So, you wanna know the best store bought ice cream?
I present you with our HIGHLY SCIENTIFIC ICE CREAM TASTE TEST!
Okay, okay. Totally kidding. In fact, if you are looking for a highly scientific taste test, conducted by expert ice cream people, you should stop reading. While I do consider myself an “ice cream connoisseur,” I am not a scientist, nor do I want to be.
I set out to find the best store bought ice cream to pair with our deliciousice cream party. So I rallied my team of experts: my husband, my 11 year old neighbor, my four year old son, my one year old daughter, and myself. Quite a team if you ask me.
I am going to lay this all out, step by step. Then you can gather your own team to have a fun ice cream taste test too!
1. Pick your ice cream brands. I chose the four most popular, big name brands that you can find pretty much anywhere in the US. You can pick whatever ones you want. I also chose classic vanilla to ensure a fair fight between the four. Here were our contenders: Ben and Jerry's, Edy’s (or Dreyer's), Breyers, and Haagen-Dazs.
2. Label the bottom of four containers and fill them with a few scoops of the corresponding brand.
3. Mix them up so you do not know which is which. Then label A-D.
Disclaimer: It would be best to have someone NOT involved in the taste test to do the scooping. They all had slightly different appearances so I had a good idea of which brand was in each bowl.
4. Give everyone a spoon. Dig in. Rotate bowls to ensure everyone gets a good taste of each.
5. Record your observations. I made a fun printable to help us judge our ice creams. We did a quick first impressions rank best to worst. Then we judged more thoroughly on flavor, texture, smell, sweetness, etc. Last, we re-ranked based on our favorite to least favorite. You can use our printable if you want, or make your own. Click here to download.
6. Share your results!
The one year old: She did not discriminate. “Me, me, me.” "More. More. More." Basically, she liked them all. No surprise there.
The four year old: He ONLY liked the very first ice cream he tried: Breyers. He said he did not even like the other brands. I am fully confident that if he had tried any other brand first, it would have been his favorite. I fed him Edy’s two days later, and he loved it.
The 11 year old: Favorite-Haagen-Dazs Least Favorite-Breyers
The husband: Favorite-Edy’s Least favorite-Haagen-Dazs
Me: Favorite-Edy's Least favorite-Breyers
Can I just say, I was shocked by my results? Going into it, I really wanted my favorite to be Ben and Jerry's. I love the ethics of their company, and am overall a huge fan. While taste testing, I thought I knew what all the brands were in each cup. I thought I had picked Haagen-Dazs as my favorite. I was shocked to find that my favorite was actually Edy’s. Let me tell you why.
First of all, I do not like Breyers at all. I already knew that, but tried to give it a fair shot. The texture is more like slightly frozen whipped cream, and it has a very artificial taste to me. Meh. Haagen-Dazs had the best vanilla flavor. So, so yummy. But I did not care for the texture. To me, it was icy. My neighbor said the same, but she likes icy. Thus, it was her favorite. I like super smooth and creamy. Ben and Jerry's by far won the texture category for me. So smooth! However, the flavor was somewhat bland. Maybe they do that because they are known more for all the flavorful ingredients they add? Edy’s seemed to balance both creaminess, smoothness, and flavor. I have always said it was my favorite cheap store bought ice cream, but maybe it is just my favorite store bought ice cream period. Admittedly, I would eat 3 out of the 4 any day. They were all yummy. This experiment would be fun to try again with a different flavor, or even more brands.
Alright, I need to know, what is your favorite brand of store bought ice cream? What brand do you think we left out? Leave a comment below!