Wendy’s has been around for 53 years but it wasn’t until this week that the chain finally dropped a strawberry-flavored Frosty. That’s a long time before dipping into a classic milkshake flavor, especially considering Wendy’s has dropped a Frosty Sundae, a Birthday Cake Frosty on its 50th anniversary, and at one point a pickle-flavored Frosty.
Pickle. Flavored. Frosty. Before strawberry!?
Clearly, Wendy’s is insane, but now they’ve finally corrected course and for the first time will be offering the Strawberry Frosty at Wendy’s nationwide for a limited time. (In less exciting news, they’re also bringing back the Summer Strawberry Chicken Salad.)
The Strawberry Frosty is a big addition to Wendy’s menu, not just because it has been a long-time coming (and is apparently, according to a Wendy’s press release the “most-requested” item) but because while it’s on the menu it will be replacing the Vanilla Frosty. That’s putting a lot of faith in a brand new flavor at a time of the year when the days are getting hotter, which I’d imagine is when the Frosty is at its most profitable
So can Wendy’s deliver? We grabbed the new Strawberry Frosty and taste-tested it the proper way (with a spoon) and the best way (with an order of fries) to see if it’s worthy of bumping the Vanilla Frosty off the menu for good. But first, let’s briefly talk about that salad.
Summer Strawberry Chicken Salad
If you’ve never picked up a salad from Wendy’s you… kinda need to. Similar to how the chain does burgers and chicken sandwiches, the salads are exceptional. Yes, exceptional. Not only are the combination of flavors in their salads a bit more inspired compared to other fast food salads (shout out to the Apple Pecan Salad), Wendy’s prepares the salads daily in-house, resulting in something that actually manages to taste fresh. It’s not quite restaurant quality, but it’s some of the highest quality stuff you’re going to get from a drive-thru.
The Summer Strawberry Chicken Salad is another great addition to Wendy’s small but delicious salad menu. Over a bed of romaine lettuce and spring mix greens lay grilled chicken breast, crispy applewood smoked bacon, candied almonds, a three-cheese mix of parmesan, asiago, and Romano, cheeses, and fresh-cut strawberries. On the side, Wendy’s provides a tangy Marzetti champagne vinaigrette.
All together the flavors of this salad are very complementary, the cheese adds a touch of saltiness to the pepper-heavy bites of grilled chicken, while the bacon adds smokey notes that are contrasted by sweet and crunchy slices of candied almonds, with bright and tart strawberries intensified by the champagne vinaigrette. Each bite is a satisfying medley of flavors that feels light but satisfying.
It’s a winner all right. But it’s not a Strawberry Frosty.
The Strawberry Frosty
Salads are great and all but let’s face it, when we want to indulge, there is no indulgence from Wendy’s greater than a nice cold Frosty and I’m happy to say that the Strawberry Frosty is not only just as good as the flavor it temporarily replaces, it is the best flavor of Frosty, hands down. It has this bright and refreshing flavor that no other Frosty flavor has, but still retains that malted characteristic that makes the Frosty so addicting.
To create this Frosty, Wendy’s added fresh strawberry puree into its vanilla ice cream base, which results in a surprisingly natural-tasting flavor with a hint of tartness that is as refreshing as it is sweet. After my first few spoonfuls I couldn’t think of another fast food treat I’d rather be eating on a hot day, and then I dipped my fries in it, and my mind was truly blown.
It’s no secret that one of the best ways to eat a Frosty is by spooning it out of the cup with a whole order of fries, but the way the crispy texture and salty character of the French fries mingle with the sweet and refreshing flavors of this shake is truly the best thing any fast food chain has given us all year. It’s not as simple as describing the marriage of flavors as ‘salty and sweet,’ there are no clear lines between the flavors, they collide and form a whole new world for your taste buds to experience.
The Bottom Line:
The Summer Strawberry Salad is very good, but if you want to blow your tastebuds away, dip an order of fries into Wendy’s new Strawberry Frosty immediately. It is the best Frosty on the whole Wendy’s menu, period. If this ended up permanently replacing the Vanilla Frosty (it won’t) we wouldn’t give the more boring flavor a second thought.
Find your nearest Wendy’s here.