Comment Rescue: Ice Cream Edition



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75 Responses

  1. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    There have been flavors of ice cream I won’t eat, and brands I won’t go out of my way for, but I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a brand so vile that all flavors are turned down.Report

    • Avatar Snarky McSnarksnark says:

      My summer after high school, I worked in an ice cream parlor which was owned by a 22-year old. Work was, predictably a gas.

      However, he had financial management skills typical of a 22-year old, and at the end of the summer was forced to sell the store to some putz, who upon acquiring the store, assembled all of the employees and announced that we were all punks, and that every single one of us would be fired come September.

      One of the hallmarks of the store was that it made its own ice cream. After the announcement, due to some uniquely motivated employee initiative, there were two new flavors available for scooping: Tuna Marshmallow Surprise (really!), and Fecal Ripple (don’t worry, it was only a lookalike).

      I sampled both, and can say definitively: yes–I’ve had truly bad ice cream.Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I finished the garlic ice cream. But I can’t say that I really liked it, and it was just a little sample size.

    I can imagine flavors that wouldn’t work, those of leafy green vegetables mainly. Cabbge. Kale. But maybe enough sugar would conquer the bitterness and make it enjoyable.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      @mad-rocket-scientist @burt-likko
      Yes, certain flavors may offend the palate. But I haven’t met craftsmanship that failed.

      The cold is probably a big part of it. Cold mutes flavors and frozen treats can numb the tongue, meaning creaminess and a decent flavor is probably sufficient.Report

  3. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Ice cream that is badly freezer burned is pretty inedible, but I don’t know of that counts.Report

    • Avatar veronica d says:

      Freezer burned ice cream is a literal tragedy.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Yea… Doesn’t count. Melted ice cream on asphalt is dinilarly problematic.

        I fear this post may break the internet. What if *everyone* agrees…?Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Hmmm, a LITERAL tragedy?

        “The most generally accepted [etymological] source is the Greek trag?idia, or “goat-song,” from tragos (“goat”) and aeidein (“to sing”). ”

        Actually, seems legit.Report

      • Yes, it is a tragedy, even in the literary sense. Thrift is a virtue, and our desire for security, while not bad, operates as our tragic flaw. And our desire to save ice cream–e.g., in a freezer–meshes with our desire for security, for knowing that the ice cream is there and can be eaten when necessary. But alas, keeping it there–hoarding it to stave off the insecurity that scarcity brings–undoes the ice cream, especially if it’s been opened before, and what was once a tasty desert (unless it was Breyers) is now an ice-crystalled mess.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        betcha the goats will eat it.Report

  4. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    I can’t recall any really bad ice cream ever.Report

  5. Avatar Chris says:

    I had some sugar-free, vegan gelato a while back that was awful.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      Interesting, but what does that have to do with ice cream?Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I was conned. I was told that there was a place with gelato, and I naively neglected to ask if it was sugar-free vegan gelato.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Dude, that was not a naive failure to ask. That was fraud and possibly assault, even if they HAD told you.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I now have a list of questions for anyone who suggests that we try this new gelato place.

        The first question is, “Do you believe there is a hell?”Report

      • Avatar dhex says:

        that’s sad. there’s a lot of good vegan desserts to make, and gelato is already worthless, so there’s no way that combination is ever going to be good.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Bad vegan ice cream doesn’t count as real ice cream any more than a veggie burger counts as a real burger. No sugar and no dairy means it is not ice cream no matter what its aspirations are.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Um, @dhex I hope you’re not impugning gelato here. An actual italian gelato is a creamy, sweet delight.

        A lot of the thin ice milk sold here in the states gets this label and leaves uneducated consumers unimpressed.

        “Vegan gelato” sounds like an abomination against nature.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        A good gelato or Italian ice will beat almost every flavor of ice cream, except mocha almond made either by Blue Bell or Baskin Robbins.

        I had a passion fruit ice about six years ago that I still have dreams about.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Baskin Robbins has Daiquiri Ice which is the most evil ice cream I’ve ever encountered because I’ve never been able to not order it when they have it. I don’t even like it.

        Blue Bell, on the other hand, has Blackberry Cobbler which might be the single greatest ice cream ever devised.

        But if given the choice between the two, I’d probably still take Daiquiri Ice.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Coldstone has a flavor called “Cake Batter” which my kids often order. It tastes like butter and eggs, and is fairly disgusting.Report

      • Avatar Alan Scott says:

        Vegan Gelato? Did I wander into a Scott Pilgrim comic?Report

      • Avatar dhex says:


        “An actual italian gelato is a creamy, sweet delight.”

        that is one way to describe it. another is, “ewww, gross, why didn’t you bring me real ice cream instead?”Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        So this is how the League comes to an end.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        Come to think of it, dhex kind of looks like a supervillain.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        When BB first released blackberry cobbler as a seasonal flavor a few years ago, I ate it until I was sick. It is a work of genius.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        I assume it has beautiful ribbons of blackberry in it but does it… does it have ACTUAL cobbler pieces? Because if it does… damn, man… that just ain’t fair!

        I’ve only once eaten something labeled gelato in America (from a place based in Torino) because I’ve eaten gelato in Florence and I have to assume it doesn’t measure up. Is American gelato something other than an approximation of the Italian variety? Hearing it attached to terms like “sugar free” and “vegan” makes me think it has been co-opted by products that can’t legally be termed ice cream. Which is a damn shame. Italian gelato is one of the world’s great joys.


        Italy goes even further. They’re willing to label some American (and I assume other countries’) products as DOC but they have to vet it. And you catch hell if you misrepresent yourself. Italian hell.

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        OMG! Blue Bell *does* include crust pieces in the ice cream! It does not appear available but the peach cobbler is listed as currently in stores. I might need to make a stop.

        That reminds me of another idea for a post…Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Kazzy, it does have cobbler pieces. It is decidedly unfair.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Blue Bells best flavors are seasonal, including mocha almond fudge. However, there is at least one place here where you can get many of the seasonal flavors in a cone year round. I have trouble passing it without stopping in.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        gelato is the only way to have a proper chocolate.

        But I’d give anything to have some Pista Kulfi.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:


      There are actually rules about what can be labled as ice cream in the States. There is no such thing as vegan ice cream. Ice cream MUST contain cream. This is also why some of the cheaper stuff is labeled as “frozen dairy treat” if you look closely. It usually is because it fails to maintain the proper volume:weight ratio on account of whipping in too much air. And even that stuff is passable (with the added benefit that you can eat a tub and not feel gargatuan because most of it was air).

      It why’s Ben&Jerries will break your toe if you drop it on your foot. It’s dense.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    There was a place in Denver that specialized in homemade gourmet (the ‘t’ is silent!) ice cream that had a whiskey flavored ice cream at the same time as a lemon ricotta ice cream and I thought “Hey! I can get a whiskey sour in a cone!” and got a double.

    Sadly, the ricotta did more to distract from the cone than the whiskey/lemon did to add to it.Report

  7. Haven’t read the comments yet so maybe this is mentioned, but I can’t stand Breyers ice cream. To me, it’s gross. (Not to be confused with Dreyers/Edy’s, which to me is quite acceptable if not my favorite.)

    /first world problemReport

  8. Avatar Will Truman says:

    I miss Blue Bell Ice Cream.

    That is all.Report

  9. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    I once bought a square carton of store-brand “ice cream product” (not really ice cream but made to fill that ecological niche) I accidently left it out on the counter overnight. It did not melt. At room temperature it still kept its brick shape when I peeled the soggy carton away.

    This was not the first time I’d bought this product and ate it. Nor was it the last. So I think I’m on the “no ice cream is too bad to eat” team.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      That’s pretty weird. If in two hundred years they had to disinter your remains for some reason, all they would find in the coffin would be a perfectly-preserved alimentary canal.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      @doctor-jay Here’s the story on non-melting ice cream. It’s mostly a matter of guar gum and cellulose gum.

      (A bonus with Linky Friday is that in addition to 25-30 links a week most weeks, I usually end up collecting more that don’t end up being used.)Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      A lot of “regular” ice-creams tear me up internally. Here’e the ingredient list for Breyers Homemade Vanilla


      The various stabilizers and mouthfeel enhancers make many ice creams “bad” for me. Carrageenan, not in this particular version – but in the “Creamy” vanilla – is something that also irritates.

      We once had a “Smoked” Ice cream at a molecular gastronomy restaurant. It was not good.

      So, In my experience, Ice cream can fail in both form and flavor; therefore it can be “bad.”

      Pizza, on the other hand, is almost always a fail, with rare examples of excellence (I suppose this come from being raised in Chicago).Report

  10. Avatar aaron david says:

    I am sorry, but Pumpkin Fudge sounds revolting. I would not touch that no matter the maker. This falls into the category of “no bad beer” which is patently false, as there is at least one brewery that puts cherries into beer.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Cherries can make a great addition to beer if done in the proper lambic style.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:


      I don’t usually call for the ban hammer, but I think I might need to after that…Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      Back when I drank beer, some of my favorite, ever were the pumpkin microbrews available come fall here in Maine.

      Absolutely delicious, and as fine a us of pumpkin as pumpkin pie.

      Ice cream? Probably good, though I wouldn’t seek it out, but a pumpkin pie is basically an egg custard with pumpkin, and good ice cream is egg custard, and there’s absolutely no reason to suspect a pumpkin custard wouldn’t freeze sublimely. Plus the middle-eastern spices — cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves? What’s not to love.

      Best with maple syrup instead for sweetener.

      (Maine leads the nation in per-capita ice cream consumption. It’s also the coffee brandy capital, particularly the town of Rumford, which is probably the town where most of the ice cream I consumed from the grocery store as a child would have been purchased.

      And I just love me some really good coffee ice cream. Make it with ground espresso.

      Ice cream is also, essentially, flavored milk and cream, which can be used other ways. Cream based soups, for instance. Or baked goods. At my cafe, we used to have a lot of leftover milk from steaming it for espresso drinks and hot chocolates, so I’d try to use it up. We also had this incredible selection of teas — herbal, black, green, white. I’d collect the milk through the day, and when we closed, put a handful of tea in it, leave it in the refrigerator, and let it cold-steep overnight. Next morning, I’d strain it, and use it in muffins. Green teas make particularly lovely muffins; and my absolute favorite is a green citrusy blend in a muffin with chunks of bananas (something else I was always trying to find ways to use up.)

      Someday, probably this summer, I’ll try something similar with coconut milk and freeze it into coconut gelato.Report

  11. Avatar Czar Chasm says:

    The only thing better than Bischoff’s is having it as dessert after going to White Manna.

    Yes, Bischoff’s has a grill, but it’s beside the point.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:


      Dude, where you from? White Mana followed by Bischoff’s is a dream. You just need to get to a couch STAT before inertia sets in.

      I had to explain to my wife that no one under 65 orders food at Bischoff’s.Report

  12. Avatar Mo says:

    I see that you haven’t met Japan yet.Report

  13. Avatar Damon says:

    There’s a great gelato place in DC i’ve been. Hmm combo of triple chocolate and hazelnut rocks.

    I’ve know it to actually cause women to dance a jig it was “so yummy”.Report

  14. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    …truly bad ice cream?

    Many years back, one of the competitors on the original Iron Chef did eel ice cream. Only one of the judges tried it, and their comment was, “It tastes even worse than it sounds.”Report

  15. Avatar North says:

    Icecream is good, but it’s so rich that I try and avoid it. That said I have never sampled an icecream fould enough to prevent me from eating it.

    Also I have had home made icecreams (especially ones that involved beer in their making) that could make the dead rise from their graves to get a cone.Report

  16. I’ve had exactly three truly horrible ice cream experiences. When I was a kid, my grandmother, a sweet working class Polish Catholic child of immigrants from Buffalo, bought a container of some sort of a bubble gum ice cream as a treat for my visit to her. I forced down a bowl of it…barely, thanked her for it, and half-heartedly said it wasn’t bad. The next day, she told me that she had tried it and it was one of the worst things she’d ever eaten and said that she just threw it out because she couldn’t imagine anyone liking it. I miss her.

    The second was a peanut butter and jelly concoction that we made at home trying to find a use for this gawdawful almond milk that someone had given to us.

    The third was just last month, a maple-bacon ice cream at an otherwise really good restaurant. I’m not sure I can talk about that one – I prefer to remember how awesome the rest of the meal was, especially since the waitress was kind enough to take the ice cream off the bill even though I tried to hide my dislike of it.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      I’m surprised the maple-bacon didn’t work. What was wrong with it?

      Also… if you don’t use real milk/cream, it isn’t ice cream. Fuck that almond milk shit.Report

      • There was something else in it – sage. And, looking at the menu, my memory was mistaken, it was just bacon ice cream, no maple. And it was served with butterscotch.

        The sage was just too overpowering and did not play well with the butterscotch at all. The waitress indicated that she is pretty accustomed to people disliking it, although there are apparently some people who absolutely love it.

        As for the almond milk, I couldn’t agree more. I think the bigger question is why almond milk exists at all. It’s not drinkable. At best, I could see it being used as a minor ingredient in some sort of dish (I can’t imagine what, though). We figured we’d see if peanut butter would mask the nastiness of the almond milk on the grounds of “well, mixed nuts are delicious, so……”Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Dairy really seems to exacerbate my daughter’s eczema, so we give her almond milk instead. And if I make her a milkshake I use that (though the ice cream is still dairy) just to try to reduce it a bit.

        But yeah, on its own…not great.Report

      • @glyph Sorry to hear that. I thought that was what soy milk was for, though?Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        R. uses rice and almond milk almost exclusively. I try to ignore this fact, but it’s difficult. I mean, my brother uses soy and almond milk, but he’s really lactose intolerant. R. has no such excuse.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Yeah, we’ve used soy also. To me they seem about the same, but I generally drink whole milk so anything else doesn’t seem right.Report

  17. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    There is a company in SF called Humphrey Slocombe that does some really good ice cream but also sometimes gets too creative. Peanut Butter Curry might go into the too creative category. I’ve also had some vino flavored ice creams that I was not fond of. I do like their Vietnamese Iced Coffee and Secret Breakfasts and many others.

    Freezer burn can destroy an ice cream. I am not as fond of the bigger brands now that I can get good local ice creams by the pint in stores in SF.

    The best ice cream I ever had was probably made by the Amish. So good, so fresh, so much heavy cream.Report