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Favorite Ice Cream Flavor (no mix-ins)

I always thought I was not a big fan of ice cream. I demand vanilla ice cream with apple pie and mint ice cream on top of a warm brownie, but for some reason unlike the rest of my family just didn't get the obsession with ice cream and always found it to be too sweet (admittedly I have a low sweet threshold). This was fine with me and I don't necessarily have to like ice cream, but I always confused by my random cravings for the stuff. There is usually no shortage of ice cream in the freezer, as my SO and often-visiting-family love it, but I think have been misguided by all of the pints and gallons with tons of mix-ins.

Last night, I couldn't fight another random craving even though it usually ends in an overpowering disappointing sweetness experience. For some reason, there were only a few random mix-in free flavors in the freezer, likely leftover from the holidays. I dolloped out a scoop of chocolate, vanilla and mint and walking into heaven! It finally clicked and made sense with my penchant for dessert with simple ice cream flavors. It's great stuff as long as it's not overloaded with too many ingredients upping the sugar ante.

Do you have any favorite ice cream flavors which don't involve mix-ins? Or brand recommendations for your favorites?

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  1. I prefer vanilla ice cream. I like Hagen Daz for easy supermarket vanilla ice cream. I do sometimes mix in malted milk, so if they sold vanilla malted ice cream, I'd buy that.

    1. Does Neapolitan count as 1 flavor?

      2 Replies
      1. re: bbqboy

        Yup, for me at least. In fact, as a kid that was usually the only kind of ice cream I would grab from the freezer so I guess my preference for simpler flavors has not changed much.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          +1. Neapolitan is my favorite. If not that, then vanilla with caramel swirl.

      2. The 'Sweet Cream' at Ashley's in New Haven is the best ice cream I have ever enjoyed. Ice cream in Mexico is also very good, as they don't use artificial ingredients.

        1. Blue Bell makes a killer mint chocolate chip. That's as chunky as I'm willing to go.
          I like my ice cream neat, too.

          Homemade vanilla is my super favorite of anything.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jmcarthur8

            I have been on the hunt for Blue Bell in my area but it hasn't creeped up this north yet. I live in Baltimore and we recently got a Harris Teeter so I have hope that perhaps they will carry it soon.

            1. re: jmcarthur8

              Yup, Bluebell Homemade Vanilla here too. *Until Perilagu Khan mentions Lemon, and I waver, then pout. (I'm extraordinarily rural, only buy ice cream a few times a year, and rarely happen to be in a city large enough to stock Lemon when/if they do.So it's a perfect storm of no lemon for me.)

            2. Bluebell natural vanilla and dutch chocolate.
              The best commercialy made ice cream I ever ate was in New Zealand.

              1. Lemon. On the rare occasion I can find it.

                Also mad for pistachio kulfi.

                1. As often as I mention it, I should just change my name here to "Bi Rite Salted Caramel."

                  I'm a big fan of mix-ins, but Bi Rite's salted caramel is what I would have for my last meal.

                  1. Trader joes pumpkin flavor is great.
                    Not really ice cream, but the frozen yogurt at trader joes is different and a favorite.

                    Supermarket wise.... I buy whatever brand is on sale for husband and dd. usually choc chip cookie dough or cookies n cream

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      the TJ's pumpkin and coffee flavors are both good.

                      me, i'm a vanilla bean ice cream girl.
                      or a vanilla soft serve, a la dairy queen.

                      otherwise, i'm a mint chocolate chip or oreo ice cream girl.

                    2. Haagen Daz (or other naturally flavored) pistachio ice cream. For me, it's among the best of simple desserts.

                      1. Usually it's Madagascar Vanilla.

                        But recently I just made a batch of Papaya Ice Cream which was divine.

                        If I'm buying it, then it's pistachio.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Papaya ice cream sounds fantastic. I got a fresh papaya milk shake in FL a few months ago - very tasty.

                          1. re: akq

                            It is indeed.

                            I just bought another box of papayas for this weekend ...

                        2. In this order:

                          Salted caramel swirl (my own)
                          Ginger (haven't met one I didn't like)
                          *Real* pumpkin
                          B&J "Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz" aka "from Russia with Buzz" sadly discontinued.

                          1. Costco's Kirkland brand vanilla is the best vanilla ice cream I've ever found in a store. The price is also unbelievable.

                            I'm also not a huge fan of ice cream that is more candy than ice cream, so I tend to buy simple flavors - lemon, pistachio, dulce de leche, salted caramel, mint, cherry (amarena if I can find it), maple walnut or black walnut, dark chocolate sorbet (especially good for those without much of a sweet tooth) or pretty much any tangy fruit sorbet (especially those made with wine).

                            One exception to this rule is Ben and Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie. It is like CRACK.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: biondanonima

                              Oooh, I love mint chocolate chip ice cream, perhaps I should give this a go.

                            2. I tend to prefer my ice cream sans mix-ins unless we're talking chocolate shavings or small chips. It kills my teeth to bite into frozen nuggets, and I don't want to "chew" my ice cream. My favorite simple flavors are dark chocolate, vanilla bean & coffee.

                              If you like goat cheese/milk, try some of the Laloo's Goat Milk Ice Cream flavors. They're not sugar bombs - like you, I have a low threshold for sweet - and the goaty tang is there but not overpowering. Admittedly it's been several years since I last had ice cream, but I loved this stuff when I tried it. If memory serves, the Deep Chocolate, Rumplemint, Black Mission Fig, Vanilla Snowflake, and Capraccino flavors were all delicious (I'm not a Strawberry girl so I've never had that one).

                              1. Hershey's Peanut Butter swirl. vanilla ice cream with peanut butter swirls. my absolute favorite.

                                1. ANYTHING involving chocolate and peanut butter. Preferably a chocolate-based flavor. Then...toss in any and all mix-ins!!

                                  1. Black raspberry has never let me down.

                                    Green tea is good for particular cravings and tends to not be as sweet.

                                    Coconut is very hit or miss for me. If it's good, it's incredible. If it's not, it's very meh.

                                    7 Replies
                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        +2 for green tea!

                                        I'm not really a huge ice cream fan. I love baked goods, and I love custards and puddings, but ice cream never really did it for me. However, I love, love, LOVE green tea ice cream.

                                        I'm also a fan of green tea flavored desserts in general.

                                        1. re: SarachkaInBrooklyn

                                          How come no one makes a Black Tea Ice Cream?

                                          Or better yet, a Pu-erh tea ice cream?

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            Is earl grey a black tea? I'm pretty sure I've seen earl grey ice cream.

                                            1. re: Violatp

                                              I would definitely eat that. I love Earl Grey, and I occasionally drink it with milk and sugar, so I'm pretty sure that ice cream would be luscious.

                                              1. re: Violatp

                                                I've had green tea and English breakfast tea Hagen Daz in Japan.
                                                I didn't like either of them.
                                                Am a big fan of marmalade ice cream though.

                                        2. re: hyacinthgirl

                                          Have you had the black raspberry at Leo's in Carlisle, pa? Worth the drive and they sell pints so you can take some home.

                                        3. I do really love Edy's Spumoni. Really.

                                          1. Pistachio
                                            Maple Walnut
                                            Butter Pecan
                                            Salt Caramel
                                            Amarena Cherry

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: linguafood

                                              If you replace your Amarena Cherry with both Rum Raisin and Liquorish, l would put yours up there with mine.

                                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                You mean like the malaga flavor found in Europe? Or liquorice ice cream? The latter doesn't sound like something I'd like.

                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                  No it is liquorish. Have had often in Italy and Grom stores have it as well. Grom is in Italy, NY, Paris, L.A. It is my single favorite flavor and maker of it.

                                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                    Ah, ok. Two different flavors: rum raisin & licorice. Gotcha.

                                                    I love the Grom gelati -- have had a wonderful salt caramel and Sicilian pistachio there once. Blood orange sorbet, too, which was really fantastic, although I'm not much of a sorbet fan.

                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                      Ah this reminds me of the salted butter caramel flavor at Berthillon. Also very good.

                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                        No negative aspersions to Berthillon but try Constant's salted caramel. Next time in, go to store on west side of Jardin Luxembourg off Rue Fleurus.

                                            2. I've never been able to decide between several supplier's Chocolate Almond, and Haagen Daz's Vanilla Swiss Almond.

                                              1. Ginger - wish there was a commercial source for this
                                                Haagen Dazs Pistachio and their Five Vanilla Bean

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: EM23

                                                  Haagen Dazs 5 ginger ice cream has been on the market awhile. http://www.theimpulsivebuy.com/wordpr...

                                                  and the Mr. Green Tea Ice Cream Co. (sold in WF) also makes a fresh ginger ice cream.

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    I had no idea - thanks Hill J!

                                                    Have you had both? Is one better than the other?

                                                2. Rocky road, any good brand, pistachio, blackberry. pumpkin, green tea (a particular favorite), mango sorbet, raspberry sorbet. I'm not a big ice cream freak, but sometimes those call out to me.
                                                  Also the occasional dark chocolate Dove Bar with vanilla ice cream inside.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                                    Wow- missed the whole "add-in" part. In that case, green tea, and mango sorbet if sorbet counts.

                                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                                      Well you have now hit on my new love! While I couldn't seem to find my ice cream mojo and jump on the bandwagon, a friend pointed out the fact that while in Europe I always ordered the fruit-flavored gelatos and often have berries for dessert which flicked the duh lightbulb. I am now hooked on sorbet. My current favorite is the Talenti Roman Raspberry, but tonight I plan to try the Sharon's Passionfruit

                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                        I once tried a very mild durian sorbet that I thought was wonderful, but couldn't get my guys interested in. HO WAH.

                                                  2. Real, underline real ice cream flavors..then I'd go with

                                                    Green Tea

                                                    and while not an ice cream, I really miss frozen root beer pops.

                                                    1. Oh, I'm also a huge fan of the orange sherbet/vanilla ice cream combo. Mmmmm!

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: Violatp

                                                        We call that flavor creamsicle.

                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                            Dreamsicle is ice milk, creamsicle is ice cream; this info from an ex-Good Humor Man in college, me.

                                                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                              No kidding, a dairy guy even back then. My respect for your focus continues to grow!

                                                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                Another ex-Good Humor man in college here, one summer. Had to join the teamsters. Long hours, 6 days a week. I gave away too much free stuff.

                                                        1. My picks for ice cream flavors that aren't too sweet generally skew Eastward:
                                                          Purple yam (or taro)
                                                          Black sesame
                                                          Green tea
                                                          Pistachio, although I'm not sure if the addition of nuts qualifies as a "mix in"

                                                          1. Chocolate marshmallow. But only from Carvel. Which we don't have where I live now. :(

                                                            There is also a place a couple towns from where I used to live in Jersey that served lavender mascarpone ice cream. It was like a scoop of heaven!

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Heatherb

                                                              There was a notorious mobster in San Francisco named Lavender "The Fist" Mascarpone.

                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                Nuh-unh. Don't believe it for a second. Though it would be cool if it was true :)

                                                            2. Blue Bell Chocolate and Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla

                                                              1. With no mix-ins /add ons -

                                                                Haagen Das Coconut Pineapple
                                                                Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia
                                                                Good quality Pistachio
                                                                Good quality Pumpkin
                                                                sometimes, good vanilla

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                  Cherry Garcia has cherries and chocolate chunks mixed in...?

                                                                  1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                    jeanm, we follow many of the same favorites so I'm wondering what brands you enjoy. Thanks.

                                                                  2. Thanks for all of the recommendations...I'm loving it!

                                                                    1. In Sri Lanka, the best brands I've had are Elephant House (http://ccs.lk/products-range/ice-crea...) and Cargills.

                                                                      For flavours, I definitely prefer EH Karutha Kolomban mango - it uses the best variety of mangos. Their chocolate and fruit & nut are good, too.

                                                                      In Singapore, we've yet to find a brand of ice cream we actually like. :(

                                                                      1. Wild Mountain Blackberry which is virtually impossible to find or any fruit and vanilla ice cream.My daughter makes marscapone and peach home made ice cream that will make one weep with joy but she moved to New Zealand in June 2012 to get married so no more for me:(

                                                                        1. Does anyone remember Butter Brickle? I had a dream about that ice cream flavor the other night. Seems like you never see it these days.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Tripeler

                                                                              Butter Brickle? Bleeve he was a sidekick of NASCAR driver Dick Trickle.

                                                                            2. Also not a big consumer of ice cream but when the urge hits for me it's all about texture (smooth, creamy, unctuous - you get the idea). [RIP Frusen Gladje!]. Don't mind bits of fruit or a flavor swirl but hate any kind of chocolate mix in - those hard waxy pieces are just wrong to me! That said, if I can't bring myself to brave the parking hassles at my favorite local shop (Izzy's in St.Paul) I settle for Hagen Daz Vanilla or Lemon at the supermarket.

                                                                              1. Whatever happened to Frusen Galdje? When I lived in Missouri, we had it and it was the best. ever. Their regular chocolate and vanillas were grand, but the Swiss Mocha Almond was a mouthful of heaven. Now, in Texas I can get
                                                                                Blue Bell in all it's glory and love it, but the supermarket, HEB
                                                                                makes a Poteet Strawberry ( Poteet is a little town nearby known for its strawberries) that is delicious and crave-making.

                                                                                1. Right now, (store-bought) it's Hagen-Das FIVE Coffee . . .

                                                                                  1. Hagen Daz peanut butter rules.
                                                                                    IMO This is the best ice cream ever, thats for store/nation wide. I'm not talking Homemade or ice cream shops that make it from scratch.

                                                                                    But places like that or homemade I still always look first for Peanut butter, if they dont have that, then I go for flavors I like and sound good. But for me, Peanut butter is always my first choice.

                                                                                    1. No mix-ins, right? But what is a mix-ins? I mean if Neapolitan is not mix-ins, then what is? People also say Mint Chips.....etc. I don't get what is and what is not...

                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                        There aren't strict rules here, my original post was intended to find out any good simple flavors with not tons of "stuff" in it so I assumed people would use their judgement which seems to be the case so far. I think flavors with small additions are legitimate (although admittedly not "no mix ins" but if small don't really detract much or overwhelm the flavor) and not just flavors strictly with nothing else in them.

                                                                                        Just a question of interest - what are the mix ins in Neapolitan? In my neck of the woods, it is chocolate, vanilla and strawberry lined up side by side

                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                          < In my neck of the woods, it is chocolate, vanilla and strawberry lined up side by side>

                                                                                          That's what I am wonder if any mixture of more than one flavor is considered as mix-in.

                                                                                          Anyway, my simplest favor flavor is: chocolate ice cream or blackberry ice cream
                                                                                          My slightly more complex one is: mint chocolate chips or rocky road.

                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                            I guess I don't consider a mix-in a mixture, not that particular about the details.

                                                                                            ooh I have never had blackberry ice cream but love blackberries!

                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                              I assumed mix-ins were the junk food(mostly) added after the fact.
                                                                                              M & M's, reese's pieces, bubblegum, peanuts, jellybeans, red hots-stuff like that added after the fact.

                                                                                              1. re: bbqboy

                                                                                                Yea that's what I had in mind and didn't really think it could possibly be interpreted in many other ways though I guess next time I shouldn't assume.

                                                                                                1. re: bbqboy

                                                                                                  So would say "Almond Vanilla" with Almond nuts be considered with mix-ins? I like Rocky Roads which has marshmallow.

                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                    Not sure there is a standard definition of mix-ins or that there needs to be. Technically you mix almonds into an ice cream so yes it's a mix in but for the purpose of a thread aimed to elicit less complicated, over the top flavors I think it's ok if a flavor does not meet the technical standard such as in your suggestion as the sweetness and flavor of almonds don't really overwhelm any products in my opinion.

                                                                                                    There are great ideas here and many have things "in them" but as people have used reasonable judgment they all appear to remain simple, not overwhelming flavors compared to the more complicated stuffed flavors. Suggest as you want, it seems to be working and if the flavor doesn't appeal to some they can ignore it. For example, you mentioned rocky road as an example but just on the description of mix ins alone I know it's likely too much for me so disregard it but it might appeal to someone else with a higher tolerance for stuff.

                                                                                                    This seems like an adventure in common sense, admittedly there is grey area which I don't think confuses the spirit of the thread

                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                      Sort of what the definition of "is" is?

                                                                                          2. Good quality butter pecan is my fave. I almost never eat ice cream any more, but if I give in it would be for butter pecan.

                                                                                            I don't like mix ins either.

                                                                                            1. Richardson's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream is by far my favorite.

                                                                                              1. Haagen Dazs Java Chip - yum!

                                                                                                1. I love Friendly's mint chocolate chip. Probably so many dinners there as a kid made it the ice cream by which all other mint chips are measured. I like it straight but prefer it as a happy ending sundae, which for me is hot fudge (not chocolate sauce) and whipped cream (no cherry).

                                                                                                  Currently I am completely smitten with salted caramel vanilla from a local place, Leo's. I like it side by side with their chocolate ice cream which is rich.

                                                                                                  The salted butter ice cream from Oleana in Cambridge, MA may be the best I have every had in my life.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: melpy

                                                                                                    Completely adore Friendly's mcc with the hot fudge. Brings back SO many childhood memories! Used to stop there after the movies.

                                                                                                  2. green tea. the more bitter, the better!