Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review: Chapman's "Raspberry Sorbet"

 Our third pink ice cream selection in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Oh my. Where to start. From the time we purchased this product to the time I sat down to make this review, I feel like our experience with Chapman's Raspberry Sorbet has turned into a saga of epic proportions. The highs were high. The lows were low. Words cannot possibly describe the fiasco that is Chapman's Raspberry Sorbet. Well, actually, I suppose they can. Let me tell you the story...

It all started prior to the Thanksgiving weekend. Because the family dinner was going to be held on the Island, B's sister (whose name also starts with B - because our parents are creative - and who will be referred to using the colour green: B) was going to be visiting, and she was excited to help us review an ice cream and thereby make a guest appearance on the blog. When the day finally came to choose an ice cream, we searched high and low for Island Farms green tea flavor, but could not find it anywhere. So instead, B selected what we all thought would be a safe and most likely delicious flavour: Chapman's raspberry sorbet. We were all very excited to take this product home and enjoy it.
The packaging is appealing enough. We certainly appreciated that this sorbet was clearly marked as being fat free, cholesterol free, peanut free, lactose free, and gluten free. If you have allergies, or will be serving something to a large group of people whose allergies may be unknown, like a children's birthday party, this would be a safe bet.
 The first thing I noticed when I took the lid off the container was that I could smell the sorbet. Which is kind of odd, because normally frozen foods tend not to have much of an aroma. But the sorbet in question had a distinctive smell of something akin to koolaid or fruit punch or bubblegum. Something artificial. Hmm. I guess that's OK. And it looks relatively normal. I mean, sure, it is a rather shocking shade of magenta, but rapsberries are quite a colourful fruit. When we scooped it out, it had a relatively soft and "fluffy" consistency, similar to the texture of the other Chapman's flavour we had previously tried, Hokey Pokey. It kind of feels like it has gelatin in it, and after consulting the ingredients, though it did not contain gelatin, it did contain five different types of gums.

So the only thing to do at this point is to taste it. We divided a few scoops among the three of us and took a bite.
For starters this thing...tastes exactly like it smells. Which is not like raspberry. Which is not a good thing. For something that is based on a tangy fruit, this sorbet displays no tartness whatsoever. In fact, it's incredibly sweet. It has a kind of artificial raspberry taste to it, which is odd because the ingredients say that it contains actual raspberry puree. We found no evidence to support this, though we did find plenty of evidence of "natural flavour" that was added. We don't really understand why, if you are using a fruit that is as flavourful as raspberries, you would be inclined to add chemical flavouring, even if it's "natural." The taste reminded us a lot of bubblegum, or of blue raspberry flavoured candy, like a Ring Pop. Which is fine for candy, where the expectation of realistic flavours is minimal, but when you purchase a sorbet that proclaims to use the actual fruit it's pretty awful.

When we began testing this sorbet, we tried to be open-minded about the product. When we tried to consider the ideal consumer for this sorbet, we kept going back to the idea of kids, as the flavour is very sweet and candy-like. B said that the "flavour is OK - I wouldn't stop eating it, but I wouldn't buy it again." Not long after, however, she had changed her mind: "I retract my previous statement! I want to stop eating this right now!" She followed this comment up by saying "I feel like I'm eating... packs of gum! Bubble tape!" which, considering how many gums are in the thing, isn't a totally unreasonable assessment. We offered a spoonful to my mother to taste, and she was as excited as we initially were to try a raspberry sorbet. Mere seconds later, however, she had spit it in the sink in disgust, proclaiming it to be "slimy" and bad-tasting. 

So far, this flavour was leaving an extremely bad taste, not to mention alarming colour, in our mouths. But the story doesn't end there...
We noticed that on the side of the container there was a "satisfaction guarantee" followed by a hotline number to call. Well, we were extremely dissatisfied with this product, and since we were going to post about our dissatisfaction on the internet, we figured it would be a good idea to give this number a call. This is a brief summary of what transpired:  A very kindly female representative repeatedly assured us that the Raspberry Sorbet is indeed made entirely from natural raspberry puree and that it is one of their top selling items.  She implied something might have been wrong with the container of Sorbet we had purchased as she could not imagine we would have found it as sweet and artificial as we did.  We expressed our extreme dissatisfaction with the product and relayed the spitting of a sample into the sink and were asked to provide our contact information to receive some sort of compensation in the mail.  This compensation has yet to arrive of course, and so we will have to update later regarding the details.

After trying this flavour one more time before writing this review, we found that time had not altered our opinion of it, and so the rest of it was washed down the kitchen sink. Thus concludes the saga of the Chapman's Raspberry Sorbet. Until, of course, we receive some mail from Chapman's.

Recommend to a friend? Like we stated earlier, the only possible market we feel might enjoy this would be children, because of the candy-like taste and the lack of allergens. For anyone who actually enjoys raspberries, however, avoid like the plague.
Repurchase? J + B: you could not pay us enough to eat this again! So awful!


  1. This looks like 3 girls 3 scoops to me.


  2. i loved the writing skills but... You took it way too far lol
    Never tried the raspberry but the rainbow was awesome

  3. If you haven't tried "chapmans black jack cherry frozen yogurt" please do. I want to know if it was just me and my boyfriend who thought it tasted weird and fake. Maybe our taste buds were off cause we had curry, or maybe it really was that awful. Thank god it was on sale, otherwise I'd feel totally jipped. Conclusion after reading your review on this and our own experiences - we won't be purchasing any Chapmans ever again.

  4. We purchased the product yesterday as it had been quite sometime since we last purchased this item. We agree with your assessment 100%. I don't recall it smelling this way in the past, and it did not have that sickly taste. Now to find some children who will appreciate this taste sensation. We will not be touching Chapman's sorbets in the future

  5. I just bought the Triple Berry Sorbet and I am duly impressed with the flavour so this review suprised me.

  6. I just bought the Triple Berry Sorbet and I am duly impressed with the flavour so this review suprised me.

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