My Favorite Costco Freezer Find Is Finally Back—I’m Stocking up on It All Summer Long

There's a new flavor on the block.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

To me, the start of summer is marked by a few key characteristics: tending to my makeshift garden filled with summer vegetables, spending time with my family and friends around the grill, hiking a trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains with my sister and puppy, and enjoying a Melona Ice Cream Bar on my porch after the annual summer Costco restock.

Melona Ice Cream Bars, a beloved Korean ice cream, have been my favorite since college, when a friend hosted a Melona taste test at her apartment. I became enamored with these bars, packed with flavors I loved but that are rarely found in American ice cream.

Unfortunately, living in central Virginia, I don’t have immediate access to the ice cream—I usually have to drive an hour to find my favorite treat. That is, until summer rolls around and my local Costco finally restocks the freezers with the Melona value pack. It transforms my summer into the most magical time of the year.

<p>Simply Recipes / Photo Illustration by Wanda Abraham / Binggrae</p>

Simply Recipes / Photo Illustration by Wanda Abraham / Binggrae

What’s New This Year

This summer, Binggrae, the creators of Melona, switched up its original value pack and now offers two versions: one with melon, mango, and coconut and another with melon, mango, and strawberry. Costco carries the new combo pack that contains the strawberry ice cream bars.

Initially, the change felt bittersweet, as the coconut ice cream bar is my reigning favorite. However, my disappointment quickly dissipated after trying the strawberry bar. It tastes just like strawberry milk! It has the vibrant, fruity taste you’d expect from fresh strawberries and a smooth, milky finish.

Why I Love Melona Ice Cream Bars

I adore these ice cream bars for two reasons: the flavors and the texture. Melona is known for its focus on favorite Asian flavors. From their OG honeydew melon flavor to mango and ube (purple yam) to their newest release, pistachio, Melona introduces popular Asian flavors to those unfamiliar with them in the most approachable way possible—through ice cream. For those within the APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) community, myself included, these flavors are familiar and beloved.

Melona bars also have “a creamy, gelato-like texture” (according to Binggrae), a complete contrast to many common frozen fruit bars, which are often icier and not at all creamy. It’s truly the smoothest ice cream I’ve ever had.

Simply Recipes / Munni Pramanik
Simply Recipes / Munni Pramanik

Beyond the Ice Cream Bar

Another reason Melona bars are so special is their versatility. Enjoy the bars as-is or melt them down to make drinks and desserts. In fact, Melona leans into this and shares creative ideas on its Instagram page, such as this honeydew Melona daiquiri and this coconut Melona panna cotta. I like to keep it simple and make mango Melona floats. Just pour Sprite or your favorite seltzer over a mango Melona bar in a glass and it’s ready to enjoy.

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.