Thursday, February 28, 2013

Arctic Zero Vanilla Maple (An "Ice Cream" Review)

So I had previously thought that there were only three flavors of Arctic Zero to be found in all of central Pennsylvania. The Giant that carries it only ever had Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Strawberry. Same deal with the Nature’s Pantry, which somewhat ironically puts their 150-calorie-per-pint, non-dairy frozen protein “ice cream” on the shelf next to super-rich Talenti gelato. (On subsequent investigation, I believe this is because Talenti is gluten-free--at least certain flavors). It’s like parking your 1990’s-model Ford Escort next to a limo.

But that’s beside the point, which is that I found Vanilla Maple Arctic Zero at Giant and got so excited I took the last two even though I didn’t know if I’d like it. I was so excited that I forgot to buy the caramel sauce I actually came for in the first place.

Ever since I learned about Arctic Zero, this has been one of the two flavors I most wanted to try (the other is Cookies & Cream, which I haven’t seen around here--although Mint Chocolate Cookie sounds good, too). I enjoyed Friendly’s Butter Crunch ice cream, which has a maple base, and I’ve been known to just dump a bunch of Walden Farms’ Pancake Syrup on a piece of bread, and I prefer vanilla ice cream over yeah, you can understand why I forgot the caramel.

Wow, it sure does smell like maple! Like the previous two flavors I reviewed, it has an icier look than real ice cream, but that’s to be expected. I let this pint sit out for about 8-10 minutes before digging in (you can also nuke for 10 seconds, but I’m slightly afraid of microwaving ice cream). It was much softer and creamier than the chocolate or the peanut butter flavors, and had more of a real ice cream taste and feel. Maybe I let it sit out longer, or maybe this flavor just works better with the ingredients.

I really, really enjoyed this flavor. It was primarily sweet maple syrup; the vanilla wasn’t very strong, but then again with vanilla it’s hard to tell it apart from the flavors it’s swirled with. But it’s my favorite so far, and I’m not regretting the second pint downstairs in the fact I had to stop myself from eating that one too! They have really outdone themselves here creating a healthy ice cream that isn’t really ice cream but makes you think it’s ice cream. I don’t even mind the price.
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