Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Arctic Zero Chocolate (Another Sort-of Ice Cream Review)

When I discovered that Giant carries Arctic Zero “frozen dessert,” I was excited but cautious. I mean, ice cream for for 150 calories per pint seems ridiculous, right? At the time I only bought one pint, Chocolate Peanut Butter, because I figured it might be gross. But I liked it enough to go back and buy a pint of chocolate.

It’s fat free, gluten free, dairy free...the first two ingredients are water and whey protein concentrate. It has 14 grams of protein per pint, which is what you’d get with Ben & Jerry’s, but with up to 1,000 fewer calories....

Of course, it’s not as good as Ben & Jerry’s, either. But like the peanut butter flavor, this one holds its own when you consider the fact that it really isn’t ice cream at all.

There are a couple of ice crystals on top, but it’s not an icy texture at all. None of that Italian Ice crap. That’s not to say it’s like ice cream, though. It’s pretty hard (no harder than super-dense ice cream straight out of the freezer), but if you let it sit out it does get creamier. But there’s also a gummy kind of feel, almost slimy...I don’t want to call it slimy, because that implies that it’s gross, but it’s not. Just...creamy but not ice cream creamy. I know you know that I know what I’m talking about. ;)

Anyway, it also has enough chocolate flavor to justify being called chocolate, but it’s not very deep and definitely not reminiscent of anything premium, though I really shouldn’t even be comparing the two. There’s no funky taste (that I can distinguish), it’s just solidly standard, unremarkable chocolate. Good enough for me.

While it didn’t blow me away with flavor or anything, I continue to be impressed with Arctic Zero. I don’t know how they manage to pull off the texture and taste with no fat, gluten, or sugar alcohols (though it does contain 20 grams of sugar per pint). Fun fact: it’s also kosher. If you’re diabetic, gluten intolerant, or lactose intolerant, this stuff could be great. Or if, like me, you sometimes just get a crazy urge to sit down with an entire pint in your hand and scoop away mindlessly--but don’t want the 1,000-calorie price tag that comes with premium brands. (Not that that stops me, it just makes me pause. ;))
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