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Posts Tagged ‘Ice Cream’

Berry season is almost upon us.  That means quarts and pints chockfull of strawberries and blueberries that disappear before you’re home from the market.  For those berries that survive the car ride home, their destination is often a starring role in a crisp, buckle or grunt.  There’s no better companion to fresh berries or a baked berry dessert than vanilla ice cream.  The Sapbucket recently did a taste comparison of two of Vermont’s finest purveyors of frozen dairy products.

Islands Ice Cream French Vanilla – The ice cream was a white-cream color with small flecks of vanilla bean throughout.  There’s no fooling that this is a milky ice cream.  It’s delightfully rich and thick, coating your mouth in a wonderful way.   That leaves the taste of sweet, vanilla creamy milk lingering as you contemplate whether you want another scoop.

Leonardo’s Vanilla Bean Gelato – The gelato has a yellowy cream color with flecks of vanilla bean size of freshly ground pepper.  The vanilla flavor jumps out at you from the first taste and is prevalent in every bite.  The gelato was slightly icier and sugary than the ice cream, but I describe those characteristics only to distinguish the two.  It was similarly rich and delicious, the perfect companion to a berry dessert.

Verdict: Two tremendous vanilla options for a summer brimming with opportunity for dessert. 

Made in Grand Isle, Island Ice Cream is available throughout Franklin, Chittenden and Grand Isle counties.  Leonardo’s Gelato is made in Barre, and is sold at locations throughout central and northern Vermont.  Like Island Ice Cream on Facebook here and like Leonardo’s on Facebook here.  

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I’m a big fan of frozen novelties.  It’s far and away my favorite aisle at the grocery store.  For kids, the aisle is enchanting, the chance to peer through the frosty windows searching for the perfect dessert and for what’s new.  The hardest part about the aisle is the overwhelming number of options.  With the increased number of people making ice cream by the pint, making a choice is harder than ever.

This ice cream is a bit of a novelty, perhaps more of a gimmick.  The base is a creamy maple ice cream with actual bits of bacon sprinkled through.  Which sounds great, but the execution here could use some work.  The bacon bits are a bit weak, think of a piece of bacon that’s cooked soft and left to cool.  The bits have a good bacony taste, but I want my ice cream filled with crunchy or hard chunks.  Perhaps candied bacon would work better.

Verdict: Great for a party as a novelty, stick to Island Ice Cream’s other flavors for your everyday dessert. 

Frozen in Grand Isle, we peered through the frosty windows at Hannaford to find this ice cream.  Check out Island’s other flavors here as well as where you can find the ice cream near you. 

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Wilcox’s tag line is “Vermont’s Original Ice Cream,” with a notation that the company was founded in 1928.  Given that many folks probably think of another Vermont ice cream company when they hit the freezer aisle, that feels like an old New England way of taking a swipe at a competitor under the guise of tooting your own horn.  Setting aside the who was here first competition, we were incredibly pleased with both of these ice creams.  The flavors and style are a little more traditional than other manufacturers, who seem to be in an arms race of flashy ingredients.

With the Maple Walnut, the maple ice cream was smooth and creamy, a nutty rich flavor without being decadent.  Mrs. Sapbucket thought this would go really well with an oatmeal cookie.  All of our tasters appreciated that the walnut chunks were on the smaller side.

The Mocha Mud Pie was as advertised, thick with fudgy swirls of a Hershey’s chocolate syrup flavor.  The ice cream had a great malty flavor, reminiscent of a glass of chocolate milk made using Nestle Quick.  It also had a slight Oreo cookie chunk flavor.

Verdict: Both of these ice creams were great, the Maple Walnut is better suited towards a grown up palette, lacking dramatic chunks or swirls.  The Mocha Mud Pie was advertised.  You want mud pie in a ice cream form, you have got it here.

Made in Manchester Center, we bought these at City Market in Burlington for $3.59 a pint.  No online presence for Wilcox to speak of, save for an apparent legal dispute between family members and Yelp reviews that say the roadside stand no longer serves Wilcox Ice Cream.  

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