Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Island Farms "Green Tea" Ice Cream

Today's review comes with the help of one of our classmates who helped us out with a couple of tastings, and since she is half Filipino (let's call her Asian Girl...AG for short), perhaps it's appropriate that we review one of Island Farms' Asian-inspired classic flavours, Green Tea ice cream. ;)
It occurred to me after I recycled the container that this photo doesn't actually show the flavour. Fail.
Now, we recently reviewed Haagen Dazs's take on green tea and we were somewhat disappointed by the subtlety of its green tea flavour. That is to say, we could barely taste the tea underneath the vanilla. So naturally we're curious to see how this one compares. The most obvious difference, when we removed the lid, is the colour. Unlike the washed out colour of Haagen Dazs, this thing is like...electric green. Not quite glow in the dark, and this picture doesn't do it justice, but it is green. Definitely looks like matcha powder, so if this stuff doesn't pack some serious green tea punch, something is wrong. (It's worth noting that on subsequent openings of the container, the ice cream had browned a bit in colour...which I think is actually good because it suggests that the colour is due to organic elements, not food dye)
Well, it's definitely matcha. AG commented that it tastes more like a Booster Juice matcha shot than actual ice cream, and added that her desire to try a "weird" flavour with us had been fulfilled by this product because it was totally weird. It does have a very strong tea flavour, so if you were hoping to be gently eased into the realm of green tea you'll be in for a bit of a shock; it's the complete other end of the spectrum from the Haagen Dazs we tried. While AG thought it was disgusting, finding it too earthy and that it "tastes like a face mask," J loved it, proclaiming that it is the only ice cream she has had that can truly call itself "green tea" because it actually has real green tea flavour. To her, if you don't like this ice cream, you probably don't like real green tea much.

As for me, I'm kind of neutral on it. The flavour is good, but I only really enjoy it for the first few bites before I get turned off. I think the issue is actually less about the taste and more about the mouth feel of this stuff. To me, it's too high fat, too creamy, for a tea ice cream. Creamy richness goes well with coffee flavours, but I feel like it's way too much for tea. I like green tea a lot, but I'm not sure it fits with a full fat ice cream like this. It's weird because I didn't feel this way about the Haagen Dazs one, but maybe that's because the dominant flavour there wasn't actually green tea.

However...
 When I was trying to finish off the rest of the container, I mixed this ice cream with some 1% milk in the blender to make a green tea milkshake. By diluting the flavour somewhat, as well as the fat content, this product was much more enjoyable. So if you're looking to make like a green tea smoothie/milkshake, this ice cream plus a low fat milk makes a pretty tasty concoction.

 Recommend to a friend? If you really like green tea, you may be a fan of this Island Farms endeavour. But you really have to like it.
Repurchase? J: Yes B: No, wouldn't be worth it for me.

3 comments:

  1. Totally agree with B. I just bought this ice cream because I felt like I am getting a cold and wanted something to soothe my throat. I found it way too creamy & fatty for a green tea ice cream. Green Tea ice cream should be hard, almost chewy, and a slight bit gritty from all of the tea powder. The tea flavour is also very weird, not what I'm used to (and I'm a green tea lover).

    I should have bought Häagen-Dazs Green Tea & Honey Vanilla instead.

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  2. It's interesting that you say the Island Farms (IF) tastes creamier but in a bad way. It actually has a lot less fat than the haggendaz (HD). And you will also see, the first ingredient in the HD is cream whereas the first ingredient in IF icecreams I believe is milk. IF is just poor quality ice cream in my opinion but the poor texture is more likely due to a lack of cream. Wouldn't you agree it's more like a Cool Whip (whipped oil) texture? I'm still very sad that IF bought out my favourite dairy, Coast Mountain in Chilliwack. Their icecream was superior in texture and their bubblegum was the absolute best. If you want to try local quality, check out Birchwood Dairy in Abbotsford, better all around texture. But their bubblegum doesn't have quite the depth of Coast Mountain's recipe. I'll be mad about them taking away the Penny too. Forever.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's interesting that you say the Island Farms (IF) tastes creamier but in a bad way. It actually has a lot less fat than the haggendaz (HD). And you will also see, the first ingredient in the HD is cream whereas the first ingredient in IF icecreams I believe is milk. IF is just poor quality ice cream in my opinion but the poor texture is more likely due to a lack of cream. Wouldn't you agree it's more like a Cool Whip (whipped oil) texture? I'm still very sad that IF bought out my favourite dairy, Coast Mountain in Chilliwack. Their icecream was superior in texture and their bubblegum was the absolute best. If you want to try local quality, check out Birchwood Dairy in Abbotsford, better all around texture. But their bubblegum doesn't have quite the depth of Coast Mountain's recipe. I'll be mad about them taking away the Penny too. Forever.

    ReplyDelete