Taste test: Cookies and cream ice cream

In celebration of my 300th post, today I’m going to talk about ice cream. Indeed, it seems a rather fitting subject, since it’s hot and muggy here in Melbourne this evening, and I have already consumed a generous quantity of the yummy awesomeness. (I’m not overly sure how I managed to put some back in the freezer…) Besides, I figure it’s a subject everyone can relate to. What’s not to love about ice cream?

For years now my go-to ice cream tub flavour has been cookies and cream by Connoisseur. It comes in 1 litre tubs which I generally consume in two sittings. I have to make myself stop about half way, but do find a whole tub in one sitting is a little beyond me. Mostly.

Anyway, I was on the hunt for ice cream several days ago, when the supermarket had an alternative brand (Sara Lee) on sale. It was then I hit upon the notion of doing a taste test across a few brands. This required me to buy a third brand (of course) — Ben & Jerry’s Sweet cream and cookies — to properly investigate. It was something of a challenge to fit THREE tubs of ice cream in my meagre freezer, but I managed.

cookies and cream ice cream

I then dished myself out a serve of each and proceeded with my experiment. Which brand makes the best cookies and cream ice cream?

Would it be the legendary Ben & Jerry’s, which is sooo expensive here in Australia? I paid over $12 for less than half a litre. Madness. I tried the Ben & Jerry’s with some trepidation, half-hoping it wasn’t going to be more insanely wonderful to the point I’d have to buy it next time. (For comparison purposes, the Connoisseur is $9 for one litre — still on the expensive side, but far less so than B&J’s.)

Anyway, to the experiment. It’s almost impossible to distinguish the three brands in appearance; but after extensive taste testing (such an ordeal), here is my brief analysis and verdict:

Sara Lee Cookies and Cream

This brand is the most blended and homogeneous of the three, with less chunks — with the notable exception of some BIG chunks of cookie in the centre of the tub. This inconsistency didn’t please me. Plus the big chunks were meh — a bit soggy. The flavour of the ice cream is nice though.

Ben & Jerry’s Sweet Cream and Cookies

The stand-out feature of this ice cream is the abundance of rich chocolatey chunks — yummy yummy. The chunks are marvellous. However, I found the ice cream itself a bit too sweet — it had a definite ‘sweetened condensed milk’ flavour to it. Maybe a bit more ‘white chocolate’ than ‘milk chocolate’?? Despite the yummy chunks of cookie, I don’t think it stands up to the exorbitant price we have to pay for it here. (US people – how much is a tub of Ben & Jerry’s for you??)

Connoisseur Cookies and Cream

This was understandably my benchmark for the experiment, and even so has justified my loyalty. It’s more chunky than the Sara Lee — and although the chunks aren’t nearly as awesome as the Ben & Jerry’s, the texture is still really good. Moreover, the ice cream flavour is more chocolatey than the B&J’s… I also like the flavour more than the Sara Lee, although I’m having trouble identifying why.

Anyway, after my taste test experiment, I’ve resolved that Connoisseur is still the way to go for my cookies and cream ice cream habit. A very worthwhile experiment, because now I know. (Although, I daresay if I come across any more brands, I might have to do it all again – heh.)

Speaking of doing it all again… there’s still some ice cream in my freezer, calling to me…

So what’s your favourite ice cream flavour? And does anyone have any recomendations for other flavours I should try?

 

12 comments

  1. I envy you your experiment as I sit huddled beneath blankets and wool sweaters here in the US. I’ll need to do my own in July or August when it’s sweltering in my corner of the world.

    Wow – $12 for a ½ litre?!? Here, that same carton of ice cream would be about $4-5, the average price for most brands here. The most expensive ice cream I’ve indulged in was a $6 coffee/chocolate gelato (and so worth it). Just imagine all of the experiments you could conduct for the same amount you spent at home. I think it’s time to visit the states again, don’t you? 😉

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    1. I wondered how a post about ice cream would go down with my Northern Hemisphere friends – heh. We’re about to endure a week of temps of around 40 deg C, so MORE ICE CREAM WILL BE REQUIRED.

      Come July-August, I would love to come and help you perform your own taste test, Tami. What flavour would you choose? (That coffee/chocolate sounds mighty fine…)

      As for the price thing – $4-5 for a half-litre (good work on the spelling there; I noticed) is on par with mid-range gourmet icecreams here (akin to the Connoisseur at $9 per litre). I actually thought it might have been even cheaper in the US. Some of our supermarket high-end local gourmet brands (such as the Maggie Beer Ezz mentioned) are around $9 for the half-litre. I’d say ice cream (and in fact most things) is on average cheaper in the states.

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      1. YES! Come visit. Any time. And no matter the weather or temperature, we’ll conduct some more taste tests. I’m pretty smitten with any kind of chocolate-coffee combo but I’m open to expanding my repertoire.

        And thanks for noticing my spelling of litre. 😉

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