After a particularly trying day, there’s nothing like coming home and making yourself a big bowl of ice cream for dinner. I’m an adult and I eat what I want, damn it. Until recently. Being lactose intolerant means no ice cream. At least not of the cow’s milk variety. A few months ago I read an article that Ben & Jerry’s would be coming out with some dairy-free options and I was excited. This past weekend I also found another brand I enjoy, So Delicious, also has a range of dairy-free desserts. So I bought some. Not because I thought it would make a good post but because this bitch needed some ice cream.
Breaking Down the Brands
I don’t know a single person who doesn’t know of the Ben & Jerry’s brand. They’re known for making ice cream and good fucking ice cream at that. So Delicious is not known for their ice creams but for producing dairy-free alternatives (milks, yogurt, etc). But I’m not really sure the brand is that well known at all. Because of this difference in brand recognition you’re more likely to find Ben & Jerry’s (B&J) than So Delicious (SD) in any grocery store.
I’ve never worked as a purchaser for a grocery store but it just makes sense. If your stores already sell B&J and if customers are familiar with the brand, then you’re more likely to order the dairy-free option. It’s the opposite with SD. I went to Target and Food Lion looking for some other flavors of SD’s desserts and was unable to find any. SD’s website said that some products could be found at those stores but they were sold out and didn’t know when they would be in stock. In fact, I’ve only been able to buy SD Harris Teeter.
Round One: Obviously availability is going to be a huge factor. You’re not going to drive 40 minutes one way for a frozen treat when you don’t have to. In this category, B&J takes the cake.
Like I said above, B&J is known for ice cream. It’s what they do and they have a lot of different and unique flavors. However, they currently only offer four non-dairy flavors made with almond milk. They are:
- Chunky Monkey
- Chocolate Fudge Brownie
- Coffee Caramel Fudge
- P.B. & Cookies
SD on the other hand, has frozen desserts made from cashew milk, coconut milk, almond milk, and soy milk. And not just one or two flavors in each category, but over 30! Some “milks” even have bars and topping options but I’ll be leaving those off the list. They are:
- Butter Pecan (coconut, NSA)
- Cappuccino (cashew)
- Cherry Amaretto (coconut)
- Chocolate (almond)
- Chocolate (coconut)
- Chocolate (coconut, NSA)
- Chocolate Cookies N’ Cream (cashew)
- Chocolate Obsession (soy)
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl (coconut)
- Chocolate Velvet (soy)
- Coconut (coconut)
- Cookie Dough (coconut, GF)
- Cookie Dough (soy, GF)
- Cookies ‘N Cream (almond, GF)
- Cookies N’ Cream (coconut, GF)
- Creamy Cashew (cashew)
- Creamy Chocolate (cashew)
- Creamy Vanilla (soy)
- Dark Chocolate Truffle (cashew)
- Mint Chip (almond)
- Mint Chip (coconut, NSA)
- Mocha Almond Fudge (almond)
- Mocha Fudge (soy)
- Neapolitan (soy)
- Oregan Mixed Berry (coconut)
- Peanut Butter Zig Zag (soy)
- Purely Vanilla (soy)
- Salted Caramel Cluster (cashew)
- Simply Strawberry (coconut)
- Snickerdoodle (cashew)
- Turtle Trails (soy)
- Vanilla (almond)
- Vanilla Bean (coconut, NSA)
- Very Vanilla (cashew)
Round Two: I agree that variety is the spice of life and I don’t believe I should be limited to my flavor selection because of my dietary restrictions. In this category, SD takes home the prize.
Texture, Texture, Texture
The desserts that I bought are made with different milks (almond vs coconut). I’m not sure if it’s because of this, the process, or the brand that they have different textures but they do. B&J, again, knows how to make ice cream so their P.B. & Cookies made with almond milk is creamy just like regular ice cream. It taste great too. SD doesn’t slack though with their coconut milk Cookie Dough. It’s tasty too but more frozen ice than cream. Not to say that it’s icy with crystals because it’s not. It’s smooth with a faint hint of coconut but it doesn’t exactly mimic the ice cream texture.
Round Three: When you want ice cream but can’t have it, you want your dairy-free option to be as close to the real thing as possible. In that respect, B&J receives the ribbon.
What’s the Point?
I was expecting a clear “winner” between the two. At the least, I anticipated the taste would be off. Anyone who has tried to do any kind of dairy substitution in their cooking knows that fat content is important and ice cream relies on the fat of the milk. With that in mind, I was pleasantly surprised with both of these and am extremely happy to know that should the need arrive to drown my sorrows in a pint of ice cream, I can once again do so without the fear of gastric distress.
Personally, I like the fact that So Delicious has so many flavors available. I’m eager to try Cherry Amaretto and Turtle Trails but it’s proven difficult to find them. I’m also not enticed with Ben & Jerry’s flavors so I probably won’t buy them despite them being readily available. I’ve already made a couple calls and requested more So Delicious but it’s up the stores’ purchasers to meet my ice cream needs.
Why should I wait for someone else to meet my needs?! I’m going to make my own damn dairy-free ice cream!