn’t really taste them. That’s no surprise, considering that the matcha used to make this ice cream has been carefully stone-ground to make it extra fragrant.

Fans of matcha will undoubtedly really like this ice cream, but if you don’t like matcha, it’s a hard sell. That matcha flavor is good, but it’s strong, so it’s up to your personal preference whether you’ll like it or not.

Each of these flavors are as tasty as you would expect them to be, but if we were to pick one that we would love to eat again, it would, without a doubt, be Godiva’s Honey Almond and Chocolate Sauce. Though its first impression may be largely underwhelming, the fact that it isn’t too sweet, and that it has that amazing chocolate sauce, pushed it over the edge.

While Haagen-Dazs’ flavors were also delicious, whether one would like each one, in our opinion, is up to individual preferences. The Almond Caramel Cookie was undoubtedly gorgeous to look upon, but its sweetness could be too much for a lot of people, and the Matcha Chocolate Cookie flavor was overwhelmingly matcha, which is something you either love or hate. Thus, Godiva’s ice cream wins this round.

Honestly, though, the best way to tell is to try it yourself! These three flavors are now widely available in supermarkets and convenience stores, but they’re being sold in limited quantities and for a limited time only, so they won’t be around forever. If you spot them somewhere, make sure you snatch them up so you can enjoy these tasty flavors yourself!

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