Sunday, July 9, 2017

It's been way too long but I'm back and with a good one. The small batch ice cream wars are in full effect. Much like the boom in micro-brews in the beer space, small artisan ice cream manufacturers are around in a great abundance. Using better, more local ingredients, they often have more unique flavors and less of the 'bad' things in them. I mean it is ice cream so it isn't going to be 'healhy' per se, but their size allows them to focus more on each container. Jeni's is a brand from Ohio I have always wanted to order but haven't just because of the logistics and timing of an ice cream delivery. Thus i was incredibly excited when I saw it in my local Wegmans.

Now the flavor selection of course is smaller in Wegmans than if I went directly to the site and ordered it but that's fine. Now the one thing that I might have done is chosen a flavor that seemed to be the hardest one to really rate, Vanilla. See for the most part vanilla is kind of the same everywhere and somewhat plain, however, as a base you can learn a lot about a brand with this one simple flavor. No one dislikes vanilla and some of the other flavors can sometimes lead to decisions based on that set of flavors and  I wanted to get a feel for how Jeni's just tastes on it's own. Also, be clear, this isn't just plain vanilla, this is Ndali Estate Vanilla.

Now, this one pint is a bit expensive at 7.99, but it is a premium brand and needs to be compared as such. To compare, the same size container goes for $12 on Jeni's website, which has an absolute smorgasboard of flavors. So with this I'm comparing Jeni's to Ben and Jerrys and Haagen Daz's for example. This is a good vanilla ice cream. It's not overly "vanilla beaned" where you see beans all over the place. It is strong in the beginning yet it fades nicely and gets really subtle at the end with a hint of nuttiness. It has a nice texture as well. Let me compare to Haagen Daz which can be slightly overwhelming and too sweet and strong. They are overly rich, while Jeni's gives you a nicer balance. Now trust me, I wasn't born knowing the difference, but just tasting Jeni's, some haagen daz recently, and my old mainstream favorite Green's ice cream you start to be able to pick out some things.

For myself, this is one of the better premium ice creams out there. I think it would pair well in a cherry coke float (yeah I don't drink root beer) and some kinds of apple pie. I was impressed at how it didn't coat my tongue over like some other premium brands do with extra richness. There was a good balance of flavors here which leads me to be sure I'm going to try the other flavors that are available locally.

Rating: 4.5/5

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