Monday, February 10, 2014

United Dairy Farmers
Peppermint Stick Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

[By Nick] Along with their Santa’s Cookies ice cream, Homemade Brand sent along a free sample of their limited edition Peppermint Stick Chocolate Chip flavor from their United Dairy Farmers line. I was informed that their UDF products have more air whipped into them leading to them not being quite as dense as their regular line. Looking at the grams per serving, this one contains 68 grams per serving. That’s on par with stuff from Friendly’s, Turkey Hill and Edy’s Grand line of ice cream.

Since there’s no official description to be found, I’m just going to use my brilliant mind (aka commonsense) and say this one is going to be Peppermint Stick Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips throughout. So let’s see if my prediction holds true.

Not surprisingly, I was right. What I like is that there sees to be chocolate chips everywhere. I didn’t guess how it would smell but this one definitely has a strong peppermint aroma coming off it. This smell transitions right to the taste. Though with the ice cream being littered with chocolate chips, it tastes like a chocolate dipped candy cane. Peppermint flavors can get overpowering but that’s not happening here. The chocolate chips are more on the darker side and work as a nice buffering agent to the peppermint base. Their texture is different than your traditional chips. The best way I can put it is that they melt extremely fast. This makes them more brittle and in turn lacks that crunch factor. I honestly enjoy them for what they are. They add a nice change of pace. All too often, chocolate in ice cream is rock hard but these just melt with ease.

Also in the mix are red and white peppermint swirls and pieces of peppermint candies. The candies are a nonfactor to be honest. For the most part their too tiny to contribute anything and the only reason I knew they were in there is because I occasionally ran into chunks of candy. The swirls on the other hand, make their presence known. When you run into them, they add a potent blast of refreshing peppermint flavor. Not sure if this still exists but there used to be a gum that contained a mint filling. The name is slipping me *goes to google* Trident Splash! Well that’s the experience these peppermint swirls add. While that gum was too potent, these are more restrained and get toned down in the after taste by the added chocolate.

As for the texture of the ice cream, this is definitely better than the other mainstream brands I had mentioned earlier. While obviously not as dense as a super-premium ice cream, it has a staying power and doesn’t melt all that fast. I was expecting this to be sort of fluffy in texture but that’s not the case. The creaminess doesn’t seem to have taken a hit either. Since this isn’t their premium brand, I’m guessing the price is cheaper as well so it’s a win-win all around on this one.

As far as Peppermint incorporated flavors go, I’d rank this one just behind Haagen-Dazs Peppermint Bark and Ben & Jerry’s Mint Chocolate Cookie. That’s saying a lot for an ice cream that falls more in the mainstream category. I can only imagine how this would stack up if they were to produce it under their Homemade Brand line.

Verdict?  Possibly the best mainstream mint ice cream on the market!
Buy Again?  If I had access to it, I’d buy a couple cartons when these started showing up for the winter season.

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