Sunday, July 15, 2012

Product Review: Graeter's Ice Cream

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Fellow foodies and ice cream enthusiasts, believe me when I say you haven't lived until you've tried Graeter's ice cream.  Seriously, if I could only eat ONE type of ice cream for the rest of my life, it'd hands down be Graeter's Black Cherry.  There's a reason Oprah named Graeter's her favorite ice cream and has it shipped to her to eat.  It is just sinful.  Velvety, creamy texture with flavors that just dance on your tongue.  Fresh, wholesome, REAL ingredients that you can pronounce.  The quality shines through and through.

The awesome people at Graeter's said they'd send me some of their homemade, hand-packed, small batch French pot process ice cream to review.  I felt a little silly having them ship me their ice cream (on dry ice which isn't cheap, mind you!) when there's a scoop shop just down the road from my house but they insisted.  And who am I to turn down FREE ICE CREAM?  No, not me.  Thank you!

Believe me when I say I tried to secure some to giveaway to you, too.  Unfortunately, they're not doing giveaways at this time :(.  So live vicariously through me for now and enjoy the "food porn".  Once you've realized you can't take it anymore (oh...say in a couple photos from now...) and simply must have your own Graeter's ice cream to eat, consider stopping by your local scoop shop, grocer (they're not available nationally!), or order online to enjoy this irresistible treat!  Visit their website for more details on where to find it.

The ice cream arrived by UPS Next Afternoon Air packed in a nice Graeter's brand styrofoam cooler with dried ice.  No worries about the ice cream melting even in the record hot summer heat.  Opening the cooler was literal Christmas in July.  I didn't know what amazing flavors would be sent to me or how many.  This is what greeted me:
Hellooo four pints of amazingness!
A chip assortment: Mocha chocolate chip, Mint chocolate chip,
Vanilla chocolate chip, and Black rapsberry chocolate chip.
For those unfamiliar with Graeter's ice cream, their signature flavor is their Black Raspberry Chip, which was included in my shipment.  And when they say "chip", they mean "CHUNK"!  Don't be surprised when you find literal whole pieces of rich, dark chocolate candy bar in your scoop.  Sometimes, it seems almost as if someone added some ice cream to your chocolate ;).  Oh and the best part?  Somehow they manage to keep the chunks the perfect texture/hardness.  It's easy to scoop and melts oh-so-silkily in your mouth but the ice cream is still nice and hard.  How do they do that??  Graeter's does not skimp on quantity or quality here and I was excited to try all these different "chip" flavors that they're so famous for!

Oh yeah!  THAT's the stuff.  Check out those chunks!
To be honest, my husband and I actually had not tried most of the flavors they sent us so it was a nice change from the norm.  Here's what we thought about each flavor:

Vanilla Chocolate Chip:
We decided to start with the most basic flavor that was sent to us.  You can always judge the quality of a good ice cream by their vanilla because there's nothing else to hide or mask it.  As is the case with all Graeter's ice cream bases, this was really rich and creamy.  Divine, really.  All their ice cream use real cream free of artificial growth hormones.  The strong vanilla flavor, made from Madagascar vanilla beans, was authentic and the bittersweet chocolate chunks were very plentiful and the "right size" according to my husband.  This flavor didn't disappoint!

Black Raspberry Chip
THIS is the stuff that dreams are made of.  Who can resist the beautiful (and natural!) vibrant color of this gorgeous ice cream?  But just wait until you have a bite...sensory overload!  Smooth fruity black raspberry flavor made from hand-picked Oregon black raspberries is complemented by the bittersweet of the chocolate.  With just one taste, you'll understand why this is their signature flavor.  And with each additional bite, you'll fall in love over and over again.  

Mocha Chocolate Chip: 
Neither Chris nor I are much of coffee people but we found this to be pretty enjoyable and coffee lovers I'm sure would go ga-ga.  Keeping with using only the highest quality ingredients, they use 100% real Arabica coffee beans.  It's like a creamy, chocolate flavored iced coffee and of course, filled with Graeter's famous chocolate, chunks.

Mint Chocolate Chip
We chose to save this flavor for last because mint always seems to have a way of transferring itself to other flavors and we didn't want to taint the rest of our tasting experience.  Unlike most mint chocolate chip ice cream, Graeter's mint chocolate chip is white, not artificially colored green.  It used to be green but in an effort to make the ice cream 100% natural, the food coloring was removed.  I have friends that swear it's not as minty anymore (let's face it, visual cues are huge and we do eat first with our eyes!) but I found the amount of mint to be just right.  Plus, I appreciate Graeter's taking out unnecessary ingredients so the good stuff can really shine!

So there you have it folks, our review of four different popular Graeter's ice cream flavors.  Did you make it through reading this far or have you already run off to get your own scoops or pints?  My other favorite flavors when I visit the scoop shop?  Besides Black Cherry, which we already discussed, I can also highly recommend Elena's Blueberry Pie and Cookies and Cream.  I didn't realize it until now but I guess I'm an ice cream purist and actually prefer the non-chip flavors!  My husband, the peanut butter-aholic, almost always gets the Buckeye Blitz.  That's not to say that he won't ask for the occasional free sample taste spoon of the Peanut Butter Chip (surprise, surprise) or Cookie Dough justtt in case he changes his mind ;).

I'm curious, Which flavor of Graeter's ice cream is your favorite or would you most like to try?

PS: If you are fortunate enough to have a Graeter's nearby, you can stop in and get a single dip of your favorite premium ice cream in a sugar cone for just $1.42 today in celebration of 142 years of Graeter's and National Ice Cream Day.  What a deal!  And husband and I are totally stopping by to take advantage of this offering despite the fact that Graeter's already stocked our home freezer with 4 pints.  Gotta get my Black Cherry and he his Buckeye Blitz!  There's a reason why their slogan is "Irresistible since 1870".  They really are just that irresistible!

Disclosure - This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Christine @ Christine's Kitchen Chronicles. The owner(s) of this blog was compensated with free products to provide an opinion on the products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.


living_insanity said...

Graeter's pumpkin ice cream is the best pumpkin out there. All the others are a weird orange color and don't taste as good! Check it out in the fall when it's the seasonal flavor!

Anonymous said...

Graeter's IS finally available nationally. Yeah! When you search on their website for locations, it does list grocery stores. You can search by state or zip. Awesome!

Rebecca said...

Alex and I are doing not meat, dairy, and eggs right now so this makes me insanely jealous.

I really wish they would bring back the apple cider sorbet in the fall (or year round) - I love that stuff. I might have to email them.

Good job with the posts lately - I've checked out a few via pinterest!

Christine @ Christine's Kitchen Chronicles said...

@living_insanity - Mmm that sounds delicious and makes me yearn for Fall even more. I do love that Graeter's keeps things interesting with their seasonal and weekly "bonus" flavors!

@Anonymous - Isn't it wonderful!? Graeter's is now available in 49 states (sorry Hawaii)!

@Rebecca - Thanks for the kudos :). I'm glad you stopped by and perhaps you and Alex can make an exception to your dietary restrictions. It would be totally worth it ;). Haven't tried the Apple Cider Sorbet but that sounds DELICIOUS and agree you should email! Maybe checkout one of their year-round sorbets to hold you over.