With the planned January rollout of Dulce de Leche Cheerios, ;General Mills will surely lay to rest any lingering doubts any may have about the growing clout of Hispanic consumers in America. The caramelized milk spread has always been popular here in South Florida, but it is slowly showing up on supermarket shelves across the country -- as an exotic flavoring ingredient in ice cream, cookies, and a couple of stranger things.
Samples of the new Cheerios were not sent to New Times, but if we are to believe the editors at Huffington Post, we didn't miss much. "A great substitute for Rice Krispies Treats," said one, who thought they were better suited for dessert. Another was "seriously disappointed" in the "milk caramel loops." The harshest criticism compared it to "butterscotch-flavored fluorine at the dentist."
Here are five more American products, in order of weirdness, that have dulce de leche as the main flavoring ingredient:
5. Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
Dazs was first on deck with the dulce in 1998 (Starbucks came out with a dulce de leche ice cream one year later). "Caramel and sweet cream, with ribbons of golden caramel" is how the description goes. It may very well be the only successful item on this list -- meaning it tastes good and puts the dulce de leche in a good light (although honestly, I haven't tried the lipstick or the lube).
4. Starbucks Dulce de Leche Latte and Dulce de Leche Frappuccino
It took 18 months to "perfect", but in April of 2007, the coffee giant released its two new dulce drinks. "Topped with whipped cream and a dusting of toffee sprinkles, Starbucks' version of this traditional delicacy is a luxurious tasty treat." Meh. It's alright, but the leche flavoring tastes artificial.
3. Dulce de Leche Girl Scout Cookies
These are translated as "caramel cookies" on the package, and it's just as well they didn't call them alfajores -- dulce de leche "chips" are placed inside a crumbly sugar cookie, which isn't quite the tradition. The Girl Scout mom who tried them complained that they "lack a strong, classic dulce de leche flavor." She also noted that her daughter sold just five boxes of these as opposed to twenty boxes of the classic thin mints. Maybe they should try to capture more of middle America's white consumers with the tagline "Dulce de Leche Girl Scout Cookies...Perfect For A Tea Party!"
2. Estee Lauder Pure Color Crystal Lipstick in Dulce de Leche
"A stunning copper/pink with tons of lovely shimmer...texture is divine...a soft, creamy, silky feel." Strangest part of the description: Suggested for those with "blue eyes" and hair that is "blond, straight, fine."
Is there, like, some sort of irony going on here?
Not to be outdone, L'Oreal has its' own Infallible Lipgloss Dulce de Leche. Let the lecherous leche lipstick war begin!
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"Skip dessert and go right to the most delicious part of the evening with BabeLicious dulce de leche flavored lube...ideal for lending a delectable sweetness to oral play." I'm just thinking out loud here, but wouldn't regular dulce de leche do the trick?