Just in time for the heat of summer, those evil geniuses over at Turtle Mountain have been at it again, working their magic to create another frozen sensation. Slashing the ingredient list to the bare minimum while simultaneously bringing decadence to a new level, ice cream made with organic coconut milk will soon be hitting the market in addition to their other sumptuous product lines. A glance at the label might be a bit misleading, as they seem so basic and average, but these newest offerings are proof that simplicity can be best. Before they were officially released, I was lucky enough to get a little sneak preview of some of the flavors; a dream come true after being tempted and teased by the announcement!
Of the three pints that arrived at my door, packed in ice and begging to be freed of their cardboard prison, it was the vanilla that I looked forward to sampling the most. Yes, I’ll admit it; I am a vanilla lover. When utilized correctly, vanilla has a flavor profile that is more complex than chocolate and coffee, something that no chemical can completely recreate; something so pure that even the smallest missteps by the extras could interrupt its performance. Naturally, I was curious as to how it would shine through with a coconut background, but I could have never guessed how perfectly this frozen treat would bring the two together. Glittering with black flecks of vanilla bean, the snowy white mounds melt away into a thick, rich blanket that completely coated my tongue. Much like the premium ice cream from my pre-vegan days, it was incredibly creamy, intense, and completely swoon-worthy. Only the slightest hint of coconut was present, similar to the flavor of Soyatoo in that sense, giving the ice cream a faintly tropical dimension. However, the delicate, floral kiss of vanilla definitely dominates this treat, taking its rightful place as a flavor to be craved.
Chocolate, vanilla’s eternal rival, was next on my hit list. Deceptively solid and difficult to scoop, the dark brown boulders transform into velvet puddles in the mouth, just as smooth and creamy as can be. Barely sweetened, this is a more mature taste than the chocolate of my childhood, a strong flavor that still retains a curious delicacy. A lingering whisper of coconut distinguished it as something other than straight-up chocolate decadence, which I must say helped to make it less overwhelmingly rich, so it wasn’t an altogether bad thing. Playing more notes of a simple cocoa than a rounded chocolate bar, I must admit that it didn’t quite place as my favorite version of chocolate ice cream, but it’s still definitely near the top all the same.
Of course, with a coconut base, a pure coconut ice cream is to be expected, and what an intense flavor it was. Bowled over by the straight forward purity of this pint, there was nothing to detract from the tropical fruit. Packed with flakes of whole coconut meat as well, it was so thick and substantial that I actually had to chew my ice cream! Be warned, this one is for coconut lovers ONLY, so all fair-weather coconut friends might be best starting with a different flavor. Personally, I wasn’t a fan because the shredded coconut interfered with the otherwise creamy texture, but my mom on the other hand was practically gaga for the stuff, so those with an affinity toward the fibrous drupe will not be disappointed.
…And if all of that’s not enough to look forward to, this new line will come in a total of 5 flavors, so I’m excited to find out how the remaining varieties measure up.
[Written for Go Dairy Free]