On Your Side

Best Ice Cream 7/25/14

"I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!" With or without the sprinkles and chocolate sauce, America's favorite ice cream is vanilla. But what makes plain vanilla really great plain vanilla?

Consumer Reports tasters put the most popular vanilla ice creams to the test. A specially trained "sensory team" blind-tasted 19, for flavor, texture, and appearance.

"An excellent vanilla ice cream should have definite dairy flavor, balanced by real vanilla. And it shouldn't be overly sweet, and it should have a creamy, smooth texture."

Several of the samples were not so great. For instance, Target's Market Pantry Vanilla Bean had an "airy, gummy" texture, and the vanilla was just "basic." Consumer Reports' taste test? Ben and Jerry's vanilla. Tasters say it's "rich, dense, and creamy," with a complex vanilla flavor. It's about a dollar a half-cup.

Another one to go nuts over? Häagen-Dazs vanilla is "full, dense, and creamy," with "big dairy flavor." It also runs about a dollar a half-cup.

Amy Keating said, "Well, it's not surprising that the top-rated ones were really high in fat. But there very good ones that we tested that have about half the fat and are lower in price, as well."

Many of these ice creams can be had for about a third of the price of the "excellent"-rated brands. But would they get the same response? "Please, can I have some more ice cream?"

Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright ©2014 Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Top Videos

Latest News

This Week's Circulars