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Best Ice Cream Brand

rthorn46 Jun 4, 2009 10:08 PM

I was wondering what everyone's favorite ice cream brand is. When you go to the store looking for the Ultra Premium Stuff what do you buy?

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  1. ipsedixit RE: rthorn46 Jun 4, 2009 11:12 PM

    Blue Bell

    8 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      mordacity RE: ipsedixit Jun 5, 2009 01:53 PM

      Blue Bell is the end-all be-all of ice cream. Now that I've moved outside their territory I almost never buy ice cream anymore because it just doesn't compare.

      1. re: mordacity
        vttp926 RE: mordacity Jun 5, 2009 06:05 PM

        i definitely agree. but it is still hard to find even though they have finally just came into NC a couple years ago. i went through blue bell withdrawals for a while before they came here. nothing will ever compare. i wish they came into the single servings in flavors beside vanilla and chocolate.

        1. re: mordacity
          dagwood RE: mordacity Jun 11, 2009 01:03 PM

          In what territory is Blue Bell available?

          1. re: dagwood
            ScarlettNola RE: dagwood Jun 11, 2009 06:07 PM

            Mostly Southern States as far as I know.

            1. re: dagwood
              mordacity RE: dagwood Jun 12, 2009 09:15 PM


            2. re: mordacity
              Candy RE: mordacity May 20, 2013 12:18 PM

              I can get Bluebell here in Indiana. I've heard so many good things about it that I picked up some of their Homemade Vanilla. It was thin and rather flavorless.

              I do really like Graeter's from Cincinnati when I am not making my own.

              1. re: Candy
                CastironJim RE: Candy May 28, 2013 06:57 PM

                I too like Graeter's ice cream. It has been sold for the past couple of years in Los Angeles at Ralph's.

            3. re: ipsedixit
              ScarlettNola RE: ipsedixit Jun 7, 2009 05:25 PM

              Plus 1 on Blue Bell. Its the "best ice cream in the country" as it stated in their jingle.

            4. stricken RE: rthorn46 Jun 5, 2009 12:51 AM

              I actually focus more on flavors more than brands or even textures. If I want a blueberry sorbet, I don't care what brand it is. I do go for ice creams with the fewest and most natural ingredients. Organic is preferred.

              7 Replies
              1. re: stricken
                sandylc RE: stricken Mar 14, 2012 08:36 PM

                I agree. Blue Bell uses "natural vanilla flavor" which is not made from vanilla.

                1. re: sandylc
                  westsidegal RE: sandylc May 13, 2013 11:45 PM

                  vanilla flavor that's not made from vanilla is a non-starter for me.

                  1. re: westsidegal
                    sandylc RE: westsidegal May 14, 2013 10:38 AM

                    Same here. The good news is that it helps me to whittle down the potential brands to buy.

                    It is a travesty that the words "natural flavor" are allowed to be used. There is a huge "food" chemical industry thriving on this oversight.

                    1. re: sandylc
                      Bunson RE: sandylc May 19, 2013 08:56 PM

                      "Natural Vanilla Flavor" usually involves beaver anus glands.

                      1. re: Bunson
                        coachpal RE: Bunson May 19, 2013 11:47 PM

                        for what it's worth, I just found this on what you posted...I hope this article is true!


                        1. re: coachpal
                          sandylc RE: coachpal May 20, 2013 12:12 PM

                          There was a 60 Minutes episode that said otherwise. I don't know which to believe.

                          The most important things to know is that "natural vanilla flavor" is not vanilla extract and the food manufacturer is lying to you, regardless of their "natural" source of "flavor".

                      2. re: sandylc
                        iluvbluebell RE: sandylc May 24, 2013 12:37 AM

                        I don't think the industry really knows what natural flavors mean. If they did then they would not put all that other stuff into foods. I understand certain things might have to be included but they should state that for preservatives only.

                2. Kajikit RE: rthorn46 Jun 5, 2009 01:27 PM

                  I haven't really tried any of the super-deluxe-icecreams they're coming out with now because they're way outside my budget... but for everyday icecream I love Edys light or frozen yoghurt blends, and Publix store brand (any type.) The Publix icecream is lovely and rich and creamy and not icy at all, unlike some other storebrands that are just cheap and nasty.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Kajikit
                    iluvbluebell RE: Kajikit May 24, 2013 12:43 AM

                    Edy's was ok until I tried Blue bell. My taste palate is glued to Blue Bell. I have tried Cold Stone and its many flavors. It is also very good but it is very expensive and I have to travel a long way to get it. Kroger's private selection is good as well as Publix's. Ig I don't have money for Blue Bell then I will buy Publix's or Kroger's brand. I will never again buy Blue Bunny. I bought that one time because they had my favorite flavor, Pistachio Almond and it was so nasty that I could not eat the rest. I had to throw it away. Out of all the ice cream I have tried, that is the worst ice cream in the country.

                  2. c
                    cstr RE: rthorn46 Jun 5, 2009 04:02 PM

                    For me it's Ben & Jerry's.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: cstr
                      paoconnell RE: cstr Oct 4, 2009 09:05 PM

                      "I'll second that emotion" on Ben and Jerry's, especially Cherry Garcia. There are other brands that stand out, like many Blue Bunny flavors.

                      1. re: cstr
                        LBJR09 RE: cstr Aug 29, 2010 08:52 AM

                        Yep Ben & Jerry's get my vote every time don't think I'll ever tire of chocolate fudge brownie!

                        1. re: cstr
                          GK in SO RE: cstr Aug 31, 2010 12:04 PM

                          I agree, especially since they don't use (so they say) milk with the RBGH hormone in it.

                          For me, heaven lies in a pint of New York Super Fudge Chunk.

                          1. re: cstr
                            westsidegal RE: cstr May 13, 2013 11:46 PM

                            in the 1990's l liked ben and jerry's.
                            somewhere in the early 2000's it got lousy

                            1. re: westsidegal
                              coachpal RE: westsidegal May 14, 2013 12:15 AM

                              ben and jerry's sold out to a big corporation...i forget to whom, but i'm sure you could google it, if interested. as you know, things change when big $ gets in on the deal. sucks.

                              1. re: coachpal
                                westsidegal RE: coachpal May 20, 2013 12:50 AM

                                hopefully the brand i now favor, Three Twins, doesn't sell out.
                                crossing my fingers here....

                                1. re: westsidegal
                                  iluvbluebell RE: westsidegal May 20, 2013 12:32 PM

                                  Ben and Jerry's only come in pints and in a few flavors. So far I have not run into any flavors I wanted to try with them. If I do then I will make a comment. Until then Blue Bellllllllll.

                                  1. re: iluvbluebell
                                    sandylc RE: iluvbluebell May 20, 2013 12:55 PM

                                    Ben and Jerry's, not that I'm a huge fan of theirs, comes in a TON of flavors - ?!?!?!

                                  2. re: westsidegal
                                    pamf RE: westsidegal May 20, 2013 01:05 PM

                                    Have you tried the Three Twins cardamom flavor? Amazing.

                            2. b
                              Babyducks RE: rthorn46 Jun 5, 2009 05:51 PM

                              Starbucks, Java Chip

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Babyducks
                                chicgail RE: Babyducks Jun 6, 2009 04:48 PM

                                mmm. Me, too.

                                But I am also very fond of Cold Stone -- not a store brand to be sure, nor something to eat very often because it is so rich -- but what a treat!

                              2. c
                                CrazyOne RE: rthorn46 Jun 5, 2009 08:35 PM

                                Vanilla: Haagen-Dazs, still unadulterated

                                Mixed up with chunks of stuff: Ben & Jerry's, not as unadulterated as before, and it shows if you get plain vanilla, but when you throw a bunch of other stuff in, it doesn't matter as much. Current fave is Imagine Whirled Peace, great mix of flavors to me.

                                We don't have ice cream all the time, and we'd rather have smaller amounts at a time vs the 1.5 qt packages. (I almost wrote 1/2 gallon, yeah right, hasn't been that big in ages now for most of them.) We try to get whichver is not selling for the ridiculously high regular price at that moment, if possible, which means paying around $3.00 or so for the not-quite-a-pint containers.

                                Can't get Blue Bell here, and I don't think I've ever had it so I can't compare. Both Haagen and B&J are owned by big conglomerates. Another thing we do sometimes is get a cone at a local homemade ice cream place.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: CrazyOne
                                  Cameraman RE: CrazyOne Jun 5, 2009 08:51 PM

                                  A friend brought a tub of Costco's premium vanilla to dinner last week and it was one of the creamiest ice cream's I've tasted. And the vanilla was pure and clean. Deeelish!

                                  1. re: Cameraman
                                    ipsedixit RE: Cameraman Jun 5, 2009 10:38 PM

                                    Totally agree about Costco Vanilla.

                                    And for some reason, the Costco Vanilla is "best in class" for root beer floats (based on our very unscientific backyard BBQ taste-test).

                                    1. re: Cameraman
                                      acgold7 RE: Cameraman Aug 31, 2011 11:49 PM

                                      Bar none, the Costco Vanilla is the best I've ever had. Can't even go back to the Haagen Dazs, which used to be my favorite -- it now tastes too boozy.

                                      I wish they made a chocolate.

                                      Regionally, if you're lucky enough to live in the Great Northwest, try Snoqualmie for spectacular flavors and incredible textures. It's only available in a few select supermarkets but if you can find their Mukilteo Mudd -- their cutesy name for Chocolate -- it's like eating a chocolate truffle. Try it.

                                      Someone else actually mentions them downthread with a Yelp link. Good to see I'm not completely alone on this.

                                      Also good to see a few others downthread who think B&J's is too sweet. I thought I was the only one on that, too.

                                    2. re: CrazyOne
                                      mordacity RE: CrazyOne Jun 6, 2009 05:38 PM

                                      I don't really like the actual ice cream in Ben and Jerry's, but they are the mix-in kings. Dublin Mudslide is their best flavor I think.

                                    3. mrbigshotno.1 RE: rthorn46 Jun 6, 2009 03:03 PM

                                      I'm not kidding here, but WM's Great Value pineapple sherbet is really good.
                                      Breyer's was really good years ago before they got bought out by whoever bought them out.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                                        caitlink RE: mrbigshotno.1 Jun 10, 2009 05:45 PM

                                        I tried out Blue Bell when i was in Texas to see what all the fuss was about. My favourite has to be the Haagen Daaz specialty flavours like pumpkin cheesecake, mango, and caramelized pear. We don't have the specialty flavours in Canada so i buy a few tubs to try every time I travel to the US.

                                      2. operagirl RE: rthorn46 Jun 10, 2009 07:59 PM

                                        Alden's organic ice cream is out of this world. The strawberry flavor is my favorite.

                                        1. bkhuna RE: rthorn46 Jun 10, 2009 08:06 PM

                                          Best supermarket brand has to be Blue Bell.

                                          For a special treat I like Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk or Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Swiss Almond.

                                          I love how they put those in the convenient single serving pint (soon to be 14 oz) containers.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: bkhuna
                                            jacobp RE: bkhuna Jun 11, 2009 07:31 AM

                                            I'm a souther guy, so I love me some Blue Bell. I'm also a huge fan of Ben and Jerry's though. Phish Food, Karamel Sutra, Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream are all winners, but my fave Ben and Jerry's has to be Half Baked.

                                          2. m
                                            magfitz RE: rthorn46 Jun 11, 2009 10:52 AM

                                            Not sure if it is still around but Double Rainbow ice cream is very good though not easy to find. Their Mint Chip is the best I have tried.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: magfitz
                                              faith RE: magfitz Jun 11, 2009 12:52 PM

                                              I am a new devotee of Vosges ice cream, sold in several flavors at the Whole Foods Market near me in Minneapolis MN. They are the folks who make fancy chocolate bars with stuff like bacon in them. I recently tried the Naga brand of their icecream which has sweet Indian curry powder, young coconut and toasted macadamia nuts.....it is super velvety and the flavor balance, while it may sound strange, is ...incredible. Unless you are a curry or coconut hater- then I'd say not sure you'd want this.

                                            2. s
                                              swamp RE: rthorn46 Jun 11, 2009 01:17 PM

                                              I vote for Blue Bell, particularly their Southern Hospitality.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: swamp
                                                iluvbluebell RE: swamp May 15, 2013 01:28 PM

                                                I vote for Blue Bell Pistachio Almond. For all you Blue Bunny lovers, It is a knock off of Blue Bell. They are making the same flavors of Blue Bell but without the quality. That is the nastiest tasting ice cream I ever tasted.

                                              2. m
                                                madkittybadkitty RE: rthorn46 Jun 14, 2009 01:40 PM

                                                i like blue bell a lot!!!

                                                am also a little hooked on edy's "tart honey" froyo flavor. basically yogurt and honey, but you can put in on an ice cream cone.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: madkittybadkitty
                                                  sequins RE: madkittybadkitty Jun 17, 2009 08:52 PM

                                                  Very curious about this Edy's flavor and hold out hope it's better than Trader Joe's attempt at tart froyo. Has anyone by chance spotted this somewhere in NYC?

                                                  1. re: sequins
                                                    madkittybadkitty RE: sequins Jun 18, 2009 12:01 PM

                                                    i know edy's is not 'super premium', but still.
                                                    i've tried trader joe's and i think this is much better. the tartness is truly there, but for those anti-hfcs fanatics, i think the honey has some hfcs added so it doesn't completely solidify in the freezer. they also have a 'tart mango' flavor which i haven't tried yet.
                                                    i generally do my supermarketing around the poughkeepsie-ish area, so if they have it here i don't see why they shouldn't have in in nyc.

                                                2. LeahBaila RE: rthorn46 Jun 18, 2009 04:43 AM

                                                  Haagen Dazs, hands down.


                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: LeahBaila
                                                    Rmis32 RE: LeahBaila May 17, 2011 08:53 AM


                                                  2. Kajikit RE: rthorn46 Jun 19, 2009 02:01 PM

                                                    We just tried Blue Bunny vanilla... and boy was it good! It tasted like icecream used to when I was a kid... and it actually had egg yolks in it! I think I've got a new favourite now...

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: Kajikit
                                                      pellegrino31 RE: Kajikit Jun 19, 2009 02:37 PM

                                                      I just tried Blue Bunny vanilla when I was in Kansas City for a visit - I was really impressed with how delicious it was. If I could get it where I live, that would be my go-to supermarket ice cream.

                                                      Otherwise there is Ben & Jerry's in the freezer on occasion (Cherry Garcia) or Breyer's mint chocolate chip though I have a hard time paying $7 for the Breyers sometimes. But if I want the ultra premium stuff, I go to Brooklyn to Blue Marble and get their strawberry ice cream which is absolutely amazing.

                                                      1. re: Kajikit
                                                        Neta RE: Kajikit May 4, 2011 08:48 AM

                                                        I ditto that. I've always said this is what vanilla ice cream used to taste like in the 50's. And the price is right too. I've more recently been buying the no sugar added variety and it is equally delicious. I don't even look at the other brands anymore

                                                        1. re: Kajikit
                                                          Querencia RE: Kajikit May 24, 2011 10:32 PM

                                                          Thanks to Kajikit and all who mentioned Blue Bunny. I had never heard of it and if I hadn't read about it here I would not have bought it when my Chicago supermarket recently started stocking it---I think it's new to Chicago---haven't seen it before. Wow, what a revelation. I think it beats every other brand sold here. Unfortunately I can't stay out of it...best ice cream I have had in years. The vanilla is a classic.

                                                          1. re: Querencia
                                                            onceadaylily RE: Querencia May 25, 2011 09:15 AM

                                                            It was available through restaurant suppliers, and I had it for the first time while I was working in a cafe here. When the cafe was bought out, the new owner switched ice cream brands . . . to a soy product. I looked everywhere for a year or so, and then finally gave up. And then, a month ago, I saw it, in Jewel. My exclamation of "Blue Bunny!" turned heads, but I didn't care. After a five year hiatus, I have my ice cream back.

                                                            Kajikit is right, it tastes exactly like the vanilla ice cream of my childhood. The spumoni ain't bad either.

                                                            1. re: Querencia
                                                              John E. RE: Querencia Oct 3, 2011 09:58 PM

                                                              Old post, I know, but the Wells Dairy, maker of Blue Bunny ice cream in LeMars, Iowa has the world's largest ice cream plant. There are ice cream makers that produce more ice cream, but they use more locations for their plants.

                                                              1. re: Querencia
                                                                iluvbluebell RE: Querencia May 15, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                                Try another brand like Bryer's Mayfield's or any other premium ice cream and you will wonder why you rated Blue Bunny so high on the scale. Blue Bunny's rating will drop when you do the taste test.

                                                              2. re: Kajikit
                                                                iluvbluebell RE: Kajikit May 15, 2013 01:22 PM

                                                                You should try Bluebell and you will kick Blue Bunny to the curb where it should be. That is garbage ice cream.

                                                                1. re: Kajikit
                                                                  iluvbluebell RE: Kajikit May 20, 2013 12:36 PM

                                                                  Blue Bunny is nasty and is always trying to copy Blue Bell. Every flavor Blue Bell come out with Blue Bunny tries to copy it and fail every time. The new flavor Blue Bunny is copying is Red Velvet cake. Blue Bell still has it hand down. Try Blue Bell and you will kick Blue Bunny to the curb.

                                                                2. t
                                                                  TomSwift RE: rthorn46 Jun 19, 2009 02:46 PM

                                                                  McConnell's - an obscenely high butterfat content. Dr. Bob's also is right up there, but not as high (to my mouth feel).

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: TomSwift
                                                                    Jwsel RE: TomSwift Jul 21, 2012 03:21 PM

                                                                    I just had the McConnell's salted caramel chip. That may be the best ice cream I've ever had.

                                                                    1. re: Jwsel
                                                                      anticheryl RE: Jwsel May 20, 2013 02:11 PM

                                                                      Have to agree. I lived in Santa Barbara for a while fifteen years ago when McC's had about 15 flavors. Mine was and still is vanilla... but... they had a chocolate called brazillian I think that was out of this world, and I am not a chocoholic.
                                                                      For me the mouth feel is so superior to other ice cream because it does not leave an oil slick on the roof of your mouth, and in fact has a slightly icy not too sweet, I could go on.... Unfortunately I think it's only available on the west coast.

                                                                  2. e
                                                                    ekammin RE: rthorn46 Jun 19, 2009 08:15 PM

                                                                    Ben and Jerry's "Cherry Garcia". Not just milk chocolate fragments and maraschino cherries, but nice hunks or real bitterweet choclate and dark red cherries.

                                                                    1. Karl S RE: rthorn46 Jun 20, 2009 07:41 AM

                                                                      It's not ice cream, but it is frozen: Ciao Bella (especially their blood orange sorbetto).

                                                                      Well, mass-produced ice cream has been a downward cycle of quality for much of the past decade, after the "renaissance" of the 1980s. Just look at what's happened to Ben & Jerry's (sigh), though producers rely on intense brand loyalty to make many fans blind to compromises that have been made. Even Haagen Daz has introduced cheaper ingredients into many (not all) of its flavors, and you'd have to hold onto the containers to compare weights in gram per 1/2 cup over the years to confirm if there's been a change in overrun.

                                                                      Two pointers on quality:

                                                                      1. Ingredient compromises: If you are paying premium prices, you should not be paying for gum and other stabilizers, nor for high fructose corn syrup (plain old corn syrup can be helpful in creating a pleasant texture for certain types of ice cream, but cane sugar should be the normal benchmark).

                                                                      2. Overrun: since ice cream makers don't have to disclose how much air is whipped into their product, one proxy for gauging this is the weight per serving - if you check the nutritional information, you will see the weight in grams per serving listed next to the volume of the serving (which is typically 1/2 cup). The higher the weight, the less air there is in it, so higher is usually an indicator of better quality.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Karl S
                                                                        sequins RE: Karl S Jun 24, 2009 09:36 PM

                                                                        I second Ciao Bella. First had their gelato some years ago when they were just a couple of shops in Manhattan, and back then was addicted particularly to their pear and coconut flavors. It's great to see them flourishing in recent years -- now alongside the top-selling brands in most supermarket freezers. They do the classics well (I'm partial to the Hazelnut -- a 'classic' flavor by Italian gelato standards) but also offer some unusual, intriguing flavors -- e.g., Banana Mango, Blackberry Cabernet, Chocolate Jalapeno, in addition to the Blood Orange Sicilian Karl S. favors -- and I currently have 4 pints in the freezer.

                                                                        For those of you in NYC, btw, D'Agostino (usually pricey) has a sale on the pints this week -- 2 for $7 -- and in the summers Fairway sometimes offers 3 for $10.

                                                                      2. c
                                                                        CrazyOne RE: rthorn46 Aug 8, 2009 03:47 PM

                                                                        Have to say, a couple weeks ago when we got a non-pint of vanilla Haagen-Dazs, something was wrong. It tasted off, more artificial-y. The ingredient list was the same, or was it? Pretty sure it was. But something wasn't right. May give it one more try, could have just been a bad batch somehow, but otherwise this will be yet another casualty of cost cutting. I won't hesitate to tell them about it too.

                                                                        Anyone else noticed this at all? I wonder if the vanilla in the Five line tastes any better. I would suspect not, though, because if they changed something about the vanilla itself then that would probably be the same across the board.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: CrazyOne
                                                                          anticheryl RE: CrazyOne May 20, 2013 02:17 PM

                                                                          My experience exactally. My fav was vanilla and I think the pure flavor is the hardest to not mess up when you are trying to fool the public. Have to say that Hagan Dazs has not been the original for many years now.

                                                                        2. w
                                                                          wineman3 RE: rthorn46 Aug 8, 2009 10:17 PM

                                                                          For all of you Bluebell lovers check the ingredients if your into that sort of thing because...................there is a lot of chemistry going on there.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: wineman3
                                                                            LeahBaila RE: wineman3 Aug 10, 2009 05:34 AM

                                                                            Indeed there is...Meh.


                                                                            1. re: LeahBaila
                                                                              iluvbluebell RE: LeahBaila May 15, 2013 01:18 PM

                                                                              I luv bluebell. Blue Bunny is the nastiest tasting ice cream I ever tasted. It is a knock off and it should be taken off the market. I know there is a lot of chemistry going on but I have to say when I try other brands, like edys,or mayfield, they don't measure up. Bluebell knows what you like and gives you what you want. If you are a nut lover like me then a big chunky nut in every spoonful is worth paying the price I pay for the ice cream. Haagen Daz, Ben and Jerry's are good but they just don't have my flavor.

                                                                              1. re: iluvbluebell
                                                                                John E. RE: iluvbluebell May 15, 2013 01:28 PM

                                                                                Why are you assuming Blue Bunny Ice Cream is a knock off?

                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                  iluvbluebell RE: John E. May 20, 2013 12:41 PM

                                                                                  They do not have any originality. Everytime Blue Bell comes out with a new flavor, Blue Bunny tries to imitate it too. Blue Bell does it first and it is the Best. I have tasted Blue Bunny and I had to throw the ice cream away because it was that nasty. The quality is awful.

                                                                          2. Michelly RE: rthorn46 Aug 9, 2009 11:07 PM

                                                                            Generally, Haagen Daz for vanilla bean, vanilla swiss almond, dulce de leche, and rum raisin. Also peppermint when winter comes.
                                                                            Ben & Jerry's for cherry garcia, chocolate mint chip, vanilla or coffee heath bar crunch.
                                                                            Starbuck's for coffee and coffee chip.
                                                                            Trader Joe's has a decent vanilla, but I'm still searching for a decent non-high-end ice cream brand.

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Michelly
                                                                              kiiess RE: Michelly Aug 10, 2009 04:00 AM

                                                                              I like bluebell too.

                                                                              1. re: Michelly
                                                                                coachpal RE: Michelly May 14, 2013 12:11 AM

                                                                                have you tried good ole Costco vanilla? pretty ok. better than trader joe's, i'd say.

                                                                                1. re: coachpal
                                                                                  sandylc RE: coachpal May 14, 2013 10:39 AM

                                                                                  Joe's has the "natural" vanilla "flavor". Not real. How about Costco?

                                                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                                                    John E. RE: sandylc May 14, 2013 11:24 AM

                                                                                    The Costco premium vanilla uses real vanilla. You can see the specks in the ice cream. (I hope those are specks of vanilla.)

                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                      sandylc RE: John E. May 14, 2013 11:48 AM

                                                                                      Ha. Maybe ignorance IS bliss?

                                                                                  2. re: coachpal
                                                                                    westsidegal RE: coachpal May 20, 2013 12:52 AM

                                                                                    since, to me, every container of ice cream is a single serving, i dare not try costco.

                                                                                    1. re: coachpal
                                                                                      iluvbluebell RE: coachpal May 20, 2013 12:42 PM

                                                                                      There is a Costco here but I have never been inside their store. I go to Sam's Club. Since you are praising them, I must try it for my self.

                                                                                  3. o
                                                                                    Olallieberry RE: rthorn46 Aug 10, 2009 05:15 PM

                                                                                    My absolute favorite is Ronnybrook ice cream, but only when I purchase it from the greenmarket because the few times I've bought it in a store it tends to be too frozen and crystally - something about the composition of it maybe. I think the coconut and pistachio are my consistent faves but I have a featured flavor blueberry pint right now and it is hitting the spot in this near-100 degree heat.

                                                                                    Ben N Jerry's is a close second, both for nostalgic memories of recklessly gorging on it in high school and college and because it's always surprisingly delicious. The new Key Lime Pie and Marzipan flavors are amazing.

                                                                                    For sorbet, Ciao Bella is the best I've tried, but I'm not as discerning when it comes to sorbet.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Olallieberry
                                                                                      Freeholdtwsp88 RE: Olallieberry Aug 10, 2009 05:33 PM

                                                                                      Costco's premium vanilla unless you have tried it you have no idea what you are missing , simply the best

                                                                                      1. re: Olallieberry
                                                                                        BobB RE: Olallieberry Aug 12, 2009 09:11 AM

                                                                                        Ciao Bella goes beyond sorbet - I had some of their pistachio gelato (Italian-style ice cream) the other day and it was the best store-bought pistachio I've ever tasted.

                                                                                      2. hyacinthgirl RE: rthorn46 Aug 11, 2009 02:31 PM

                                                                                        Wow, I can't wait to be somewhere where I can try Blue Bell.
                                                                                        I've had Graeters shipped to me, does that one count?

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: hyacinthgirl
                                                                                          cycloneillini RE: hyacinthgirl Aug 13, 2009 07:33 PM

                                                                                          We don't buy anything but Blue Bell. I would totally have withdrawals if I moved somewhere out of territory. Have family in South Florida, and they are in luck because Blue Bell is building a huge new distribution center there. I had some of their ice cream bars awhile back straight from the factory (I work about 30 minutes from their HQ in Brenham, TX) that were probably the best thing I had ever tasted in my life. They had strawberry flavored white chocolate on the outside and Blue Bell vanilla on the inside. OMG!!! I've never seen them in a store even though I live that close to them. I think it must have been a test product they were selling in their company store.

                                                                                          1. re: cycloneillini
                                                                                            sisterfunkhaus RE: cycloneillini Jan 6, 2010 02:36 PM

                                                                                            I think I've seen them here. They make an unbeatable cookies and cream ice cream sandwich that I can't seem to find anywhere. That is one of the few Blue Bell things I enjoy. Their peach ice cream is good too.

                                                                                          2. re: hyacinthgirl
                                                                                            hyacinthgirl RE: hyacinthgirl May 16, 2011 01:42 PM

                                                                                            And I just found Graeters pints in my market in California... very curious to see if they hold up.

                                                                                            1. re: hyacinthgirl
                                                                                              egbluesuede RE: hyacinthgirl Sep 1, 2011 09:22 AM

                                                                                              yes it does.....+1 on Graeters. When I moved back to the Midwest, one of the first things I thought about was acess to Graeters ice cream.

                                                                                              1. re: egbluesuede
                                                                                                Jwsel RE: egbluesuede Sep 25, 2011 09:08 PM

                                                                                                We now have Graeters available in Los Angeles at local Ralph's supermarkets. It's a limited selection, but as long as I can get chocolate chocolate chunk, I'm very happy.

                                                                                                1. re: Jwsel
                                                                                                  fldhkybnva RE: Jwsel May 20, 2013 01:39 PM

                                                                                                  We now have Graeters in MD as well for anyone on the hunt.

                                                                                            2. c
                                                                                              camilled RE: rthorn46 Aug 12, 2009 10:28 AM

                                                                                              It's hard to beat Caio Bella's Key Lime Graham Cracker, sweet, slightly tart gelato folded with graham cracker crumbs. It is just unbelievably good. Anything from Blue Bell is good, as is Graeter's Black Raspberry Chip.

                                                                                              1. a
                                                                                                AngelSanctuary RE: rthorn46 Aug 22, 2009 10:58 PM

                                                                                                Hagen Dazs we don't have blue bell over here but I can't touch Ben and Jerry's, the first time I tried it I absolutely hated it and I have this psychological repulsion towards it now.

                                                                                                But Hagen Dazs ever fails me and I started making my own ice cream so I buy less of it now but I still have to buy their mango sorbet, I have no idea how they make it so tasty! I even converted my sorbet hating friend with it!

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: AngelSanctuary
                                                                                                  horseshoe RE: AngelSanctuary Oct 6, 2009 06:44 PM

                                                                                                  I don't eat that much ice cream but I like the bluebell, My wife from Tennessee swears the Purity dairy in Nashville makes better ice cream. I'm from Texas, she's from Tennesee, so go figure.

                                                                                                  1. re: horseshoe
                                                                                                    narnia75 RE: horseshoe Dec 23, 2009 06:45 PM

                                                                                                    I had always heard that Blue Bell is so good. I tried several flavors, black walnut, butter pecan, vanilla, didn't like any of them. I mostly loved Hagen Daz - some of the flavors, and one flavor of Ben & Jerry's - pistachio.

                                                                                                    One night, I was in the mood for ice-cream and stopped in at a Piggly Wiggly. They didn't have either of these brands, but I saw my favorite all-time flavor, which is pistachio in Blue Bell, but it was pistachio-almond, two of my favorite nuts. I thought I'd give it a try. OMG!!! Was it ever fantastic!! It was so much better than the Ben & Jerry's!! It tasted like the old Howard Johnson's Pistachio flavored ice cream. Ben & Jerry's pistachio has some pistachio nuts that taste like they are old or half-rotten. But because there are no pistachio nuts in the Blue Bell, you don't experience that. Just good clean fresh tasting toasted almonds.

                                                                                                    I usually don't eat much ice-cream because it always seems to be too sweet. However, this was not the case with this Bluebell flavor. I don't know what they've done to it, but I have had difficulty trying to stop eating it. I buy it by the gallon tubs now! I could eat a whole gallon in one sitting!!! But, I do have to refrain myself. The worst part of it, is that I am very much into all natural and organic, but the flavor of this is soooooooo good, that I have been continuing to ingest the poisonous food colorings and the hydrogenated soybean oil, not to mention artificial ingredients and corn syrup. I think that they have put something addictive in this ice-cream!! Somebody please tell me about a healthier option that tastes just as good! I feel like I need to join a support group to get off this ice-cream!! : (

                                                                                                    1. re: narnia75
                                                                                                      LEsherick2008 RE: narnia75 Jan 6, 2010 02:29 PM

                                                                                                      Hagen Daz is oh so good but pretty expensive. Only a once in a while treat. I usually have 2 brands I buy and only buy if I have coupons for them At walmart they have Blue Bunny I like most of their ice creams. And At Giant Eagle or Turkey Hill I buy the Turkey Hill Ice Cream. I love their frozen yogurts and that's usually what I buy. I also have a big thing of Schwan's Chocolate Marshmallow Ripple I got for free when they had a promotion its pretty good to.

                                                                                                      1. re: LEsherick2008
                                                                                                        Cherylptw RE: LEsherick2008 Jan 6, 2010 03:28 PM

                                                                                                        Last year, I won a year's supply of Blue Bunny Ice Cream (and a Blue Bunny freezer) in a recipe contest (52 freebie coupons) Their ice cream is good. I used to work at Haagen Daz back in the mid 70's and by far my favorite is Rum Raisin...that was when you could only buy it in the ice cream shops...now, it's way too expensive.

                                                                                                        I've also made do with Edy's Peanut Butter Cup and Breyer's Strawberry Shortcake & Vanilla

                                                                                                      2. re: narnia75
                                                                                                        iluvbluebell RE: narnia75 May 20, 2013 12:47 PM

                                                                                                        Girl, you are not the only one. That Pistachio almond is sooooo good. I have had to put myself on portion control. If I don't then I will eat a half gallon in one sitting. I am drunk for this ice cream and my roommate says he is putting me on a ice cream diet.

                                                                                                  2. s
                                                                                                    sisterfunkhaus RE: rthorn46 Jan 6, 2010 02:33 PM

                                                                                                    I'm a Texan here and not a Blue Bell fan at all. I like Ben and Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie flavor. Hagen Daz used to make a Sticky Toffee Pudding that was devine. If I had to pick the best brand it would be one of those two. We also have a place here called Henry's that is pretty dang good. Their cinnamon ice cream is devine.

                                                                                                    1. n
                                                                                                      Nate650 RE: rthorn46 Aug 10, 2010 04:48 PM

                                                                                                      The best ice cream I've had is by Straus Family Creamery, but I believe it is west coast only. There is a local shop here (Bi-Rite Creamery) which uses Straus milk, and it's the best ice cream I've had. Typically the big brands use junk ingredients.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Nate650
                                                                                                        kermit RE: Nate650 Aug 10, 2010 05:26 PM

                                                                                                        Nate650, I completely agree with you. My friend and I tried Straus's ice cream at Bi-Rite this weekend, and I haven't stopped thinking about it. I chose burnt caramel and mint chip, and she got cookies and cream. We also sampled a bunch of other flavors. Each one was phenomenal. Very creamy and authentic to said flavor, but lacking the heavy fat-coating aftertaste that has turned me off of some of the premo store brands like Haagan Daz.

                                                                                                        1. re: kermit
                                                                                                          Nate650 RE: kermit Sep 1, 2010 07:37 PM

                                                                                                          Cool, glad to hear!

                                                                                                      2. Quine RE: rthorn46 Aug 10, 2010 05:40 PM

                                                                                                        I very seldom eat ice cream but my Mom does. She read a taste test somewhere that gave High Marks to the Target Store brand. So far she's tried her flavor favorite, butter Pecan and she gives it a very high review!

                                                                                                        1. c
                                                                                                          CathleenH RE: rthorn46 Aug 10, 2010 08:08 PM

                                                                                                          As long as we're discussing regional brands, I recently discovered Whitey's, a much beloved small chain in the Quad Cities area that also sells in local grocery stores. Their graham-cracker ice cream was especially fantastic.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: CathleenH
                                                                                                            chefdaddyo RE: CathleenH Aug 11, 2010 04:59 AM

                                                                                                            Just stocked up on six pints from Halo Farms at the Trenton, NJ farmers market. Really good, with a selection of about 50+ varieties. Coffee chip for my gal, peach for me, and mint cookie smash for my son. I have eaten all brands, and Halo will match all of them. Price just jumped .50. Buy two, get the third for free Always been that policy. $2.50 pint. Also, got some Welch Farms cherry vanilla last month. Very good, but not a bargain.

                                                                                                            1. re: chefdaddyo
                                                                                                              victoria060 RE: chefdaddyo Aug 11, 2010 06:35 AM

                                                                                                              I've always loved Hagen Daz Vanilla and Chocolate and their sorbets are great also; but now I have a new favorite to add to that Trader Joe's Vanilla and Chocolate is also terrific. "Try it you'll like it".

                                                                                                          2. j
                                                                                                            jackattack RE: rthorn46 Aug 16, 2010 06:50 PM

                                                                                                            One of the best chocolate ice creams I've had in quite a while is from this outfit up near Seattle. Some Southern California markets are carrying it now :


                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: jackattack
                                                                                                              HungryPixie RE: jackattack Feb 18, 2012 09:16 PM

                                                                                                              omg jack i totally agree! i just posted on another thread about the honey cinnamon frozen custard ... i diiiiiiiiiieeeeee! it is beyond delish! i'm so lucky it is in the supermarket literally 3 blocks away!!!!

                                                                                                            2. d
                                                                                                              djringjr RE: rthorn46 Aug 27, 2010 01:23 PM

                                                                                                              One kind of ice cream that I haven't seen mentioned is Brigham's of Boston area. Even though their stores closed in January 2010, their ice cream is available still in supermarkets. I think it is even better than Blue Bell - but it doesn't come in as many flavors.

                                                                                                              Even Blue Bell comes in different grade - the cap color of the container is an indication of the quality line. The mix-in flavors are the lowest, while the old flavors - vanilla, chocolate, strawberry where it is difficult to compromise quality I believe come in a dark brown top lid. So quality #3 and #1 have the dark brown lids. It's been ten years since I became a yankee, so I cannot remember.

                                                                                                              Dryer's ice cream is called Edy's in the northeast USA because there is a Bryer's ice cream in Pennsylvania.

                                                                                                              One thing I do miss from down south was the biscuit flour. Delightful.


                                                                                                              1. b
                                                                                                                blisters on my sisters RE: rthorn46 Aug 27, 2010 02:12 PM

                                                                                                                Haagen Dazs Five is pretty good for storebought ice cream. Vanilla bean, in specific.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: blisters on my sisters
                                                                                                                  Alfred G RE: blisters on my sisters Aug 28, 2010 02:58 PM

                                                                                                                  So far I've had the HD5 Vanilla Bean, Milk Chocolate and Coffee. IMO each one is the best in their particular flavor. I was blown away by the Coffee and Chocolate. Unbelievably great.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Alfred G
                                                                                                                    Leepa RE: Alfred G Aug 30, 2010 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                    The Brown Sugar flavor is awesome, too. Too bad I can't find it here any more. : (

                                                                                                                2. s
                                                                                                                  Steve RE: rthorn46 Aug 27, 2010 04:00 PM

                                                                                                                  My favorite store brands are:

                                                                                                                  Shoppers Food Warehouse caries a brand called Stone Hill. The italain Bliss is a hazelunut ice cream with chocolate swirl. Close to being as good is their Pretzel Twist flavor.

                                                                                                                  Giant Foods now carries their own Andes Thin Mint ice cream, which has some surprisingly large slabs of dark chocolate in it. Also realy fine.

                                                                                                                  All the Wegman's Pemium flavors are very good. Hard to go wrong there.

                                                                                                                  1. visciole RE: rthorn46 Aug 27, 2010 06:48 PM

                                                                                                                    Am I the only one that finds Ben & Jerry's waaayyyy too sweet?

                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: visciole
                                                                                                                      Karl S RE: visciole Aug 28, 2010 09:04 AM

                                                                                                                      No. B&J is a shadow of its former glory, full of crap compared to the way it used to be made. But its popularity rests on a long half-life of consumer memories.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Karl S
                                                                                                                        VAfoodie RE: Karl S Aug 29, 2010 07:01 PM

                                                                                                                        If you can get your hands on some Oberweis ice cream...oh my. We get it at a little country store, but I think we are going to start home delivery of all Oberweis dairy products. We also like Trader Joe's super premium ice cream.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Karl S
                                                                                                                          westsidegal RE: Karl S May 13, 2013 11:56 PM

                                                                                                                          it was good until the end of the 90's

                                                                                                                        2. re: visciole
                                                                                                                          RetiredChef RE: visciole Aug 30, 2010 06:23 PM

                                                                                                                          Nope, Can't handle more than a few bites of any B & J flavor because they are so sickingly sweet.

                                                                                                                          1. re: RetiredChef
                                                                                                                            visciole RE: RetiredChef Aug 31, 2010 03:05 PM

                                                                                                                            Thanks, that makes me feel better. It seems EVERYONE I know loves the stuff and they assume I'm stealth dieting when I refuse B&J's.

                                                                                                                            Had a bite of someone's Haagen Daz today and also found it way too sweet.

                                                                                                                            1. re: RetiredChef
                                                                                                                              Querencia RE: RetiredChef May 24, 2011 10:36 PM

                                                                                                                              I agree. I can't stand Ben & Jerry's because all the flavors are too sweet.

                                                                                                                          2. RetiredChef RE: rthorn46 Aug 30, 2010 06:25 PM

                                                                                                                            There is no one brand that excels at all flavors.

                                                                                                                            Haggan Daz, Ciao Bella, Dove, Blue Bunny even all have some of the best in ____________ flavor so I don't think you can say what is the best Ice Cream Brand. Instead you might ask who makes the best Vanilla, chocolate, etc.

                                                                                                                            1. h
                                                                                                                              housewolf RE: rthorn46 Aug 31, 2010 01:27 AM

                                                                                                                              Last Christmas I had a pint of Green & Black's Vanilla and a pint of their White Chocolate Strawberry - wow, were they ever fabulous! Especially that White Chocolate Strawberry... Mmmmmmm.... I found them at Whole Foods on Christmas Eve, nice present for me!

                                                                                                                              1. k
                                                                                                                                klyeoh RE: rthorn46 Aug 31, 2010 02:19 AM

                                                                                                                                Best ice-cream brand in the world? Kapiti from Auckland, New Zealand!! Nothing in America or Europe even comes close!

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: klyeoh
                                                                                                                                  traveleryvette RE: klyeoh Sep 25, 2011 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                  While in Australia enjoyed kapiti ice cream mango flavor. Agree the best.

                                                                                                                                2. b
                                                                                                                                  beachmouse RE: rthorn46 Aug 31, 2010 07:05 AM

                                                                                                                                  For store brand, I'll throw in a vote for the Publix Premium house brand. As a bonus, it's still sold in two quart containers.

                                                                                                                                  For premium, I'm also fond of the Ciao Bella.

                                                                                                                                  1. p
                                                                                                                                    phantomdoc RE: rthorn46 Sep 3, 2010 03:29 PM

                                                                                                                                    Turkey Hill All Natural line. Vanilla, Cherry vanilla, chocolate, Nutty neaploitan,(vanilla choc butter almond)
                                                                                                                                    Turkey hill vanilla won the America test kitchen Vanilla taste test.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: phantomdoc
                                                                                                                                      Vidute RE: phantomdoc Apr 30, 2011 09:11 PM

                                                                                                                                      Sheer Bliss Pomegranate and Pomegranate with Dark Chocolate Chips. Rich but not overly sweet. It has a nice tart pom flavor and the dark chocolate chips give that flavor and extra bite.

                                                                                                                                    2. s
                                                                                                                                      stilldontknow RE: rthorn46 May 1, 2011 04:21 AM

                                                                                                                                      In the UK Kelly's Cornish Clotted Cream Ice Cream and Mackies Honeycomb Crunch are my favourites. Just don't like the mouth feel of Haagen Daas or Ben and Jerry's

                                                                                                                                      1. j
                                                                                                                                        jbsiegel RE: rthorn46 May 1, 2011 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                                        Right now, I'm liking the Edy's Fun Flavors. I love the texture - kind of "chewy" for lack of a better word.

                                                                                                                                        Other than that, It's Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie or Haagen Dazs Caramel Cone. But...I find that the Haagen Dazs seems a little less creamly than the Ben & Jerry's...

                                                                                                                                        Kind of related - I've been pondering buying the Friendly's Reeses Ice Cream Cake at my local grocery store. Has anybody bought one of these? Any good?

                                                                                                                                        1. q
                                                                                                                                          Querencia RE: rthorn46 May 2, 2011 01:31 AM

                                                                                                                                          Any one that is smeary rather than puffy.

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                                                            BobB RE: Querencia May 2, 2011 09:02 AM

                                                                                                                                            Interesting response - I daresay that's the first time I've ever seen those adjectives used to describe ice cream. Especially puffy. I'm guessing you mean creamy and dense as opposed to whipped to increase volume by incorporating more air - though that's rarely done with the "ultra premium" products the OP is asking about. Could you elaborate a bit?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: BobB
                                                                                                                                              Querencia RE: BobB May 24, 2011 10:41 PM

                                                                                                                                              I mean that cheap ice cream has had air added to inflate volume so the consistency is puffy. Good premium ice cream is smeary---as it starts to melt a bit in your dish, if you take the side of your spoon and mash it down, it has a smeary quality which I guess is due to less air and more butterfat. Cheap ice cream won't smear.

                                                                                                                                          2. r
                                                                                                                                            RedTop RE: rthorn46 May 3, 2011 09:00 PM

                                                                                                                                            Just bought a 1.5 litre carton of Breyers Smooth & Dreamy Dark Chocolate Velvet at Kroger in SE MI. On special at 2 for $5. It might be ice milk, but it certainly isn't ice cream. Never again.

                                                                                                                                            1. t
                                                                                                                                              Thiebaud RE: rthorn46 May 12, 2011 01:53 AM

                                                                                                                                              Three Twins Bittersweet Chocolate is my new favorite. I haven't tried their other flavors yet.

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Thiebaud
                                                                                                                                                coachpal RE: Thiebaud Sep 24, 2012 05:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                their chocolate panut butter --mostly melted-- is my favorite from 3 twins. it's geat.

                                                                                                                                              2. twyst RE: rthorn46 May 12, 2011 02:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                Blue bell is what I buy most of the time. My all time favorite flavor is pralines and cream from baskin robbins despite the ffact it has an incredible amount of air whipped into it. The ben and jerry's flavor "rainforest crunch" was a close second in my all time favorites list, but it hasnt been available in over a decade.

                                                                                                                                                1. l
                                                                                                                                                  lz4004 RE: rthorn46 May 15, 2011 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                  for quality and price. friendly`s fudge swirl.!

                                                                                                                                                  edy,s turkey hill etc. taste and have a cool whip texture.

                                                                                                                                                  bryers is always crystal burnt.

                                                                                                                                                  for a super premium haagan daz.

                                                                                                                                                  1. EWSflash RE: rthorn46 May 17, 2011 08:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I'm not a big ice cream aficionado, so I'm not even going to read down this thread, but just state my opinions and let the chips fall where they may.

                                                                                                                                                    Costco Kirkland vanilla- I don't care for it much but my guys devour it
                                                                                                                                                    TJ's mango sorbet- or almost anybody else's, also coconut.
                                                                                                                                                    really good green tea ice cream- my exception to not going ice cream crazy
                                                                                                                                                    really good pumpkin pie ice cream (okay, now i"m on a roll)
                                                                                                                                                    From the Hidden House ice creamery of my childhood, Oregon Blackberry( haven't had it since I was 8 but I can call up that flavor if I think real hard)
                                                                                                                                                    Homemade peach ice cream
                                                                                                                                                    My husband made a sorbet for a family gathering- his dad was dying of cancer and couldn't eat any dairy without horrendous side effects, so he made a sorbet with all sorts of summer berries in it and it was the best thing I've ever had. The only down side was that I think they killed a tree where they were using the ice cream maker (salt running down, etc- and it was the neghbor's tree and none of them are botanically inclined, and I didn't find out until afte. I flooded the tree well overnight, but the tree died. Maybe there was a connection with DH's dad- who kinows?

                                                                                                                                                    1. byrd RE: rthorn46 May 17, 2011 11:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Sedutto's RIP
                                                                                                                                                      Now it's Bassett's

                                                                                                                                                      1. j
                                                                                                                                                        julesrules4food RE: rthorn46 Aug 31, 2011 11:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Since it's getting towards the end of summer I thought I'd start this thread up again. And the best way to do it is the same way as back in June of 09.....BLUE BELL!!!
                                                                                                                                                        Their coffee is the best ever with triple chocolate a close 2nd. But alas...I no live in Texas and can't find it in Vegas yet. Guess I'll be road tripping to Arizona as soon as it gets cooler with a couple of coolers to fill.

                                                                                                                                                        1. p
                                                                                                                                                          Patsyanne RE: rthorn46 Sep 20, 2011 09:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                          The best brand of ice cream available ANYWHERE in The United States, hands down, is McConnell's of Santa Barbara, California.My family and I are all ice cream fanatics, and we will literally make a special trip to Santa Barbara when we're in Southern California, just to get our hands on this stuff. The Turkist Coffee is the best coffee ice cream I've ever had, period. And the other flavors are just as good.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Patsyanne
                                                                                                                                                            anticheryl RE: Patsyanne Sep 22, 2012 12:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                            McConnell's has spoiled me for any other ice cream. When I moved out of the area (Santa Barbara) to Berkeley I didn't eat any ice cream for three years because they weren't shipping it up here. Then they started shipping to Whole Foods and I got re-addicted, and for a very short I could even get it at Berkeley Bowl. Now it is no where to be found up here. I found Three Twins to be a good, not great substitute for a year, but their quality has already started going down hill. So it's back to no ice cream. I am bereft. My favorite is Vanilla Bean, and any of their chocolates, and that coffee you mentioned is outstanding!

                                                                                                                                                          2. o
                                                                                                                                                            Oliverbluestar RE: rthorn46 Sep 21, 2011 02:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Trader Joes coffee bean blast

                                                                                                                                                            1. j
                                                                                                                                                              jflorida RE: rthorn46 Sep 25, 2011 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I am in Florida and can't find the icecream I alway got in Virginia. It was Texas Gold, and my favorite flavor was Cherry Cordial. Does anyone know of this brand and where I can find it. Maybe they quit making it.
                                                                                                                                                              I am not a big fan of Blue Bell. Thanks

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jflorida
                                                                                                                                                                BobB RE: jflorida Oct 3, 2011 02:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                A quick google shows that the brand name was registered in 1984 by Kroger's, but the registration was cancelled in 2006, indicating they no longer make it.

                                                                                                                                                              2. BKbutcher RE: rthorn46 Mar 14, 2012 09:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                No mentions for Jenis Splendid Ice Creams yet???? Best Ive ever had by far. A little Brooklyn brand named Phin and Pheebes is pretty nice as well.

                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BKbutcher
                                                                                                                                                                  OhioHound RE: BKbutcher May 13, 2013 05:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  +1, can't beat it!
                                                                                                                                                                  Though they're only available in grocery stores throughout Ohio... and now Tennessee perhaps?
                                                                                                                                                                  Expensive, and I prefer to eat in-store, but boy oh boy it's the best.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: OhioHound
                                                                                                                                                                    Leepa RE: OhioHound May 13, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I've bought it in NC at The Fresh Market. They didn't do much for me.

                                                                                                                                                                2. d
                                                                                                                                                                  david t. RE: rthorn46 Mar 15, 2012 11:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Haagan Daz. They make only the most basic flavors but all are good. Ben and Jerry's has a well-made ice cream, but their combinations make no sense and are distracting. I've tried one flavor of Graeters but wasn't impressed.

                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: david t.
                                                                                                                                                                    sandylc RE: david t. Mar 16, 2012 10:49 AM


                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: david t.
                                                                                                                                                                      GK in SO RE: david t. Mar 16, 2012 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I respectfully disagree about B&J's combinations not making sense.

                                                                                                                                                                      Some of them, yes I agree (such as the stupidly named "Schwedy Balls"), but others make perfect sense, such as:

                                                                                                                                                                      New York Super Fudge Chunk (Chocolate Ice Cream with White & Dark Fudge Chunks, Pecans, Walnuts & Fudge Covered Almonds). Come on, seriously, chocolate and nuts, it makes TOTAL sense to me (and I'm sure, plenty others!!). Or,

                                                                                                                                                                      My newest favorite, What a Cluster (fka "Clusterfluff", which B&J changed to "What a Cluster", despite no apparent public outcry, unlike Schwedy Balls, which had a huge public outcry but they didn't change). This wonderful flavor has Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Caramel Cluster Pieces, Peanut Butter & Marshmallow Swirls. It really is heavenly!!

                                                                                                                                                                      I could go on and on, b/c B&J's is my favorite ice cream, plus they have so many great flavors, but really, I must go back to work now!! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GK in SO
                                                                                                                                                                        sandylc RE: GK in SO Mar 16, 2012 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Those all seem too sweet to me - more like candy bars than ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. c
                                                                                                                                                                      coachpal RE: rthorn46 Apr 30, 2012 10:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Costco Vanilla ice cream DOES make great root beer floats!!!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. b
                                                                                                                                                                        bigginsben RE: rthorn46 Jun 28, 2012 06:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Harris Teeter All Natural Premium Ice Cream. The ONLY mass-produced Ice Cream (that I know of) that does not use ANY stabilizers. No Guar Gum. No Tara Gum. Just milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla (or chocolate, or other types). Closest I have had to homemade. GREAT ice cream. Props to Harris Teeter for putting out such a good store brand product.

                                                                                                                                                                        Made at Hunter Farms (same place makes the ice cream for Cook Out milkshakes, BTW).

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bigginsben
                                                                                                                                                                          sandylc RE: bigginsben Jun 28, 2012 06:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Good for Harris Teeter - or as this northerner knows it, that Tweeter place! I've always liked that store.

                                                                                                                                                                          But Haagen-Dazs does not have stabilizers; Ingredients: Cream, Skim Milk, Sugar, Egg Yolks, Natural Vanilla.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. David11238 RE: rthorn46 Jun 28, 2012 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm a convert to Steve's Ice Cream and Alden's Ice Cream. And of course, Mister Softee. Even if it does come soft-serve and from a truck.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. l
                                                                                                                                                                            LEsherick2007 RE: rthorn46 Jul 5, 2012 08:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Here in PA we don't have blue bell but I was in the south for 3 months and tried a few blue bell flavors and fell in love with it. I really like the blackberry cobbler, but here I love Turkey Hill, I will buy Haagan Dazs Carmel when its on sale the pints that is. Breyers is pretty good I like the different flavors they have and ones with mix ins are better than plain, hate Edy's and do buy blue bunny if I have a coupon and go with a fruity flavor for milkshakes

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                                                                                                                                                                              blacvulture RE: rthorn46 Jul 22, 2012 12:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              I live in Louisiana and my favorite ice cream brands are BlueBell and Borden's.

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                                                                                                                                                                                coachpal RE: rthorn46 Jul 22, 2012 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                omg! i discovered a brand when i was in Marin County, California. It is fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                "Three Twins" is the brand and in particular, I loved their chocolate peanut butter--but you must semi melt it before eating. That brings out the flavor. and the other one they make that is fantastic is lemon cookie. unusual flavor and both are incredibly delicious. don't forget to let it half melt though first! I could only find that brand in that area and at healthy stores.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. c
                                                                                                                                                                                  coachpal RE: rthorn46 Sep 20, 2012 01:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  ok, since Godiva ice cream is gone from the U.S. and that was THE best ever--for me, i've discovered a close second....Three Twins brand, Chocolate Peanut Butter. BUT you must half melt it at least!!! Don't microwave it, just let it melt. Oh, YUM!!!! It is made in Petaluma, Ca. so you may not find it in a lot of places...Whole Foods does carry it and so does Mother's Market in So. Cal. Whole Foods carries the brand, but you may have to special order the Chocolate Peanut Butter. That's the only flavor i really like in that brand, though the lemon cookie has potential.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Puffin3 RE: rthorn46 Sep 21, 2012 09:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Interesting timely thread. My wife and I were going to buy ice cream yesterday for the first time in over a year. There were so many brands to choose from. I have a brain wave! We assumed that the most expensive ice cream, per pint, was probably the tastiest. But instead of comparing prices we checked out the amount of butter fat in each brand. The ice cream with the most butter fat did indeed cost the most. It was a 'treat' for company so we bought the ice cream with the highest butter fat content. It was interesting to compare 'famous/expensive brands.......you know the ones and see how the butter fat content compared. They weren't all the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Puffin3
                                                                                                                                                                                      coachpal RE: Puffin3 Sep 21, 2012 09:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      i've often compared ingredients and i have been amazed at how the same ingredients listed in the same order can wind up totally different to the taste buds!!!! i have thought, gee, i'd like to see their process or quantities of ingredients to see what makes the difference in brands using the exact same ingredients!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coachpal
                                                                                                                                                                                        sandylc RE: coachpal Sep 21, 2012 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Or the same ingredients in print, but of varying qualities....another factor. For example, cane sugar vs. beet sugar. Or higher quality cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                          coachpal RE: sandylc Sep 21, 2012 07:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          yes, the place where they source their ingredients must certainly matter too, like which dairy, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. westsidegal RE: rthorn46 May 13, 2013 11:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Three Twins

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                                                                                                                                                                                        iluvbluebell RE: rthorn46 May 15, 2013 01:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        BLUE BELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. BlueMagic RE: rthorn46 May 15, 2013 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          My favorite brand by far is Richardson's.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Befuness RE: rthorn46 May 15, 2013 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            My fave is Salt & Straw which is made here in PDX. Extremely rich and creamy and a great variety of unique flavors. Lucky for me they have a shop down the block. But they ship all over as well.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Befuness
                                                                                                                                                                                              calmossimo RE: Befuness May 15, 2013 11:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I just tried Salt & Straw last month and am obsessed. I have been raving about it since then. The Olive Oil flavor was incredible! Best new ice cream place I've tried in a really long time. Blows Molly Moon's (in Seattle) out of the water -- I find Molly Moon to be completely overrated but Seattle-ites and visitors love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Last week I was in PDX and tried Ruby Jewel. Pretty decent, but nowhere near as good as Salt & Straw and not really worth the 20-ish minute wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Haagen Dazs is what I usually have in my own freezer. I think it's the best 'premium', widely available grocery store ice cream and the flavors are the best, even the plain ones. Haagen Dazs coffee and pistachio are two longtime faves, plus some of the limited edition, reserve, and 'five' flavors.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              HungryNihilist RE: rthorn46 May 19, 2013 04:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Ok food freaks, things have changed. There is now a holy trinity in store bought high-end ice creams. If you try these three you will agree with me.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1) Arethusa Farms (can only be purchased in NYC and CT)
                                                                                                                                                                                              2) Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream
                                                                                                                                                                                              3) Steve's Ice Cream

                                                                                                                                                                                              Honestly, I get you all like Blue Bell and Haagen Dasz but, even with the trans fats aside, these all have less taste, richness, and body than the three mentioned above.

                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
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                                                                                                                                                                                                Leepa RE: HungryNihilist May 19, 2013 05:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Only one, Jeni's, is available in my area. And, frankly, I didn't care for the mouthfeel of it. I had the brown butter almond.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HungryNihilist
                                                                                                                                                                                                  sandylc RE: HungryNihilist May 19, 2013 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't understand your reference to trans fats?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                    HungryNihilist RE: sandylc May 19, 2013 06:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    There is no doubt whatsoever that Haagen Dazs vanilla is the most popular flavor on this thread and it contains trans fats. As for Jeni's, I agree that everything isn't amazing but their Rocky Road is absolutely astounding, as is their Salted Caramel Flavor and Milk Chocolate flavor. However, when it really comes to Jenni's, try to find the ice cream sandwiches. There are whole foodie sub-cults dedicated to finding these in the Northeast (not hard to do in Boston (at the Buttery) and NYC (at Dean and Deluca's where you can also get Arethusa))

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      OhioHound RE: HungryNihilist May 20, 2013 04:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love Jeni's .. but my least favorite flavor is the Salted Caramel!
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now half of a scoop of Pistachio and Honey, and half a scoop of Vanilla? That's my regular.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Whiskey and Pecan is also wonderful, but the limited edition Olive Oil, Saffron, Orange + Caramel is hands down the best I've ever had.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HungryNihilist
                                                                                                                                                                                                        sandylc RE: HungryNihilist May 20, 2013 12:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Are you speaking of the naturallly occurring trans-fats from the butterfat content? If so, those are not the same as the manufactured ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: HungryNihilist
                                                                                                                                                                                                      iluvbluebell RE: HungryNihilist May 20, 2013 12:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      All of those you mentioned are not available in GA. If I get the chance to taste it against Blue Bell then I would agree with you. I still think Blue Bell is the Best. I live in Atlanta GA so it seems I will not get the chance unless they will ship me some. If it is that good I will send for it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bunson RE: rthorn46 May 19, 2013 08:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like Cold Stone Creamery, but buying the half gallon tubs for take home are expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      From the store I like Ben and Jerry's(Cool Britannica, Half Baked, Everything But The) and Thrifty's (now sold under Rite Aid) chocolate malted crunch.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        calmossimo RE: Bunson May 19, 2013 10:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh man, Thrifty's chocolate malted crunch! This was my fave as a kid, when I had a Thrifty's within walking distance! A great summertime treat and they use those old school ice cream scoops in the cylindrical shape. Haven't had this in a long time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: calmossimo
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bunson RE: calmossimo May 20, 2013 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I always got a double of chocolate malted crunch and mint chip, my brother always got pistachio...but yeah, Rite Aid has the chocolate malted crunch, just like you remembered it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Bunson
                                                                                                                                                                                                          iluvbluebell RE: Bunson May 20, 2013 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          There is a Cold Stone store in Alpharetta and I have tried some of their samples. It is very expensive and good. Did you know they make and ice cream pie? So far you have put your own nuts in the ice cream. They charge extra for that and any toppings. A pint is 5.00 dollars and I think a half Gallon is about 15 dollars. I forgot which flavor I tried before I bought a small cup. They have so many flavors to delight your taste buds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: iluvbluebell
                                                                                                                                                                                                            sandylc RE: iluvbluebell May 20, 2013 12:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cold Stone Creamery ice cream ingredients:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                            SWEET CREAM ICE CREAM (Cream, Nonfat Milk, Milk, Whey, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Guar Gum, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Mono &
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Diglycerides, Polysorbate 80, and Annatto Extract), VANILLIN AN ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, VANILLA BEAN SPECS (Water, Alcohol, Salt ))"

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think we should always know what we are buying.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          FutureChefAdam RE: rthorn46 May 19, 2013 09:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Another vote for the hometown favorite, Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Brambleberry crisp is my absolute favorite!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            coachpal RE: rthorn46 May 20, 2013 01:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            me too! r u in west L.A.?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. grampart RE: rthorn46 May 20, 2013 02:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here in Georgia, a lot of folks swear by the good stuff from Mayfield Dairy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                iluvbluebell RE: grampart May 24, 2013 12:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I disagree with you on that. I am in Georgia and Mayfield is not the one. It is good but not as good as some others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iluvbluebell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  grampart RE: iluvbluebell May 24, 2013 04:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  With a name like yours, how could you agree with me? Great first post!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                CastironJim RE: rthorn46 May 28, 2013 07:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like Graeter's ice cream, from Cincinnati, Ohio. Hand made two gallons at a time, the same way since 1870. The BEST! Ralph's, in Southern California carries it. (Kroger distributes Graeter's ice cream throughout the U.S.)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: CastironJim
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  xianh RE: CastironJim Oct 29, 2013 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I Agree!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Super high butterfat content and French Pot Process means no whipped air and a very smooth dense product. so dense it has to be hand packed!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Weight a pint of Greater's against any other brand and it should be heavier almost a pound per pint while others avg. about a 1/2 pound because of whipping. that means 50% air

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also they ship it if you can't get it locally.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. LMAshton RE: rthorn46 May 28, 2013 07:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In Sri Lanka, Elephant House or Cargills.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In Singapore... Haven't figured that out, yet. We've tried half a dozen brands and haven't found anything particularly good. It's been really disappointing so far.

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