I’m leaving out how this post came into fruition, but in a nutshell a co-worker asked me for a recommendation on ice cream. Having spent the better part of the spring, summer and fall trying various brands and favors, the following is what I answered (with a help from my food buddy on sampling and memory recall).
I shied away from store brands and tried to focus on the high-end to the obscures (although Ben & Jerry’s does make an appearance). Think Whole Foods, Earth Fare, The Fresh Market or your local coop. What I found is that most brands have a couple of real winners with their remaining offerings just being good to fair. What you should take away from that last statement is that price does not determine taste (remember that when shopping for Jeni’s at $12/pint).
2nd St. Creamery – Copper Kettle Caramel
Ben & Jerry’s – Cherry Garcia (FroYo or the real stuff)
Ben & Jerry’s – Pina Colada (limited summer availability unfortunately)
Ciao Bella – Blood Orange Sorbet
Ciao Bella – Lemon Zest Sorbet
Ciao Bella – Key Lime Graham Cracker Gelato
Ciao Bella – Peach Ginger Sorbet
High Road – Mango Chile Lime Sorbet
Jeni’s – Brown Butter Almond Brittle
Jeni’s – Goat Cheese with Red Cherries
Jeni’s – Queen City Cayenne (not currently available)
Phin & Phebes – Banana Whama
Talenti – Chocolate Chip Gelato
Three Twins – Sea Salted Caramel
If you need one decadent winner, take the Copper Kettle Caramel.
If fat content is an issue, forget the ice creams and stick with the sorbets. The fat content in the ice creams can range in percentage from the low 30′s up close to 60. Ice cream and labels do not mix.
The following have been added to the list as of 2014.04.12: