Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mint 'n' Chip Taste-Test

Mint 'n' Chip flavored ice cream has always been a favorite. When I was a kid, my dad used to take us for Thrifty Ice Cream, which was served at an ice cream stand inside the local drugstore. I would always get a double scoop cone, with Pistachio, Mint 'n' Chip, and Butter Pecan vying for scoop spots. Not the most complementary flavors, but they only merged for a couple of licks.

I recently took the opportunity to taste-test several vegan brands of Mint 'n' Chip ice creams, so that I could rank them for ya. This is a perfect example of how there are several similar products on the market, and not all of them are created equally. Still, it's all about taste preferences, so don't give up after just trying one product.


The Contenders:

1. Luna and Larry's Coconut Bliss Mint Galactica (Coconut Milk Base)
2. Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Mint Chip (Coconut Milk Base)
3. Rice Dream Mint Carob Chip (Rice Milk Base)
4. Purely Decadent Dairy Free Mint Chocolate Chip (Soy Milk Base)
5. Tempt Mint Chip (Hemp Milk Base)



Luna and Larry's Coconut Bliss Mint Galactica
The pricest of the lot, this was the first time I had tried this brand. I tasted this one with a very clear palate and I thought it tasted the most like what I remember Thrifty Ice Cream tasting like. My first spoonful didn't have the coconut taste that the Purely Decadent Coconut has, but when I went back to it a little later, the coconut flavor emerged a little so that it didn't really taste like Thrifty brand anymore. In the first round of tasting, this one won the overall.

Ranking: ****
***** awesome! Highly recommended.
**** hey, this is pretty dang good.
*** not bad at all.
** eh.
* bad. Keep looking for alternatives.

[Coconut Bliss can be found at Whole Foods.]
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Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Mint Chip
This one definitely has a coconut taste, though I don't know that I'd call it the primary taste. I love the flaky chocolate chips which are like swirls of crunchy chocolate shell mixed in the cream, and you break them into bits as you eat them. I think the coconut milk makes the frozen desserts richer and creamier, but it's not perfect for the Mint Chip flavor. This one tied for first place with the Coconut Bliss in the second round.

Ranking: ****
***** awesome! Highly recommended.
**** hey, this is pretty dang good.
*** not bad at all.
** eh.
* bad. Keep looking for alternatives.

[Purely Decadent can be found at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Fry's Marketplace.]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Rice Dream Mint Carob Chip
Ugh. I really don't like this one.  And this is supposed to be a "new and improved" taste. I'm not a fan of carob to begin with, and the mint has a strong, too strong, almost medicinal taste to me. I generally avoid rice milk products because I find them a little too sweet, though I did not find this one overly sweet.

Ranking: *
***** awesome! Highly recommended.
**** hey, this is pretty dang good.
*** not bad at all.
** eh.
* bad. Keep looking for alternatives.

[Rice Dream can be found at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Fry's Marketplace.]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Purely Decadent Dairy Free Mint Chocolate Chip
Completely passable, if you had never tasted the two coconut ones, or if you don't like the flavor of coconut at all. This one also has the flaky swirls of chocolate shell mixed in. The mint flavor is light. This is the one I used to get before the coconut milk frozen desserts came out.

Ranking: ***1/2
***** awesome! Highly recommended.
**** hey, this is pretty dang good.
*** not bad at all.
** eh.
* bad. Keep looking for alternatives.

[Purely Decadent can be found at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Fry's Marketplace.]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Tempt Mint Chip
I've never tasted any hemp milk based products before, so this was a first. It has a soft flavor that is definitely different than the other brands. It also has a subtle mint flavor with the tiniest bits of chocolate. It took me a while to decide that I like this one as I adjusted to the unique flavor.

Ranking: ***
***** awesome! Highly recommended.
**** hey, this is pretty dang good.
*** not bad at all.
** eh.
* bad. Keep looking for alternatives.

[Tempt can be found at Whole Foods.]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So there you have it, my verdict on the mint chocolate chip flavors of vegan ice creams (aka frozen desserts). They should contact me for a vegan version of Iron Chef America! I'd be a great judge, and I wouldn't mind practicing my marital martial arts skills with Mark Dacascos (The Chairman).

I also highly recommend the Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Cookie Dough and the Purely Decadent Dairy Free Turtle Trails.

Eventually, I'd like to try some other Tempt (Coconut Lime) and Coconut Bliss (Cherry Amaretto) flavors, the new So Delicious Coconut Water Sorbets (Hibiscus!), and the new Almond Dream Non-Dairy Frozen Desserts.

3 comments:

rissawrites said...

Dude! Double Chocolate Malted Crunch was the best thrifty ice cream. Man, it was so good huh?

Also, love your plate!

I have had carob chocolate chip cookies made by Big Train cookie mix. It was low carb but not vegan. But I thought it was just as good as a regular chocolate chip.

Danny said...

Woohoo! Thank you for finally doing a taste test using the same flavor from all the different brands. So many times you see people comparing different flavors from different brands, which is like comparing apples to oranges. I was really surprised at how good Tempt's Mint Chip tasted. I wasn't expecting something that good from hemp milk. But my favorite mint chip ice cream is definitely Purely Decadent made with coconut milk. I like it even better than Coconut Bliss. And oh yeah, Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Turtle Trails totally rocks!

Kenike said...

Rissa- I didn't like chocolate base ice creams. My sister loved that one tho.

Danny- Thanks for visiting! Glad to be of service. :)