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Haagen Dazs Five: high overrun?

I first heard about Haagen Dazs new line of ice creams, called "Five", about six weeks ago but have only seen it in local store shelves in the past couple weeks. I finally caved and bought the "brown sugar" flavor. The idea behind this line is that each flavor has exactly five different ingredients. For the brown sugar, it was

Brown Sugar

I have to admit I am disappointed.

First of all, it's just not an exciting flavor. I'm a big brown sugar fan: penuche fudge exemplifies this and I love it (If you're not from the northeast you may not have heard of penuche, but it is essentially "brown sugar" fudge); and strawberries dipped in sour cream and brown sugar is divine - anyway, this was not sweet enough (I had worried about the reverse! - maybe they keep it less sweet to counter the impression it is too sweet?) and second (and more important), the flavor is not very interesting. It's like a weak caramel flavor. Ho-hum.

But even worse, this ice-cream must have the highest overrun of any haagen dazs ice cream; maybe one of those stabilizers they had to omit (in order to keep the ingredient count down to five) was critical to the density? All I know is, this has the texture and mouth-feel of a typical non-premium brand like breyers or dreyers.

I have to say this is a big surprise after finally trying one of the haagen dazs "reserve" flavors recently. The salted caramel may not be as good as bi-rite's, but it's pretty damn close. I'm not buying much ice-cream these days but I don't think the haagen dazs five will be on my list. Though I am tempted to try other reserve flavors.

And is it true or a joke that ben and jerry's has a post-election flavor named "Yes Pecan". I think that's hilarious but I haven't seen it.


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  1. Yes, B&J's makes: Yes, Pecan! http://www.benjerry.com/features/yesp...

    I have tried the Haagen-Daaz reserve flavors - the toasted sesame and the salted caramel were both pretty good for commercial flavors, though too rich....although that might be personal taste, I don't care for the mouthfeel when you can feel "globules" coating your mouth post-consumption (sorry, not the most articulate way to put it). It seems really hard to find commercial ice cream that is rich and dense, but doesn't have that mouthfeel. I'm not sure if it's because of stabilizers and other additions, or because of the amount of butterfat, or something else. But, back on topic - I did like the flavors. I haven't seen the "Five" variety, will have to check that out.

    1. I have yet to even hear about "five". But I will be looking as of tomorrow for the salted caramel. That sounds great! The reserves are pretty hit-or-miss. I've had the sticky toffee pudding (yum) the carmelized pear (ehh) and another one, I just can't remember. Some kind of Hawaiian honey or somethng?

      1 Reply
      1. re: schrutefarms

        I watched the (gasp) food network special to decide the new flavor for haagen- daaz a few years ago, which convinced me to try the sticky toffee pudding, and it is one of the more delicious commercially available ice creams i've tried (solely flavor-wise). I'm assuming it was only a limited time release.... sad! But the five? yeah i'm disappointed. The flavors are underwhelming. I guess they're trying to not overpower us, but instead are boring our taste-buds

      2. I saw the FIVE line-up at the local Giant yesterday. They come in the new H-D 14 ounce "pint" containers. I'll pass...

        1. I heard about the H-D Five awhile back in a Email from them. When I went online and looked at the ingredients in "regular" H-D ice creams and compared them to the few in the Five Line, I found some them (the regular ice creams) only had 5 ingredients as well.

          So what's the difference? Potentially a higher price because of marketing the Five line as a more "pure" ice cream? (I don't know this for a fact as I never went and priced them all.) I don't know. But I chose to pass.

          2 Replies
          1. re: LindaWhit

            My guess, and a cynical guess at that, is that they will transition the "regular" flavors that only have 5 ingredients to the Five line, which then lets them revamp the "classics" to use more than 5 ingredients... I guess I'm saying I wouldn't be surprised if we end up with HD "Five" vanilla and HD more-than-five vanilla.

            1. re: LindaWhit

              The difference is in regular HD, cream is the first ingredient. In the Five line skim milk is the first ingredient. I love the stuff. The ginger is terrific. My dissenting point of view that I didn't want to get buried in a post that started out negative.

            2. As a result of jfood sending an email to HD from the last discussion they sent him 2 free pint coupons. Jfood took advantage of this offer this past weekend with the "purchase" of Caramel Cone and Cherry Vanilla.

              They were worth the "free" but little above that price. The ice creams were flavorless, the chocolate in the cone was flavorless, the cone in the cone was flavorless. The cherries did have some flavor but they were limp and mushy.

              Jfood heading back to Turkey Hill or homemade for his fix. He would have felt a bit peeved spending $4 for each pint.

              9 Replies
              1. re: jfood

                You mean four dollars for each fourteen ounces.

                1. re: Agent Orange

                  you do realize that pint is a volume measurement and not a weight measurement right? 16fl.oz. is not 16oz...........

                  1. re: nkeane

                    Thanks, I'm not four years old. Until recently Häagen Dazs was sold in sixteen ounce (that's fluid ounces) containers (might have just said "one pint") but now is sold in fourteen ounce containers. The company chose to downsize their portions rather than raise prices several months ago, provoking much ire here on Chowhound.

                    1. re: Agent Orange

                      ah yes, i remember the good old "haagen dazs" thread!!!

                  2. re: Agent Orange

                    Gee thanks. Hmmm maybe jfood misread the graphics on the size. Please help him.

                    Graphic One - It was a vertical line
                    Graphic Two (immediately to the right of graphic one) - It was two shapes. The first shape filled the ler half of the graphic and can be best described as a circle. Shape two was connected to shape one at the nine o'clock position. It cintinued vertically away from shape one and then started arcing to the right. It continued on this trajectory until it reach the same parallel height as the highest point on graphic one, at which point it was was an equidistance from the left extreme and the right extreme from shape one. It then continued downward and to the right forming a mirror image to the upper two-thirds of the left side. At this point it was on the same virtical plane as the right extremity of shape one.

                    Following these two shapes were two letters "oz" followed by a period"."

                    It looked like this all together:


                    Jfood thinks it might have been a 16oz container.

                    1. re: jfood

                      That was uncharacteristically snarky of jfood. I don't know what to say. Either the HD flavors jfood bought were net yet or will not be downsized to 14 oz. I didn't intend to accuse jfood of misreading his ice cream label. I was merely using his post as an opportunity to voice my own annoyance at the shrinking container.

                      1. re: Agent Orange

                        jfood apologizes and you are correct, 2 snarks do not make a right.

                        and jfood did read yours as a lecture. Mea culpa mea culpa right back atcha.

                        Peace AO

                        1. re: jfood

                          Heh, for a while we still had 16oz containers of the regular HD as well, but we bought some the other day that is now downsized into the 14oz.

                          BTW, jfood should stick to vanilla and similar simple flavors with Haagen Dazs. Caramel Cone is a particularly bad example. (I don't like cherries so I haven't tried that one.) HD just can't do these all mixed up flavors as well as, say, Ben & Jerry's. Even though B&J's "Americone Dream" flavor shoudn't be much different, it tastes way better than the HD Caramel Cone. On the other hand, B&J plain vanilla just doesn't measure up to HD, which is still about as unadulterated as packaged ice cream gets. Best mixed up flavor right now to my taste is B&J "Imagine Whirled Peace".

                          Another note: HD Five has vanilla, but look at the labels of that vs the regular HD vanilla. It's the same exact ingredients, but in the regular, cream is first. In the Five, skim milk is first. So, regular vanilla should still be a little richer than Five vanilla. (And indeed it's listed as 10 or 20 more calories per serving.)

                2. I tried the coffee "Five" flavor about a month ago and liked it. True, it doesn't have the same mouthfeel and texture of the regular Haagen-Dazs because it doesn't have any corn syrup (not all HG has it, but some do) or stabilizers. But I liked it better because the taste was cleaner. It's more akin to homemade ice cream. I haven't had Dreyers so I don't know what that is like. But I've had Breyers before, and it's different. It's lighter like Breyers but doesn't have the air pockets that Breyers has. The ice cream is quite dense, but I can see many people thinking it's lighter because it is not as cloying, and I think because most people associate ice cream as being thick, heavy and cloying, they may not feel as satisfied with something that tastes a bit lighter (even though it's not).

                  The reserve flavors are definitely pricier. But from what I recall, the "Five" price was the same as the regular HD "pints."

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    Are you certain that it isn't lighter? Did you weigh each carton and then correct for the quantity reduction and any weight differences between the containers?

                    We don't have these in Canada (at least, not yet), so I can't compare them myself. The heaviness of "classic" HD isn't about flavours being cloying - it's about overt weight.

                    Breyer's has about 100% overrun, which means that half of any size carton is just air. The HD ice creams, at least those of the past, had very little overrun. I wouldn't be surprised if a pint of "classic" HD weighs more than a quart of Breyer's. If anyone out there has both, please let us know.

                    I actually liked some of the old Breyer's "natural" flavours better than HD's. Specifically, Breyer's natural vanilla, though aerated and icy, tasted of pure vanilla. The similarly aerated chocolate tasted of pure cocoa. HD vanilla tastes of vanilla tinged alcohol and the chocolate is too sweet for my palate.

                    Breyer's, of course, ruined their products, reformulating them as "double churned", a nonsense term for products now laden with additives that combine perceived (but fake) richness and density with a tangible gummy quality and ruined taste.

                    I have always felt that HD coffee and strawberry ice creams approach perfection. It would be terrible if they ruin them. With the few HD flavours sold in Canada topping $7.00/pint in Toronto, I now buy it rarely and only when on sale. If they wreck it in the name of more profit, it's goodbye. Unfortunately, it seems Chowhounds are a small minority.

                    1. re: embee

                      The HD 5 is 14 oz, same weight as the regular HD "pints." No, I didn't weigh each carton and correct for the weight differences as I'm really trying to break free of my OCD tendencies. I may do that for everything else I buy, but I decided to refrain from that habit starting with ice cream. : )

                      The taste of it being lighter is subjective. It's like the difference between HFCS coke and Passover Coke made with cane sugar. It's the same weight, volume and has the same amount of calories. However, the taste of Passover Coke is lighter and not as cloying as regular coke.

                      Actually, I just looked at the nutrition information for HD 5 coffee -- it's 50 calories and 6 grams of fat less than regular HD coffee. So I guess my subjective taste of it being lighter isn't really as subjective. It is lighter (calorie wise versus weight wise). Fat does provide a cloying sensation on one's tongue, which is the reason why I prefer gelato over ice cream as the intensity of the flavor comes out more.

                      Not to worry if you love HD coffee and strawberry. They still carry the regular versions the stores.

                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        I believe that the measurement for ice cream containers is for volume, not weight. Thus 1/2 gallon and gallon containers as one moves up in sizes.

                        Of course, you originally meant that it tasted lighter or felt lighter in terms of mouthfeel, so it's not relevant to your initial statement. But I had to stop and think for a moment about weight versus volume myself.

                        1. re: ccbweb

                          It's confusing. Simply stated, a pint of HD (at least the "classic" flavours) contains very little air while a pint of Breyer's is about half air (the legal maximum "overrun"). Since air weighs less than ice cream mix, the pint of Breyer's will weigh much less than the pint of Haagen Dazs.

                          While HD and B&J have, historically, had very low overrun, some expensive ice creams contain as much air as Breyer's. Movenpick ice cream, a super premium brand from Europe that used to be sold in Canada, is extremely aerated.

                          If you actually weigh cartons of ice cream, you will find that some seemingly low cost ice creams actually cost more per unit weight than brands selling for a higher price. HD and Movenpick ice creams sold for approximately the same price in Toronto, but the Movenpick brand actually cost almost twice as much per gram.

                          Stabilizers and emulsifiers aren't necessarily bad. Indeed, most B&J and Double Rainbow (my favourite) ice creams contain them. But these ingredients can also be used to fake a "rich and creamy" mouth feel. Breyer's used additives to change the mouth feel of some products, eliminating their aerated and icy characteristics. Unfortunately, they created gumminess and ruined the pure flavours in the process.

                          1. re: ccbweb

                            I see. I didn't realize that measurement was in volume. As I'm trying to break from my habit, I didn't whip out the scale for this one.

                            This ice cream is dense even though it tastes lighter (due to a lower fat content). It was really difficult to get my spoon in it to scoop it out. So in terms of the overrun that people are referring to, my guess is that it's very low. Of course, the only way to know for sure is to weigh it.

                      2. re: Miss Needle

                        Have you had Edy's? Then you've had Dreyer's. Different end of the country, different names, like Hellman's/Best Foods. Similar overrun to Breyer's.

                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                          Yes, I've had Edy's like about 20 years ago. Thanks for that info.

                      3. If it's going to not have the Haagen Daaz densit, you might as well eat Breyer's. Several of Breyer's ice creams have very short lists of ingredients and I've always liked the flavors (I actually like the texture too -- less premium but softer).


                        1. Okay, so, not really a post about the five, but I just bought a pint of HD salted caramel, and all I can say is....WOW! Soooooo goooood!!!!

                          1. I agree with Miss Needle; if anything it seems as though it has LESS overrun. It is both light and dense; think "gelato". My honest opinion? The absolute finest grocery store ice cream on the market hands down.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: jbzepol

                              Here are a few of my HD "reserve" reviews:
                              sticky toffee puddig (okay)
                              pear and pecan (DIVINE)
                              coconut sesame brittle (mediocre)
                              I also LOVE their sorbets (which have only a few ingredients) and achieve PERFECT sorbet texture (try mango or peach which is a bit more tart)
                              I actually beleive Starbuck's mudpie is the quintessential coffee icecream- HD is a bit too rich and typical premium brands are not quite smooth enough.

                              1. re: jay27

                                as a fellow northeasterner, i totally agree with the OPs love of brown sugar flavored sweets-- it can be a really perfect flavor, if done right.
                                and any bostonian can vouch for toscanini's burnt sugar, which is like a smokey deep brown sugar all grown up.

                                i tend to like HD flavors, but i hate/don't eat chocolate (i know, shush) so my flavors are limited.
                                here in texas, we had to wait a bit for the reserve line.
                                i like the honey and the coconut sesame brittle, if only for how different the flavors are compared to other supermarket offerings.
                                the sticky toffee pudding has its moments, and i only like the pear/pecan when i get a pint that is loaded.
                                the sorbets are great, and when i was in high school i totally had a thing for the sorbet and yogurt popsicles.

                                1. re: dinaofdoom

                                  I echo the love of the sorbet. Especially the Raspberry Sorbet/Vanilla Frozen Yogurt swirl pints (or whatever size they are now) when I can find it. That's one of my favorite frozen dessert/ice cream type options.

                                  1. re: ccbweb

                                    That raspberry/vanilla swirl is *wonderful*. ::::reminding myself to get another of those::::::

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      it is the perfect combo of sweet & creamy and tangy & fruity.

                                      1. re: dinaofdoom

                                        If you ever see the coconut sorbet, it is really good. It is never a flavor I'd usually buy, but a discount store was selling HD coconut sorbet for 50 cents a pint ... yes, that is not a typo ... so how can you pass that up. Nice clean, light coconut flavor. The same store regularly sells the HD 'pints' for $1.49. Lots of sticky toffee currently.

                                        1. re: rworange

                                          After reading your post I went on a mad search for the HD coconut sorbet. I can't (or shouldn't) eat dairy and love coconut, so it sounded perfect. Sadly, after coming up empty handed at my local stores my research led me to the news that the coconut sorbet has been discontinued. That's probably why you were able to find the pints so cheap. Looks like I'll be sticking to mango.

                                2. re: jay27

                                  The "reserve" stuff is ok; but for me the star is the "five" product line; esp. after the pint sits out at room temp for 10 minutes! Today I will weigh a Ben and Jerrys pint to settle the overrun differences between them (already weighed the HD Five).

                                  1. re: jay27

                                    I found the HD Mango sorbet to be sickly sweet. I looked at the sugar content; yep, it's higher than Five ice cream by a lot. I don't know about the other sorbets, but I didn't care for the amount of sugar!

                                    1. re: Scargod

                                      I agree. The sorbets tend to be too sugary.

                                      1. re: Scargod

                                        jfood bought a banana split type flavor as well and it was inedible, waaaaaaay toooooo sweet..

                                  2. Tried the ginger Five last night. I have the mint as well.
                                    I did not sense a high "overrun" but it wasn't as dense as Ben and Jerry's. What I did sense was a small, lighter container in my hands! I feel cheated, though I knew what I was buying. It felt small in my hands as I scooped it out.
                                    On to the taste: If you really like ginger then this could be for you. If you like the constant grainy texture that some vanilla bean ice cream has then you wouldn't mind the ginger. After a while the texture began to grate on me and the flavor was so gingery that it was "hot" ice cream. Perhaps they could more in a series by making black pepper or chipotle ice cream?
                                    I kept wondering what this would be good paired with because it was hard eating all of about three tablespoons of it plain. It made my throat feel funny for a while....
                                    I'm already preparing a contingency plan for the mint, though I think I will like it.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Scargod

                                      It sounds like it might be a really nice thing to have a scoop of with a piece of pumpkin pie or maybe a slice of carrot cake. My mother used to make a "spice cake" that had cloves, allspice, cinnamon and such in it; that sort of thing would also make a nice complement.

                                      1. re: ccbweb

                                        Chocolate. Ginger ice cream is great with chocolate cake, or with chocolate sauce on top.

                                      2. re: Scargod

                                        Funny, and another person complained it was too mild. I didn't find graininess at all. Badly handled container by the store? Possibly melted and refrozen.

                                        1. re: rworange

                                          I meant the texture I could feel from the ginger (I assume). I certainly thought the general quality and cream texture was fine. SO really liked it so I just bought her more. I'll see if it has the same mouth feel and taste.

                                        2. re: Scargod

                                          I polished off my purchase of ginger Five last week, and the next day had bananas Foster made by a friend. I regretted that I had none of the HD ginger left, cause I would have rushed home to grab that pint and eaten them together. Next time I make bananas Foster you can bet I'll be serving it with HD ginger instead of tired, old vanilla.

                                        3. I tried the HD Five this weekend, and really loved it. I was looking for a frozen dessert that could be close enough to be kosher for Passover for my standards (ie. kosher, not marked KP, but containing no chametz), and three pints of the HD Five was what I picked up. The chocolate and mint tasted great together, but my favorite of the three was the passion fruit - it was smooth and soft and creamy and wonderful.

                                          I think liking this line of ice cream or not will depend on what kind of mouth feel one prefers. If you like your ice cream soft rather than dense, you'll like the HD Five.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: RSJ072778

                                            Just tried the passion fruit tonight and I like the flavor. I am bummed about the texture or "overrun". Near the end the warm dregs were all fluffy, like old whipped cream, it was so aerated.

                                            1. re: Scargod

                                              I thought it had a very good tart passion fruit flavor, but more creaminess would make it better.

                                          2. My experience with HD's new Brown Sugar Five was exactly parallel to yours. I expected penuche and got yuck. Threw most of it out. Very disappointing.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Querencia

                                              My fiancee and I just tried the Brown Sugar Five flavor as well, and were extremely disappointed. It tasted more like molasses than brown sugar (ew), and was very bland. I was hoping for some of that sticky grittiness that comes with real brown sugar, and we both were envisioning a long-gone Ben and Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie flavor that had great brown sugar swirly goodness.

                                              1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                                I love molasses, but find it anything but bland; I guess that would have to do with the amount of the brown sugar.

                                            2. Well, there's no accounting for taste, but I absolutely love the Five brown sugar. I find it very intense and satisfying in a smaller quantity than most ice creams. I've also enjoyed the Five mint -- milder mint flavor than I expected since the brown sugar is strong. The Five milk chocolate I thought was just okay, not especially interesting; it'd pair well with something stronger, as would the mint.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Nina

                                                Like the mint and passion fruit a lot but was bummed (again), when someone brought HD sorbet over and the container was clearly bigger and heavier than the Five. It's an eighth less volume...

                                              2. The Five Ginger is my favorite with the Coffee running a close second. When I'm on travel for work and have a freezer, I pick up a pint of the ginger and have a small portion each night.

                                                It has the texture and taste of homemade without the noise of the ice cream maker.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Ima Wurdibitsch

                                                  I tried the Vanilla and found it to be very creamy with lots of vanilla flavor. I'm not a huge ice cream fan but when the mood strikes, I don't mind paying more for a great ice cream. I'd buy this one again.

                                                  1. re: bellus

                                                    Regualr HD flavors on sale today: 2 for $5.

                                                2. Who knows what went wrong with this line. It's not the low fat aspect, I love gelato which is really creamy but lower fat than premium ice cream. I've only tried the Brown Sugar, and it wasn't so much the flavor, though it did carry an unpleasant aftertaste. It was the chalky, mouth and tongue coating texture. Yecch. I'm hoping to salvage with shakes or frappes, maybe. Or a small scoop on a nice cake might work or alongside a tart. But on its own, well, lets say I can't remember ever dipping into a fresh pint with a spoon and stopping after the equivalent of about two smallish spoonsful.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: bklynbiker

                                                    Sadly, most Haagen-Dazs customers must have agreed with you. The Brown Sugar, my favorite flavor of them all, has been discontinued and replaced with Lemon. I do think Brown Sugar was a poor name..molasses would have been better...but you either loved it, or hated it. Lemon is surely less controversial.

                                                    1. re: Groch

                                                      Oh no. My husband and I both love the brown sugar flavor. It was like eating chunks of cold brown sugar, but in a good way. (And I normally hate stuff that's cloyingly sweet.) Lemon is non-controversial but ubiquitous, whereas I've never seen brown sugar anywhere else, even in fancy ice cream shops. I liked that HD did something relatively original rather than totally focus-grouped.

                                                      I don't quite understand the "it wasn't brown sugar, it was molasses" comments. They're not different flavors--brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added to it in different strengths. So maybe some found it too strong, like dark brown sugar instead of light brown. Personally I like my molasses-flavored stuff strong (the molasses chews Trader Joe's used to carry were damn good).

                                                      Oh well, I guess I will have to drown my sorrow with ginger and passion fruit now.

                                                      1. re: arecibo520

                                                        ALL varieties (Regular, Reserve, Five + bars) on sale now at Shop Rite for $1.66 each. NO limit. Nice!

                                                        I tried the Passion Fruit Five - nice tart flavor and very creamy. Not my favorite, but very good.

                                                  2. Tony, I think you're giving up a little too soon. I, too, was curious about Haagen Dazs Five, and luckily started out with the "Passion Fruit" and "Ginger" flavors. These were quite good, had a very smooth (almost frozen-yogurt like) mouthfeel, and have bright, natural flavors. "Lemon" is also good.

                                                    I had a very similar reaction to the Brown Sugar. I had several bites but actually couldn't bring myself to eat the rest of it. I was extremely disappointed; I'm a big brown sugar fan, and had high expectations after trying those first few, yet I agree with you on all points. Boring flavor, and most surprising was the odd mouthfeel. I'd give some of the other flavors a chance; in my opinion, the "mint" and "vanilla bean" are unremarkable. Haven't tried "strawberry," "milk chocolate," "caramel, " or "coffee" yet, and I don't know that I will. But the first three I mentioned really are worth a try, if you have the budget to splurge on ice cream experimentation. Don't give up quite yet!

                                                    1. I spotted this ice cream( strawberry and caramel) at Trader Joe's for 1.99. Those flavors must be discontinued.