Friday, September 07, 2007

The Ice Cream Question

I'll be out of town for the next few days, and I need something from you in the meantime. We're going to do a taste test of vanilla ice creams sometime in the next couple of weeks. What's your favorite vanilla? What's your favorite flavor besides vanilla? Does the brand matter? I can't wait to read your comments!


Dan Metcalf said...

Okay, I might not be helping with selection of brands to taste, but I still love the lighter ice milk over ice cream. The real problem is you can't find good ice milk anymore these days.

When it comes to true ice cream I prefer the heavier and richer consistency of something like Hagen Daz vanilla.

Flavors... Well, my favorite ice cream flavor, and one that I can seldom find, is ginger. You have to use the very mild candied ginger when making that, and it's a pain to deal with so very few places even try these days. Another flavor that I really enjoy that maybe American's don't understand is melon. Melon is a very common flavor for sweets in Japan. It's usually green in color, like Midori Melon liqueur. Flavors are almost a cross between a honeydew and musk melon. It's very refreshing.

More conventional flavors: I love the nut flavored ones like pistacio or butter pecan. Almost nothing beats plain vanilla with a few toppings like hot fudge or hot chocolate sauce, maybe some toasted nuts.

And the best all time ice cream experience is hand churned peach ice cream. You might not remember it, but I remember making it on the farm with the whole family around. The anticipation is part of the experience. Peach ice cream fresh out of the churn is just too soft and then it slowly hardens in the container. You start eating it at soft stage and then your second serving is just about right. It usually sets up a bit too hard in the freezer, but it's still hard to beat that flavor of summer peaches and cream!

Heidi said...

I like Haagen Dazs vanilla the best too. I like Ben and Jerry's Karamel Sutra too!

Anonymous said...

My favorite vanilla ice cream is whatever is melting over Rachel's peach pie or under her hot fudge. But if I had to choose a brand, I would have to say the Tillamook Old Fashioned vanilla is my favorite right now (not sure if this is available outside the Northwest, but if it is, you should try it). I really like Haggen Daaz vanilla, but I find it too heavy to eat with a dessert, which is the best application for vanilla.

Rachel said...

I definitely remember the hand-churned ice cream days. Mmmm, mmmmm. I still just love homemade peach.

As far as my favorite vanilla goes, it's Edy's Dreamery vanilla. Unfortunately, the Dreamery line was discontinued well over a year ago. I don't have a for-sure second fave right now, so we'll see how the tasting goes.

k said...

my favorite is Breyer's natural vanilla. i love the clean flavor of it, especially since most other vanillas have egg yolks which i don't like nearly as much.

Anonymous said...

So here it goes...

I first have to say that Edy's (Dreyer's in the west) Dreamery Vanilla was my favorite, also. It's the only vanilla that I thought worthy of nothing but a spoon!

The other night we (Mom, Dad and myself) had a vanilla ice cream taste test. I don't know if Rachel and I thought of this at the same time, or if we inspired one or the other.

We had six different vanilla ice creams to taste:
Breyer's Natural Vanilla
Edy's Grand Vanilla Bean
Haagen-Dazs Vanilla
Haagen-Dazs Extra Rich Light Vanilla
Homemade Natural Vanilla Bean
Horizons Vanilla (organic)

Let me start by saying it's hard to taste all of these and make a definitive choice. (I will probably confirm my own choice again, as we have lots of vanilla ice cream in the freezer.) I think it would have been better with more people, but it was fun.

The overall winner was Edy's Vanilla Bean - it's not a custard type ice cream, so it has a lighter flavor. (It is a bit fluffy though.) The second place goes to Horizon's Vanilla.

I liked Haagen-Dazs Vanilla, but Mom did not as it was more of a custard. I would like to find Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean to try, but I didn't see that in our stores.

All this said, any of the vanilla ice cream we tried would be good with hot fudge (or the topping of your choice) on top.

One more plug, thanks to Seth...try Breyer's Triple Chocolate! yum