Greg's Ice Cream has been Debased
I bought two cartons of Greg's today at All the Best. I hadn't had any in a while, so I don't know when this happened, but the quality is much lower than in the past. The flavours are coffee-toffee and roasted marshmallow, both of which I've had hundreds of times previously.
Greg's ice creams were never decadently rich and have always been made from a commercial mix base. However, they always had pure, clean flavours and a solid heft. Anyway, the cartons were so light that I thought they might be sublimated or incompletely full. But they were, indeed, full. The overrun (the amount of air churned into the mix) was extremely high. I could have been eating Breyer's (which is 50% air).
Has anyone else had this experience? Has Greg sold the business? Have there been manufacturing problems? Or has Greg sold out to Mammon? I really can't believe he would, but you never know...
For most of my life I've been a pedestrian (and fickle) ice cream consumer, yet my world was turned upside down when I managed a small artisan's gallery in the Distillery District in 2003. Our neighbour was Somachocolate, and our staff were the very willing recipients of David Castellan's divine experiments. The first time I tried his Dark Chocolate ice cream, I knew my taste buds were spoiled for life. He went on to master a number of other flavours, such as Raspberry, Almond, Mango and Lemon, yet his Dark Chocolate ice cream, in my opinion, was the pinnacle of his frozen achievements. Ironically, a guy I met while working at the gallery bought Greg's chocolate ice cream for me one night, and although I thanked him profusely, it was mediocrity incarnate. I've tried Greg's a few times over the years, and was always disappointed. I figured I was ordering the wrong thing, yet after eating the divine ice cream at Somachocolate I knew that Greg's was merely a pale imitation.
Somachocolate has since moved to their own building in the Distillery District, and they supply some of the best restaurants in Toronto with ice cream and gelato. Although it's out of the way, it's definitely worth the trip. I'm pretty sure they sell ice cream year round now, but you might want to call first. I suggest you bring a cooler, or better yet, bring two coolers. Oh, and try the truffles or the Mayan Hot Chocolate while you're there - mind boggling! The owner is a genius.
Ive actually tried to go there 3 times in the last few months and they were closed every time. I know its winter and all but its very disappointing when you make the trip and leave unrewarded. I am a little disappointed with reliability and I really hope there quality has not gone down hill as well but wouldn't be surprised.
Embee, I've always been impressed with your food knowledge and enjoy reading your posts. I remember reading this one when it was first posted and thinking, wow, I don't know that I would have noticed a lighter container or understood the food science behind the experience.
So off to All the Best I went yesterday afternoon in search of a couple of tubs of Greg's ice cream to go with my bananas foster dessert. To my total shock, I picked up 2 tubs (sweet cream and malt ball crunch) that felt as though they had nothing but air in them. Literally, they must have only weighed an ounce or two more than a totally empty container. The taste and mouth-feel sensations were totally different than usual. Normally, Greg's ice cream has the consistency of Haagen Dasz - heavy, creamy, solid. This stuff kind of evaporated in the mouth, more like cotton candy (but without the sticky bits), and it even seemed to melt differently in the container.
I've been a huge Greg's fan for years. This was such a disappointing experience for me. Has anyone found out if there's anything behind these changes?
embee, I had my first and last experience with Greg's ice cream a couple of months ago and found the same thing. There was so much air that I thought the carton was only half full. I was surprised to find it full when I opened it. The texture was awful -- no creamy mouthfeel at all.