For us lactose intolerant folk, sometimes the options in terms of dairy-free frozen treats feel a bit limited. I love sorbets and dairy-free gelatos, but they tend to be expensive and are often hard to find and limited in flavour variety. Soy or tofu based frozen desserts can be OK, but they can also be absolutely awful, and it's hard to get a texture that isn't rock hard when you're using soy. So I was excited to learn from a friend, who is also lactose intolerant, that there are now ice cream-like frozen desserts made from coconut milk. This is a great option for people, like me, who don't like soy because of how it can affect your body's estrogen production or because of an allergy (although coconut is also a common allergen). I am a big coconut fan to begin with, so I was excited to try these out!
When J and I made our last venture into Fairway Market and finally found the Island Farms Green Tea flavour, we also found two brands (!) of coconut milk ice cream for sale (OK, it's not really ice cream, but it's a lot easier to type). The first was Luna and Larry's, and the second was So Delicious, a company that is more well known for making soy beverages and soy ice creams. While I'm sure we will go back and review a Luna and Larry's flavour in the future, the So Delicious brand was less expensive at the time of purchase, so we opted for that. There were several flavours available, including a coconut one. While we thought it would probably be safe to go with the coconut flavour, considering what it's made of, we wanted to be able to compare this to a regular dairy-based ice cream, so we chose a common ice cream-like flavour, one that we have already reviewed from different brands: cookie dough. According to the company's website, this flavour is also gluten free.
|Apparently this is the "old" packaging, but the product should be the same.|
For this review we are joined once again by AG, who was a big help to us in our review of Island Farms Green Tea. This ice cream is coconut milk based with large pieces of cookie dough and chocolate chunks throughout. It was quite easy to scoop out, and we didn't have the frozen solid cookie dough problem that we had with Ben and Jerry's, despite the size of the pieces.
We were impressed by the cookie dough right off the bat. Not only were they in big chunks, but there were little mini chocolate chips in it. This seemed like the kind of stuff you could actually bake cookies out of, and while we debated trying it, by the time we had gotten around to making any kind of decision...we had already finished the ice cream. We also appreciated that the cookie dough wasn't too sweet, letting the chocolate chunks and the ice cream carry the sugar in this dessert. The chocolate was somewhat crispy, sweet but not too sweet, and So Delicious was very generous in the amount of mix-ins they gave us, unlike some of the brands of traditional cookie dough ice cream we tried.
And now the part you are probably wondering about: the ice cream base. Well if you expected that it would taste like coconut....you would be correct. And the coconut and ice cream combination takes some getting used to. At times we were almost getting like a marzipan flavour coming through. When you eat it together with the cookie dough, the coconut flavour becomes a bit less evident, but when you get it on its own you're reminded that, oh yea, you're eating a coconut milk ice cream. The ice cream is also quite sweet, but again this kind of balances with the less sweet cookie dough. AG commented that the ice cream base “tastes more like body lotion than ice cream,” and it does kind of give me flashbacks to The Body Shop's Coconut Body Butter. The coconut milk taste + cookie dough is not a bad combination, it's just kind of weird, and we're not sure that it totally works, at least not in the way we expected it to.
Recommend to a friend? If you're lactose intolerant, you should try this. While the combination is unconventional, it is still enjoyable and a nice alternative to soy-based frozen desserts. We give So Delicious serious props for the quality of the product and their generosity with the mix-ins.
Repurchase? We'd like to try some of the other coconut milk ice cream varieties rather than repurchase this particular one. It was OK, but not really our thing.