Friday, December 28, 2012

Homemade Brand Vanilla Ice Cream Review

[By Nick] I was going through our review requests a few weeks ago when I noticed an influx of posts for Homemade Brand Ice Cream (yes, we do actually look at the requests so keep them coming!). Having never heard of them before, I decided to do a little research. According to their website the United Dairy Farmers began making ice cream in 1939. However, it wasn't until 1982 however that they started selling their newly formulated premium ice cream under the Homemade Brand Ice Cream name. 

Homemade Brand is based out of Cincinnati, OH and mentions that they’re the Number 1 selling ice cream in Cinci. Why is that so important you ask? Well friends, Graeter’s, who has a very positive track record on this blog, is also based out of Cinci. Now looking around at their flavors, I see Homemade Brand as more of a Ben & Jerry’s type company while Graeter’s is more along the lines of a Haagen-Dazs.

With homemade based out of Cinci and with me living in the middle of nowhere, no stores around me carry this brand. After sending an email inquiring asking if they were willing to send over some samples to be reviewed, I got a response back from one of the nicest PR people that I’ve ever met. Emma, who I know is reading this right now because she’s a big fan of the blog, was more than accommodating and was willing to send over some samples for me to try 
(Thanks again Emma!).

Actually before we start I want to mention a few things that also came in the delivered package. The first thing I got was this pretty awesome laminated pierce of paper with every employee’s signature on it. Now if that doesn't show a close knit company than I don’t know what does. 

Secondly, I was sent two different spoons. What’s so special about the spoons you ask? Well there’s this tiny pink spoon for newcomers to the brand and then there’s this GIGANTIC spoon for seasoned veterans. I really have no idea what I would ever use this spoon for but I think I might just hang it up as a trophy of sorts. This is seriously the greatest thing I have ever received from a company. Okay, on to the ice cream. 

Seeing as Dubba’s on a mint kick and I’m on a vanilla one, it was only fitting that I decided to try their vanilla flavor first. Now Homemade Brand actually makes three different types of vanilla but according to their website’s description this is the most "traditional" version. I actually have no idea what constitutes it being a traditional vanilla but I’ll take their word for it.

I really like the design of their containers. They seem up-to-date compared to other companies and are very appealing to me. Yeah, I really suck at critiquing packaging. One thing I find awesome about their containers is that on the bottom of each of them it says who made the ice cream “with pride”. In my case, it is Marquee P. who made this pint. Well Marquee, here’s hoping you have a reason to be proud of this flavor.

Opening up the pint, I’m greeted with an off-white base, almost with a yellowish hue. I guess that’s what makes it more traditional because I still have no idea what that means. Well, you know how vanilla can be a comforting flavor? Well this is exactly how this vanilla is. The flavor is restrained and, well, vanilla. It’s not going to blow your mind like Talenti’s but it’s just something that you know will be reliable. The texture is on par with other premium ice creams, it's just a bit llighter. It’s not super dense like Graeter’s but it’s not far off from say a Ben & Jerry’s flavor. I could see this easily being a perfect base for sundaes and the like or just as a topping for other desserts like pies. As is though, it’s just your standard vanilla that I doubt anyone would object to.

This might not have been the most exciting flavor to break into a new brand but at least it was a positive experience. I have a feeling Homemade Brand’s other flavors will be able to impress me even more.

Verdict?  A cozy, if ordinary, vanilla
Buy Again?  I can’t say I would with my love for Talenti’s but if it’s available you could do a lot worse.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/2 cup (83g)
Servings Per Container   4

Amount Per Serving
Calories  130
from Fat  60

% Daily Value*
Total Fat  7g
- Sat Fat  4.5g
- Trans Fat  0g

Cholesterol  30mg
Sodium  50mg
Total Carbohydrate  16g
- Dietary Fiber   0g
- Sugars  15g

Protein  3g

Vitamin A   4%
Vitamin C   2%
Calcium   10%
Iron   0%


Trampus said...

I recently tried Homemade ice cream for the first and wasn't very impressed. I tried their "Caramel Candy Bar Sundae" which is brown sugar ice cream, caramel with chocolate and peanuts. The brown sugar ice cream tasted a bit odd, but had a really nice, creamy texture. A texture completely ruined by far too many granulated peanuts. It was almost like they powdered them before adding them, they were in every bite and just made it feel gritty. There was also no noticeable chocolate. I'd try it again, but nothing with nuts.

Nick Rovo said...

I'm not a fan of granulated peanuts so I can definitely see them ruining any flavor they're involved it. They only sent me one ice cream involving nuts which is their butter pecan ice cream. The ice cream also uses brown sugar for the base. I've yet to try it though so I'm anxious to try it now. Check back for the review in the future.

Anonymous said...

Tried all there chocolate chip flavors and love them all.I would definitely by them again and gonna try all there flavors one of the best ice cream out there and the price is reasonable.

Anonymous said...

The Butter Pecan and Natural Strawberry are the best. Actually so is the French Vanilla and the Chocolate! Homemade Brand is hard to beat! My absolute favorite.

Unknown said...

I have to agree with you on the strawberry and butter pecan. I was just introduced to this brand today - visiting my cousin in MI. She told me to try some - she had strawberry and butter pecan. I tried a small bite of the strawberry, it was very tasteful; got a bowl for the butter pecan since it is my favorite. What can I say? AWESOME! Now where can I find it in MD/DC area?

Wonnie said...

Please, please, PLEASE !!! Rum Raisin ice-cream....thanks !

Unknown said...

Homemade is delicious! Their Cookies and Creme are my favorite.

Anonymous said...

I love Homemade Ice Cream!After not being able to get Bluebell Ice Cream in our area, I tried Homemade and I am hooked!! I just tried the pint-size of Mocha Chunk. Oh my gosh!!That is to die for! I'm hoping you will have it in the larger size.
Thanks for a great product.

Anonymous said...


Dubba Scoops said...

Hope you didn't send that email in all caps....

Jack said...

We purchased a 1.5 quart container of the Homemade brand Natural Vanilla Bean ice cream and were very disappointed. The taste was fine but there was a super fine grittiness to the ice cream. It was as if there was silt mixed in with the contents. The feeling of silt would not immediately wash out of our mouths with water or milk.

We've had vanilla beans in ice cream many times, but this formulation had the beans (I hope it was the vanilla beans!!!!!) ground so fine that the texture was terrible.

We returned the product to the store and received a refund.

We do not recommend Natural Vanilla Bean from Homemade Brand

Dubba Scoops said...

@Jack: It's called "freezerburn" my friend

Jack said...

Absolutely not freezer burn. The ice cream had been in our freezer for two hours, and I checked with the store and they had the product for less than one week. I know what freezer burn is. This was not freezer burn. Freezer burn is not a grit that you can feel in your mouth and between your finger after the ice cream has completely melted.

The store has comtacted Homemade with the lot number and so forth.

Dubba Scoops said...

@Jack: ok, just making sure, grocery stores aren't exactly good about taking care of their ice cream nowadays. they let it sit in the aisle. people stand their with the door open. etc etc etc.

Anonymous said...

@Jack, I do think there was something wrong with the carton you got. I consider myself something of an ice cream snob, and am always on the lookout for ice creams with natural ingredients (e.g. no corn syrup) that don’t add all those superfluous stabilizers like carageenan and all the gums. I was very excited when I first discovered Homemade’s natural vanilla bean sometime in the last year, because it has only the ingredients that a true vanilla ice cream should have. I find it to be delicious and to have a great texture. However, I was eating some just like you described as I came upon this site. It had that unpleasant grainy texture. But the thing is, this is the first time I’ve ever experienced that with their natural vanilla bean, after having eaten it many times. In fact, I first opened this same carton just last night and it had a good texture.

My hypothesis is that the graininess happens as a result of melting and refreezing, which is what this carton did. I had it sitting out for a while last night because guests were eating it, and tonight I opened it to eat the remainder and found the texture to look and feel all wrong. So I suspect your carton melted at some point during its transportation and then refroze before making it to your home.

I would give it another shot, if you’re a fan of vanilla with real ingredients. Just note that you have to get the natural vanilla bean that has only milk, cream, sugar, vanilla extract and vanilla beans. I’ve seen other vanilla flavors of theirs that have other crap in them and I haven’t tried them (nor do I have any interest).

I hope that helps!


Unknown said...

I experienced the same thing at the UDF store on two occasions then I went to Kroger and bought the same brand and it was fine. I’m really wondering what that grit is. You can even see it on the edge of the bowl. I think I’m going to stick with buying it from Kroger.

Unknown said...

When you opened your carton did you notice no tamer proof covering, just pull top off and ice cream is exposed. Wondering if ok to eat.

Unknown said...

have been waiting for a peach ice cream to show up stores.glad homemade finally arrived.great flavor with a ton of real peach pieces great job!