Review: Ben and Jerry's Vegan Ice Cream
It's finally here - vegan Ben & Jerry's! After they launched their vegan ice cream range in the US last year, there have been legitimate petitions to have their products sold here on the other side of the Atlantic. Ben & Jerry's were unsure of the demand here, but it seems every vegan across the country has been running around frantically searching for the elusive vegan ice cream since the company announced their UK launch just last week.
I'm not going to lie, I went to some serious effort to get my hands on these. I think I was probably one of the first people outside of London to get the chance to try all three flavours. I travelled into Glasgow city centre, and walked for about 40 minutes through areas I'd never been to before, all in the hope that vegan ice cream would be waiting for me on the other side. I was not let down. I spent far too much money buying one of each kind from Tesco: Chunky Monkey, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and Peanut Butter & Cookies. Each cost £5.50. Now, let's skip to the important part - how they tasted!
Peanut Butter & Cookies
This was by far the one I was most excited for. Before going vegan, my favourite ice cream flavour was always cookies and cream. I've tried to replicate it before by crumbling Oreos through Swedish Glace ice cream, but it didn't quite hit the spot. This though... this was amazing. Creamy, but not heavy. Massive, and I mean massive, chunks of Oreo-style cookies, and lots of them. Small cookie crumbs distributed throughout the ice cream, carrying that distinctive flavour with them. Can you tell I love this ice cream yet? The peanut butter tastes natural, not synthetic. I really think they've hit the nail on the head with this one in terms of taste. The only thing I will say is that it should be eaten immediately after coming out of the freezer; that's when it's at its best, texturally. When it's allowed to defrost slightly, it seems to become a slightly mousse-like texture, and although it still tastes great, it's not quite as satisfying in my opinion. Overall though, I'm in love!
Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Honestly, I've never been a fan of chocolate ice cream for some reason, so I mostly bought this just because I thought I ought to try it (I tend to get overexcited about new vegan products, even if I don't think I'll like them. I don't know how many durian-flavoured sweets I've excitedly bought from Chinese supermarkets just because they're vegan, only to be reminded that durian actually tastes like mouldy onion...). Anyway, I was very pleasantly surprised by this one - I genuinely liked it! The chocolate ice cream is very rich in flavour, so I couldn't eat a tonne of it, but it is actually very enjoyable. Probably the nicest chocolate ice cream I've ever had, vegan or otherwise. For those of you who love chocolate ice cream, this will probably be a dream come true. The brownie pieces are very fudgy and really very satisfying to eat. As with the Peanut Butter & Cookies flavour, this too has a bit of a mousse-like texture when left out of the freezer, so be sure to eat it immediately! (AS IF you need encouragement to devour the lot).
I've never tried Chunky Monkey ice cream in my life, and after tasting this one, I'm beginning to think that it's a seriously underrated flavour. Who knew banana-flavoured ice cream could be so delicious? Don't get me wrong, I love bananas and I routinely make 'nice cream' from frozen bananas, but the banana taste is usually disguised by other additions. This one is definitely less rich than the other two; its flavour is simple and uncomplicated but equally enjoyable. The chunks of chocolate and walnuts throughout the ice cream are a generous size, although I do wish there were more of them. In terms of texture, this one was definitely the best. It's so smooth and light and almost refreshing to eat. Why not buy all three flavours and use the Chunky Monkey flavour as a palette cleanser between the other two?
Overall, I'm ridiculously impressed. When I first went vegan, I would never have thought that a company like Ben & Jerry's would be releasing a vegan range anytime soon. I can't wait to see what happens in the future! Currently, we only know of these ice creams being stocked in Tesco, but their shelves are emptying fast. I'm sure other supermarkets will be introducing them soon, though, especially with this level of demand. We'll keep you up to date with where you can find them as soon as we have any more information, so keep an eye on our Facebook page and Instagram!