Sunday, July 14, 2019

Art Cream Ice Cream

[New for 2019] The last few weeks have been pretty crazy, but it's finally time to introduce something that is brand new to the market. Art Cream currently has 9 offerings. The MSRP is $8.49 which is pretty steep (the only thing more expensive would be Jeni's). At that price point, it better be excellent, so let's see if these free samples can deliver.

Craft Made Art Cream Ice Cream
"Happy Cows, Happy People"

Their website explains things like how good people equals good ice cream, the fact the milk comes from a single herd in Wisconsin, and that each container is a work of art from an employee. Availability has started with grocery stores in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Virginia.

Ok, so, I'm listing these flavors in the order I tried them. Keep in mind that I'm coming at this as a skeptic and that Art Cream has 5 tries (pints) to win me over. In other words, make sure you read through the whole story to get my true thoughts. Let's start with my favorite classic flavor.

(You can tell top notch ice cream because it doesnt shrink in the dry ice shipping process.)

Gluten Free Cookies & Cream: The ice cream has that typical grey-ish C&C base coloring, but I don't see any actual cookie dust in the base. That's a rookie mistake in my mind. There is a little cookie wafer flavor coming off the base, but it's super minimal considering the price point here. The base ice cream is fine texture wise, you can tell it's up there, but I don't really get a vanilla vibe from it either. It feels like the cost went towards the milk & cream rather than the flavoring.

On Second Scoop: I had a bit for an early morning snack and I enjoyed it more this time. I do think they need to put more wafer crumbs in the base. As is, they are just too finely ground to add the flavor impact that I personally love.

Indonesian Honey Vanilla... wait, disclaimer, I don't like honey in ice cream, it's usually way too potent, but I want to try their most plain flavor next.  Is the vanilla from Indonesia or the honey... or is it just supposed to taste like it's from Indonesian? Either way, it's pretty mild which is what I had personally hoped for. I think this would probably be more fun when mixed in to a nice breakfast sundae. The quality is fine, but it's just not my thing (as I keep scooping anyway).

I was thinking about this flavor... in particular, I was thinking about how this feels like another mistake. There's a reason that there aren't any straight honey flavors on the market, they just don't sell that well. I'm not saying it can't be done right, but you need to add in an x-factor to make the honey shine.

On Second Scoop: I decided to make some cookie butter the X-factor... and then added in some biscoff cookie crumbs for good measure. Now this one can be a modern hit.

(the art cream people are really going to hate me for these reviews, hope #3 goes better...)

Chocolate: CHOCOLATE. I NEED CHOCOLATE RIGHT NOW. Oh wait, I have this pint waiting for me... ahhh, hold on, gotta let it temper after coming out of the basement freezer....  I dig in and I am a fan. It's a nice complex chocolate flavor without going too crazy. I can still see some thinking it's a bit too complex, it's got that little bit of something to it that you just can't figure out, but I'm ok with flavor diversity with in reason. I could easily keep scooping this one, so I will. Granted I was in a chocolate mood, but this has hit the spot really well. The higher end ice cream is well suited for the fancier chocolate flavoring. (why yes, half the pint is gone now).

On Second Scoop: This winner winds up being my favorite of the five samples.

Saffron Honey Lemon: I decide to try the last two flavors at once and SHL is the one I photograph first. I take a bite, and then another to confirm my suspicion. Yup, to me, this one tastes like a nice mild cup of lemon tea. I can't think of anything else. Technically the very first thought that crossed my mind was one of herbal essences, but then I was like, yeah, this tastes like tea! Unfortunately this pint got a bit freezerburn but scooping the still fresh inner core is pretty fun. It's an old school flavor, but it's unique and definitely flourishes in quality/density of the ice cream... get it, flourishes? HA!

That just leaves Ginger...   it's a little weird going from SHL to this. It definitely has a bit of ginger kick to it on that first taste. Ginger ice cream isnt really my thing, but I focus on the sweetness (and the melting edges) and wind up eating about half the pint. It's not until I stop that the "spicy" side kicks. Not habanero spicy, but ginger spicy. I think I may need a few sun chips, hold on...

Ok, I'm back and it's time for a recap. Overall I would say that Art Cream has grown on me. Positives are that it's a quality ice cream and I do like the pint design. That said, the line up does feel like it's aimed at 50 somethings and not 20 somethings. This is not the mix-in heavy ice creams that the "kids" are clamoring for on the gram. Somebody like Vice Cream was aiming at that crowd. Art cream is more aimed at somebody who wants to upgrade from something like traditional Haagen-Dazs offerings.

The review is over so now it's your time to chime in. How do you think this would fit in to your normal rotation? Thanks again to Art Cream for the free samples and for being patient while I worked through all five samples.

Verdict?  good but old fashioned
Buy Again?  if on sale

allergy note: products manufactured on shared equipment

Summarized Nutrition Info (per 1/2 cup serving):
230-250 calories [120-140 from fat], 70-80 mg of cholesterol, 4g of protein


ibagoalie said...

For that price, I'd just spend the extra buck and get Jeni's. EVERY pint I've ever had from them, even when I didn't think I'd like the flavor, has been outstanding.

Eric said...

The price point makes it a special treat, something I'm more than willing to pay on occasion if the flavor was to really intrigue me (I've done it with Ample Hills, for instance). Unfortunately these don't scream "must try" to me. The quality may be a little bit better than others, but that isn't enough of a draw.