Vanilla Ice Ice ... Ice Cream

Sunday, November 22, 2009
I'm often told I'm very "vanilla". No, not in the sense that I can bust a move better than Vanilla Ice (seriously, who can't?). I'm talking about my taste buds. This was more common when I was still friends with T, who had been a student at a local culinary school. She was fond of overloading her food with herbs and spices so that was all you tasted while I tend to prefer to taste the flavours of my food with a hint of the added dill, lemon, garlic, ginger, etc. Now that we no longer talk to one another, I don't hear it quite as often but occasionally it still comes up. I'm not embarassed or ashamed to admit I prefer good old comfort food. I don't need fancy schmancy dishes to tickle my taste buds (although I am slowing expanding my horizons....still no chicken thighs though. Sorry AsteReds). It should come as no surprise to anyone then that my absolute favourite flavour of ice cream is...vanilla. Specifically french vanilla - you know, the kind with yellowy tinge to it and the miniscule black flecks from the vanilla beans. You'd be surprised at how difficult it can be to find a really good vanilla. Most of the stuff out there is crap - no flavour, not creamy at all. I'm still on the hunt for the perfect vanilla.

Occasionally I get a craving for something a bit wild. Something unusual. Somthing crazy! That's right. I'm talking about strawberry. I'll give you a moment to get over the shock..... Strawberry is definately my number two choice when it comes to ice cream. Surprisingly, not chocolate. Sure, I like chocolate but for some reason, I'm just not that keen on it when it comes to an ice cream flavour. Not sure why. Anyways, back to the strawberry. Like vanilla, I find it difficult to discover a great strawberry ice cream. Wait...before I continue, I want to make it clear that I don't spend my evenings gorging myself on various brands of ice cream in a never ending quest for that perfect dessert. I rarely have it in the house because if I did, I'd eat it. Ok, now that that's out of the way, let's head back to my story. Where was I? Oh yes, the search for strawberry. It's easier to find a passable strawberry ice cream than it is for the vanilla but most manufacturers figure they can use a bit of fake strawberry flavour, some pink food colouring, and throw in a couple of things that may, at one time, have been a berry and they can call it strawberry ice cream. Not so. Yuck.

I am happy to report that I have discovered the closest thing to perfection when it comes to strawberry ice cream (in my opinion). Save-On-Foods had a sale on their Haagen Dasz ice creams (not a great sale but better than paying full price!) this weekend and since the Admiral and I have been eating a bit healthier these days, and we hadn't spent as much as we had budgeted for on groceries, I decided to grab one of these small tubs. Both the Admiral and I were prepared to be very disappointed in the HD Strawberry - the two of us have similar ice cream tastes. I knew after one bite that I had found the answer to my strawberry dream. The Admiral tried a spoonful and continued to cook her dinner as she tasted it. I had turned my back to put the tub back in the freezer when I heard "MMmmmmmm Oh god....". If I hadn't known she was eating ice cream, I probably would have been a little bit creeped out. Both of us agree that this was THE best strawberry ice cream we had ever tasted. I'm sure homemade ice cream is probably even better but I've never had homemade before. It's a very good thing we don't buy ice cream very often - at $5-7 a container (depending on sale vs. full price), it would become a very expensive, very fattening indulgence. For something though that we might but once every few months, I can definately justify splurging. Next time though, I think we might have to try the Vanilla Bean. If the strawberry is anything to go by, we might just discover the perfect vanilla.


Wandering Coyote said...

The HD French Vanilla with dulce de leche is positively orgasmic!

Red said...

The only ice-cream I *love* is Haagen Dazs's Cookies & Cream.

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