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Gusto staff tackles Perry's Ice Cream Escapes

Akron-based Perry's Ice Cream has released a new line of flavors this summer, Escapes, intended to be more decadent than the regular line.

Would these Escapes prove to be a local alternative to Ben & Jerry's? Or would they fall short of their lofty flavor goals?

Our curiosities piqued, we bought five pints of different flavors ($3.69 apiece, although they were 2-for-$6 when we snagged them from Tops) and tasked the Gusto critics -- and a few other News ice-cream lovers -- with relaying their reactions, then picking their favorite among the quintet.

Movie Time -- "popcorn-flavored ice cream with salty caramel swirls and caramel truffles"

A new Escapes flavor from Perry's Ice Cream called Movie Time. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

A new Escapes flavor from Perry's Ice Cream called Movie Time. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

Critics' comments (anonymous):

"Popcorn flavored? Or imitation butter topping flavored?"
"Almost sickeningly caramel-esque"
"Creative, but no thanks"
"Butter! Love it -- kind of like butter-rum ice cream. Love the texture, too"
"A little too popcorn-y"
"Too popcorn-y, tastes artificial"
"Similar to butter crunch or toffee crunch with the bonus of chocolate"
"A lot could have been fixed if the name was changed. Call it 'butter crunch.'"
"Better than I thought, more buttery than caramel"
"Popcorn flavor is interesting -- caramel is always a plus"
"The thought of popcorn-flavored ice cream is off-putting, however the salty caramel makes this surprisingly delicious"
"An acquired taste, but if you liked the deep-fried butter at the Fair two years ago, you'll probably dig this"

Up close and personal with Perry's Ice Cream's Movie Time flavor. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

Up close and personal with Perry's Ice Cream's Movie Time flavor. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

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Peanut Butter Cookie -- "sugar-cookie ice cream with peanut butter and peanut-butter cookie dough pieces"

Peanut Butter Cookie ice cream from Perry's Escapes. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

Peanut Butter Cookie ice cream from Perry's Escapes. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

Critics' comments:

"Big peanut butter flavor."
"What's not to like?"
"Peanut-y, butter-y, cookie-like: this creamed ice has it all!"
"Love the stickiness"
"Reminiscent of Mesmer's Butter Crunch"
"Yummy peanut-butter flavor plus cookie-dough pieces -- delish! Like a peanut-butter sandwich
"Like the peanut butter, just a bit too sweet for me"
"The peanut-butter swirl is great"
"I love peanut butter. I love cookie dough. This is tasty, but I'm not sure it's very different from other peanut-butter ice cream flavors"
"I don't necessarily think this is a more decadent escape than a normal Perry's flavor, and it would do well with a crunchy component"

Close-up image of the Peanut Butter Cookie flavor from Perry's Escapes. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

Close-up image of the Peanut Butter Cookie flavor from Perry's Escapes. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

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Fireball -- "hot cinnamon ice cream with cinnamon-flavored swirls and cinnamonette candies"

Fireball is one of the new flavors in Perry's Escapes line. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

Fireball is one of the new flavors in Perry's Escapes line. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

Critics' comments:

"Zingy -- if you like Red Hots, this will hit the spot"
"Shocking fidelity to its inspiration, minus the burn"
"The cinnamon tasted medicinal to me"
"Aggressive pink kind of off-putting -- not really original but texture is good. Very candy-like"
"Tasty but I like my cinnamon in candies, not ice cream"
"Me, too!" [to the above comment]
"Not a fan..."
"I liked it at first, but the intensity of the cinnamon experience was a bit too strong"
"I was expecting a strong cinnamon flavor, actually. I think Pitbull was, too"

Perry's Escapes flavor Fireball goes hard with the cinnamon candies. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

Perry's Escapes flavor Fireball goes hard with the cinnamon candies. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

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Queen of Hearts -- "dark chocolate ice cream, raspberry swirls and fudge-filled hearts"

The Queen of Hearts flavor from Perry's Escapes. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

The Queen of Hearts flavor from Perry's Escapes. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

Critics' comments:

"Chocolate overshadowed by raspberry -- wanted deeper chocolate from 'dark' offering"
"A disconcerting grey pallor, the color of steel sludge, and a fruity taste at odds with the promise of chocolate"
"Too much raspberry for me. The chocolate and raspberry should have gotten a divorce"
"Raspberry superfluous -- looks like mud. The chocolate was good"
"Gross at first, then a hint of raspberry"
"Very raspberry but fans of the choco-raspberry combo will love it!"
"Very decadent! If you want an escape, this one's it. Rich and chocolatey. Yum"
"Chocolate and raspberry mix well"
"I'm in love, would prefer this to a truffle"
"Tastes like something your sweetheart would give you on Valentine's Day"
"It's the 'black forest' concept to a 'T' -- some bites are extreme raspberry, but enjoyed the richness of the chocolate"

The Queen of Hearts flavor may not be aesthetically appealing, but a few critics enjoyed it. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

The Queen of Hearts flavor may not be aesthetically appealing, but a few critics enjoyed it. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

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German Chocolate Cake -- "chocolate cake ice cream, coconut shreds, pecan pieces and rich caramel sauce"
[Noteworthy: Perry's German Chocolate Cake won Most Innovative Ice Cream at the Dairy Foods Association's Innovative Ice Cream Flavor competition -- there were 34 entries in total]

The German Chocolate Cake flavor from Perry's Escapes. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

The German Chocolate Cake flavor from Perry's Escapes. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

Critics' comments:

"Coconut first, chocolate somewhere in the dim background. Coconut lingers"
"Surprising taste, almost mocha -- unusual but grew quickly on me. Coconut jumped out -- very good"
"Waaaaayyyyy too much going on here, almost overly sweet"
"A lot of stuff, to be sure, but it all works together"
"Weird, with an unusual after-taste"
"Not my cup of tea, don't like nuts in my ice cream"
"A lot going on, but it's good. The flavors come out as you eat it"
"Too much coconut for me"
"Coconut is a very strong flavor -- it overpowers the chocolate"
"I love this flavor, but I'm a big fan of coconut. Tastes like an Almond Joy"
"Nuttiness is apparent -- nice texture differences between coconut, pecan and ice cream"

The German Chocolate Cake flavor from Perry's Escapes line. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

The German Chocolate Cake flavor from Perry's Escapes line. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

Critics' favorite:

Peanut Butter Cookie -- 5 votes
Queen of Hearts -- 2 votes
Movie Time -- 2 votes
German Chocolate Cake -- 1 vote
Fireball -- 0 votes

The quart-sized Perry's Escapes run for $5.99 and encompass an even wider range of flavors:

The quart-sized options of Perry's Escapes, pictured in Tops Friendly Markets on Elmwood Avenue. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

The quart-sized options of Perry's Escapes, pictured in Tops Markets on Elmwood Avenue. Click for a larger image. (Ben Tsujimoto/Special to the News)

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