First of all, let me start by saying that I feel like a complete jerk for blogging about ice cream after reading this article about the torturous conditions in which California inmates find themselves, and hearing from a friend of mine who is a prison lawyer, that water was being rationed in California women’s prisons during the heat wave we had last week.
Be that as it may, not blogging about ice cream won’t change any of that, so here it goes. These are two new, for me, brands of ice-cream-like products that I found at Grocery Outlet, here in San Leandro.
I tried both their Hazelnut & Chocolate and Pistachio flavors. The Hazelnut & chocolate one was divine. It tasted exactly like you would expect it to taste, but it was lighter that your regular gelato. The Pistachio was pretty good as well, but less exciting because, after all, pistachio ice cream gets boring after a whole.
The ice cream comes all the way from Italy and I would fully recommend it but for its ingredients. The first two ingredients are what you’d expect: milk and sugar (I guess no cream in gelato), but we then encounter “glucose syrup” – which is basically like corn syrup, but not necessarily from corn – and then “refined vegetable oil”. Say what? What is oil doing in my ice cream? I’ve made ice cream many times and gelato a few, but never, never have I heard of using oil. I might have thought the oil was for cooking the hazelnuts, but it comes before “roasted hazelnut paste” as an ingredient, which means there is more of it than hazelnuts.
The gelato came in a 30 oz tub (so not quite a quart) and cost about $3 at GO.
What tempted me to try Tempt Coffee Biscotti “frozen dessert” ($2 for a pint at GO) was that it’s main ingredient: hemp milk. Sure, I knew there would be nothing “naughty” in the ice cream, but I like the idea of supporting the hemp industry. Alas, the “ice cream” was very disappointing. The texture is nice enough, quite creamy, but the ice cream’s flavor is very mild and somewhat off putting. According to my daughter, the after taste is better than the taste, however. Tempt could probably improve this flavor, at least, by using more coffee so the coffee flavor is stronger, but they should also forgo the soggy, flavorless, gluten-free biscotti.
Tempt uses mostly organic ingredients, chief among them rice, but it also includes oil in its formula. In all, it’s probably not a terrible choice for vegans, but others will probably want to avoid it.