One of the highlights of my childhood was spending summers with my older sister in New York City. I often tell stories about the new and exciting things I was exposed to through those trips. One of those early credits goes to meeting, and subsequently falling in love with, two of my oldest and dearest pals: Ben and Jerry.
Like any good big sister, she would ply my other sister and I with any number of sweet treats during these visits. Regular trips to Baskin Robbins, Italian ices and frozen lemonades from street vendors, and various sweet buns from the Chinese and Korean bakeries, were all staples of my summers. So it should come as little surprise that I had my first taste of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the late 1980s on one of these trips. Rainforest Crunch, to be specific (RIP, old friend). My life would be forever changed after tasting such a delectable sweet treat packed with more flavor and “goodies” than any other ice cream I had every had until then.
twenty thirty(!) years and my love for Ben and Jerry’s has remained steadfast. From Phish Food and Bovinity Divinity (RIP) which guided me through many a late night study session in college (Freshman Fifteen, indeed) to their socially conscious activism, they could do no wrong in my eyes. So when dairy and the Lucy family officially parted ways, they were honestly one of the few treats I knew I would really miss eating and a company I would surely miss supporting.
But apparently Ben and Jerry’s heard my (and so many others’) plaintive cries and have developed an entire (recently expanded) line of non-dairy ice creams. Huzzah!
I have tried many non-dairy ice creams over the past year (probably more than any one person should) and while most get the job done, few of them have the taste and feel of “real” ice cream. Ben and Jerry’s seems to have cracked the code, though. Perfect texture, chock full of tasty little tidbits, and the flavors are tremendous. You can find them here.
I loved the first four flavors so much that when word spread that they had a second round of flavors to be released, I stalked all of my usual haunts to try to nab them as soon as possible. Aside from specialty stores, like The Healthy Grocer, locally we’ve found the most robust selection of dairy-free products at Wegmans, with Giant running a close second. And although our local Target store’s selection of dairy-free products is pretty limited, we have been able to rely on them for this particular product, so I checked there often as well.
It took a little while for it to find its way to the Central Pennsylvania market but they were absolutely worth the wait! I would have bet good money that the Coconut Seven Layer Bar was destined to be my new favorite since I am a massive fan of coconut treats, but the Caramel Almond Brittle won the day IMHO! Amazing flavor and the little pieces of almond brittle are exceptional. I can’t recommend these enough!
Little Oliver has not been introduced to too many sweet treats just yet, aside from his birthday cake, so John and I are continuing to taste-test plenty of options for him as he gets older and we eventually share more sweet treats with him. If they keep this up, Ben and Jerry’s will surely be a staple of Oliver’s childhood, like it was mine. Like mama, like child!