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Mar 7, 2009 07:10 PM

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!

    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.)