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Great Value Lumps of Coal Ice Cream Pints (Walmart)

Great Value’s Lumps of Coal ice cream is yet another example of a holiday item that clearly has nothing to do with the holidays. It’s really just chocolate presented three ways: as ice cream, as chocolate chips, and in fudge “swirls”. And somehow some marketing “genius” saw a chance to cash in on the holidays, so apparently the chocolate chips become “lumps of coal”. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch. But at the very least, couldn’t they at least had some kind of holiday-themed packaging to tie everything together? Instead, we get a bland design that looks nothing like Christmas. (Oh, now I see it: The snowflakes and half-assed stockings that blend in with the background color, which has nothing to do with the holidays. Great job.)

Digging in and we have exactly what’s promised on the outside: chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips. Just judging from the top of the pint, with the lid removed, there’s a fair amount of chocolate chips in there. The ice cream itself is a standard brown…doesn’t look like it’s going to be anything to write home about. I did not see any fudge swirls, unfortunately, which was the thing I was looking forward to the most…those are always the best part of any ice cream.

Taking a bite…and it’s a pretty standard chocolate ice cream, which I’m not a huge fan of on its own. There are a good amount of chocolate chips, which add some crunch, while also providing another variety of chocolate…they were good, but once again, nothing to write home about. I did go through the entire pint looking for the fudge swirls, and was devastated when I didn’t see any at all…

…at first. But as I got closer and closer to the bottom, I started getting some. And then some more…by the time I hit somewhere around the “quarter remaining” mark, every bite I had contained a thick layer of fudge. I don’t know if I just got a “lucky” batch that made it that way, or if that’s how it’s supposed to be, but the end of the pint was pure heaven, with ribbon after ribbon of fudge dancing around the tongue. It was a delicious experience, and a complete 180 from what I was expecting to say about it.

Onto value: Walmart products are notorious for being cheap, but unfortunately, they still succumb to some of the other “tricks” relied on by other retailers, and these pints are a good example of that: a pint of this comes in at $1.47, which is the retail price for any pint at the retailing conglomerate. The larger size cartons (48 oz. or whatever) come in at just $.50 more, making those a much better deal. However, this variety is not available in the 48 oz. cartons, meaning you’re stuck paying $1.47. That’s better than many store brand pints (that aren’t on sale), but far from the type of deal I’d expect to find at Walmart. Consider me a little disappointed in this regard, although it’s not like it’s going to completely break your budget.

Overall: 6/10. Okay, chocolate on chocolate is not exactly my favorite, so take this with a grain of salt, but the first ¾ was relatively disappointing, with a standard chocolate ice cream paired up with standard chocolate chips…a dime-a-dozen. It got to the point I forgot there was even supposed to be any fudge inside. Then I got to the bottom, where all of the fudge ribbons had “settled”, and that lead to a decadent finish that was sorely missing from the rest of the pint. I don’t know if mine was just lucky enough to have it all set at the bottom, or if it was just a batch thing, but I love how they saved the best for last, as it made trudging through the first ¾ all the more worth it. If you’re a lover of chocolate on chocolate (food items), then this will probably win you over a little more than it did me. At any rate, get on that because it’s only available seasonally at Walmart stores.

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