Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Double Review Day!

Yes folks, it seems that I am on a review roll. Today I will be reviewing two fabulous products: Fleur de Sel Ice Cream and iPod Touch 2.0.

First off, the tasty stuff: Fleur de Sel.


Fleur de Sel is an offering from Haagen-Dazs' Reserve line. I have never been the biggest fan of Haagen-Dazs; not because it is bad ice cream, but because it's not good enough for the price. Yes, it is better than most cheaper ice cream, but it's not that much better, and the flavors are fairly dull. Their more exotic flavors usually involve nuts of some sort, which I have never been a big fan of (I know to many this would signal that I should not write a food review, to that I say: "fuck you"), for example, I would love to try the Caramelized Pear and Almond, but don't care for almonds.

There is one flavor of Haagen-Dazs that I do see fit to buy, and that is Dulce de Leche. H-D makes, by far, the best Dulce de Leche ice cream I have tasted, which is partly why I was enticed to try Fleur de Sel, which had caramel as the primary flavor of the ice cream, but with a twist.

The flavor is a combination of caramel ice cream, caramel ribbons, and chocolate covered caramel pieces sprinkled with... salt. But not just any salt, Fleur de Sel (as if you hadn't guessed), which is an expensive salt hand collected from Brittany in France (fleur de sel means "flower of salt" en Fran├žais).

My first bite only yielded ice cream and caramel ribbons, which of course was good, but I was waiting to taste the fancy-pants salt. The second bite was of a chocolate covered piece, and I was in heaven. At first I tasted chocolate and caramel, but that flavor melted away into the salty (but sweet and delicate) taste of the fleur de sel. The flavors blended perfectly together, the caramel giving way to the salt and vice versa.

The price is higher (I paid a dollar more than regular H-D) and the quantities are limited, but I would recommend you go out and give it a try. Well, assuming that you are a little adventurous in your desert tastes. Now, if only they'd release a pepper and chocolate ice cream (they have chili and cucumber Popsicles, but that doesn't sound all too enticing...)

Part II: iPod Touch v. 2.0

On July 13th the iPhone 3G was released to much fanfare. On the same day, all of us losers with iPod Touches were given the joy that is the App Store. We all did a little cheer and started staring down at our small screens.

I got my Touch when I bought my new laptop and it has pretty much taken over my life, as now I actually schedule my time, which has never happened before. The interface of the iPod Touch is ingenious, and it makes it annoying to use my old iPod (which I still use because it has a lot more storage). All-in-all, the touch is like a mini laptop, doing much more than any PDA I had experienced before (not that I really had that much experience before).

The 2.0 update has made the Touch that more awesome. First off, the Touch/iPhone can now connect to secure wi-fi networks, which means I can connect to my school's wi-fi (hello goofing off in class). The App Store has turned my Touch into a little gaming/chatting/Facebooking device, which makes me want the iPhone that much more as I can now communicate with it in every way except phone calls. The wi-fi in my apartment is exceptionally horrible and for some reason the Touch usually connects better than my MacBook, so it has made browsing/chatting in bed so much easier (well, not so much on the eyes).

The bad: the biggest flaw of the iPhone OS is that it can only run one program at a time (with the exception of playing music), thus it makes multitasking difficult at best. It can only load webpages one at a time, and the update has taken away the ability to have Mail check for new messages on a regular interval. Also, I sometimes use French and when I went to the "International" settings dialog, the easy to understand "English (US), English (UK), French (France), et al." has been replaced with "en_us, en_uk, fr_fr" which one can deduce, but is not as convenient. Also, and this is more of a critique of third party apps, the problem with many apps that utilize the accelerometer alone is that the accelerometer can often be a little wonky. I downloaded the much advertised "Super Monkey Ball" only to be frustrated by the fact that sometimes I would randomly switch directions when barely moving my touch.

All-in-all, the update is well worth the $10, I just hope that the next one will add some multitasking functions. I foresee great things for the iPhone/iPod Touch, by far it is the best music playing device I've experienced, but Apple could do so much more. I am hoping for some exciting announcements next WWDC.

Well, that was a very fattening and nerdy post. Hope you liked it!

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