The Challenge: Since Center City Philadelphia is nearly devoid of Dairy Queens (save one near Independence Hall, since there’s nothing more American than boiled hot dogs from an ice cream shop), we were never able to convene this battle royale…until now! A night of dessert indecision left us 45 minutes in the hole and shuttling back and forth between DQ and McDonald’s. So we ultimately decided to try both.
- Dairy Queen’s Blizzard of the Month, the Caramel Delight Pie, which DQ’s website describes as “caramel, choco chunks and pie pieces blended with creamy vanilla soft serve, crowned with whipped topping.” Calories: 700 for a small.
- McDonald’s McFlurry, blended with Reese’s cups (though Mickey D’s does lose points for making an M&M McFlurry in error at first). Calories: 610 for a small.
The Battle: Maybe it’s because we got the flavor of the month instead of your generic Blizzard, but neither of us were impressed by this DQ dessert. The caramel flavor was nonexistent, the vanilla ice cream bland and runny (I DO NOT like my ice cream runny, dang it!), and the “pie pieces” were the consistency–and flavor–of Kix cereal. And let’s not get started on the “choco pieces.” Any time you see a food product that is almost (but not quite!) spelled correctly, that means it isn’t actually real. Trivia: Starbucks’s Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino doesn’t use enough chocolate to be considered actual chocolate! Don’t charge me $5.50 for a grande Frappuccino if I’m not even getting the real deal, SB!
In contrast, the McFlurry (at half the price of the Blizzard for the same amount) was simple and satisfying. The ice cream used here is just McDonald’s standard soft serve, with a strong kick of vanilla flavor; this is also probably artificial, but at least it tastes good. McDonald’s ice cream is also thicker than DQ’s, which works well with the gritty chunks of Reese’s swirled throughout.
The Winnah!: McFlurry, hands down. If you ever need to waste half of your daily allotment of calories on a 2-minute fast food dessert, this is your boy.