Warm weather is finally here. We no longer have to eat ice cream shamefully out of the carton in solitude. Now that it’s hot outside, we have an excuse to proudly eat ice cream in public. The good news is, you don’t have to wait in long lines and pay for a high-priced cone at an ice cream parlor. You can find a whole carton of the grade-A frozen goodness right in your local supermarket. So dust off your ice cream scoop. We dove deep into customer reviews and ratings of ice cream brands to bring you a best-of-list for your spring and summer frozen dairy delight.
We’ll start with a brand everyone recognizes. Haagen-Dazs got into the ice cream game over 60 years ago and has stayed true to its quality standards ever since. The brand truly made its mark in 1966 when it introduced its strawberry ice cream, which used only the finest, ripest strawberries. Haagen-Dazs has catered to the demands of the public by producing ice cream with no GMOs, no rBST (a type of artificial growth hormone that increases milk production in cows), and is gluten-free.
It’s sad that the ice cream created by the Oregon dairy czar, Tillamook, is often overshadowed by the brand’s cheese. Both products deserve acclaim, and the ice cream is truly excellent. There is a creamy, velvety quality to it that is unsurpassed. Although all their flavors are great, if you get a chance to try the Marionberry Pie flavor, you can die knowing you’ve had one of the best ice cream flavors ever.
Ben & Jerry’s
This Vermont ice cream giant doesn’t need us promoting it, but we’d be remiss if we left it off the list. Ben & Jerry’s is the king of creativity when it comes to delicious ice cream flavors. Also, if supporting a brand that supports social issues like sustainability, racial equality, and LGBTQIA+ rights, then Ben & Jerry’s is a brand you should consider.
McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams
If you live on the West Coast, you’ve probably seen McConnell’s ice cream in stores. However, this family-owned dairy from Santa Barbara has flown under the radar for almost 70 years in other regions. McConnell’s philosophy is to combine simple, natural ingredients to get delicious ice cream. They use no stabilizers. No built-in-a-chemistry-lab emulsifiers. And it has no preservatives, and no imitation flavorings, dyes, or fillers.
VanLeeuwen Ice Cream
VanLeeuwen ice cream started off in a Brooklyn food truck and blossomed into a nationwide business. Its mission is to make good ice cream that makes you feel good. Well, VanLeewen succeeded in its mission and made not good but excellent ice cream. You can find this ice cream in select markets, or the company will ship it to you directly.
Blue Bell Ice Cream
If you’re a Texas native, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Blue Bell ice cream. The creamery has been hand-making ice cream in the state for over 100 years. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that Blue Bell started being sold outside of Texas. At present, it is only sold in stores across the Southeast. But don’t worry, you can get a taste of Texas’ pride and joy by ordering it directly from the source. Believe us, it’s worth it.
Coolhaus Ice Cream
This women-owned company started in a food truck, like VanLeeuwen, and at firt only in Los Angeles. They rose to fame on their cookie ice cream sandwiches, then started creating creative and unique flavors that are true to the brand itself. They also have a delicious dairy-free line worth checking out for all you lactose-averse ice cream fans out there. You can find Coolhaus in select retailers nationwide or order from the company website.
Hudsonville Ice Cream
We have to give a shout-out to one of the most famous Midwestern ice cream brands because Midwesterners are no strangers to dairy. Hudsonville Creamery started in Hudsonville, Michigan, in 1895 and is now headquartered in Holland, Michigan. Hudsonville has tons of amazing limited-edition flavors, like the American Fireworks flavor above. Hudsonville is available throughout the Midwest in over a dozen different states, and like most companies, you can buy it directly online.
Talenti is technically gelato, not ice cream, but who knows the difference? All we know is that there hasn’t been a flavor of sweet treat we didn’t love. Talenti began in the ’90s in Argentina. It uses an old-world process of creating gelato that involves slow cooking ingredients to fuse flavors together. However it’s done, it’s almost always impossible to pass up thanks to the brilliant marketing behind the clear jar.
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