Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Night Italian Ice Fight : Luigi vs Lindy

I've kinda had italian ice on the brain since visiting a local italian ice place. Now there are two major italian ice brands around here (well, 3 if you include my boring time with PhillySwirl). Let's get these guys in the ring.

The Contenders

Luigi     vs.     Lindy

Sorry, we don't have a picture of Luigi, so I had to improvise with the bob dob drawing. Luigi is packing "real Italian ice" while Lindy packs "homemade Italian ice". Luigi is a modest 6 fluid ounces and weighs in at 100 calories and 0 BMI. Lindy is the same 6 fluid ounces but has a slightly beefier 110 calories and 20% of your vitamin C to boot.

Right off the bat, you want to give Luigi the advantage. He's lighter on his feet and not weighed down by high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors (or dextrose or soy lecithin or carrageenan). Ok, you get the idea.

Round 1: Packaging

I definitely like the Luigi's packaging better. Luigi has that bright red cherry Italian ice front and center. I see that and I think "where's my spoon?"

Lindy's packaging just seems dated. Granted, I think that's the idea, but it looks like it hasn't changed in about 20 years. The ice looks flat and boring, and it's not even prominent really. I'm thinking it's time for new artwork.

Here are the actual cups. Luigi's is plain and simple and includes a paper lid. Lindy's is busy, but does include an actual (tinfoil?) seal. Actually, the seal up top makes the container look bigger too.

That seal is a nice touch but overall I have to give this round to Luigi.

Round 2: Appearance

There isn't much to compare since they are so very similar BUT Luigi's looks alot more official. Lindy's just looks messy like something happened to it or it was lazily made.

Luigi quickly wins this round.

Round 3: Taste

Let's get to the final and most important round, it's tasting time! Be forewarned that I have had both of these treats before in the last two weeks, but this is the first time I am trying them side by side.

Luigi's is up first. It's a muted cherry flavor, almost salty. Muted might not even be the right word since it does linger so much. The cherry taste seems fairly "real", but I'm not sure that's what I want in this particular snack.

Lindy's is up now. It's definitely sweeter, more like a treat (no salty taste here). There is a bit of an unnatural/artificial nature to the taste. Not like nasty fake, it's just that you know that this is made to be a sweet snack and not an actual cherry.

How about texture you say? Luigi's is more dense, more like a sorbet. Lindy's is more icey/crunchy and harder to scoop. You don't need to wait for Luigi's to melt, but a few minutes wouldn't hurt Lindy.

Uh oh, we may have a decisive blow about to be thrown here. Luigi's has a lingering aftertaste, and yes, it's  "salty". It certainly doesn't make you want to dive back in for more. Lindy's has a light aftertaste, almost refreshing, leaves you wanting more (wait, is that the opposite of refreshing? can you be refreshing and want more?)

I have a few more bites but it's over for me. Lindy's has taken this round with a knock out. I'm actually eating the Lindy's in hopes of covering up the Luigi's taste.

Post fight wrap up

Luigi fought the good fight, and I know there are plenty of people out there who will prefer his sorbet like texture and more natural flavors, I'm just not one of them. Now we've also recently had Lindy's blue raspberry flavor in the house last week... I would have saved one but my daughter kept calling them cotton candy and helped me polish them off before I snagged a picture, but I think this proves my point. Lindy's is more of a kid friendly, sweeter, freezer pop version of italian ice.


Pabla said...

Lindy's products are disgusting!

Anonymous said...

You are sooooo Crazy, Luigi Owns Lindy's all day long. If i Wanted a snow cone I would have bought one.

Anonymous said...

Luigi's changed their formula or something a few years ago and tastes unbearably nasty to me now. Lindy's tastes like the way Luigi's used to be and is my favorite as well.
Everything comes out like solid rock in my freezer so that's less of an issue.

Dubba said...

Really? That's pretty funny! I'm new to both of them so I'll take your word for it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Luigis watermelon and raspberry are excellent.

Brian H. said...

I think they're both good, but I do prefer Lindy's. Lemon is by far my favorite.

Anonymous said...

Lindy's is a real italian ices. It is real ice apposed to the sticky gook of most other brands. Lindy's is in my opinion the best store bought Italian ices you can get. Ralph's Italian Ices are the best but you cant get them at the grocery store and are super expensive. Lindy's are near if not as good as Ralphs.

Anonymous said...

Lindy's is the best BY FAR!! I live on the west coast and can't even get Lindy's out here anymore. Luigi's just doesn't cut it. I have some every time I go to the other side of the country.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there is not doubt. Lindy's is far closer to the real Itailan ice I used to be able to buy in the city.

Anonymous said...

This isnt even a contest. Lindy's destroys Luigi's.
We're talking about Italian Ice...not Italian Sorbet. Luigis is hardly considered Italian Ice.
Lindy's watermelon is fantastic. Its just unfortunate that they dont sell full boxes of watermelon. They split it in half with the strawberry flavor.

If you let Lindy's sit for 5-10 minutes before eating, the flavor get enhanced.

Lindy's is FANTASTIC!

Anonymous said...

Lindy's all the way. Know comparison.

Anonymous said...

Agreed....Lindy's is better. Watermelon is my favorite.

Kate Elim said...

Love Lindy's orange flavor. It reminds me of when I was a kid (a long, long time ago) and the vendor would could around with his cart selling Italian ice. Loved it then and Lindy's reminds me of that. Wish I could find where to buy it in Connecticut so my sister could get some. I live in Virginia and find it here.

Dubba said...

market basket would be a safe bet, there are a half dozen in connecticut, think shaws has them too, just make sure she is trying a few stores and hopefully some place will have them.

Peginchicago said...

Luigi's Lemon has a bitter aftertaste. I prefer Lindy's but our local stores are no longer carrying it. By the time I get to the closest store I can buy it at it would be long melted on the way home. Boo Hiss!

Harley chicHD said...

You have to let Lindy's sit for a few. Our local grocer, Jewel, stopped carrying Lindy's for a subpar-not-even-on-the-same-level Luigi's and I, as well as many Lindy's fans, am disappointed. The textures of Luigi's are off, depending on the flavor. And speaking of which .. Luigi's shouldn't that concoction lemon Italian ice. Whatever that flavor is, it's far from lemon! Bottom line .. no comparison between the two .. Lindy's all the way!