Look, I love ice cream. If I could I’d eat a different flavor every day and I probably wouldn’t repeat a flavor all year. That said, the quality of the ice cream is critical to me. Just because a company makes a product they call ice cream doesn’t mean it’s good.
I guess I’m a purist but the ice cream I want has to have a certain fat content in it. The higher percentage of fat (from the cream) gives the ice cream a smoother, silkier texture to it. Some producers either skimp on this or use a lot of air when they churn the ice cream so you get more air and less ice cream per scoop. You can usually tell this at the store. The more air in the ice cream the cheaper it usually is.
Yes, I love the mouthfeel of higher-fat content ice creams, but because they’re usually on the pricier side, I don’t indulge that often. And even though I love it, I have to enjoy in moderation (for my waistline).
All that aside, one of the best ice creams in my opinion (and there are others) is Ben and Jerry’s. It really does have the smoother, creamier, heavier and more satisfying feel to it. That’s one big part of it but the other is flavor and they’ve got plenty to choose from. It’s difficult but if pressed, I’d nominate their Chunky Monkey ice cream as the best. It’s certainly my favorite B&J flavor. First, I love the banana ice cream. You don’t see it much anywhere else so it’s unique. Second, it’s loaded with chunks of fudge and walnuts which gives a great contrast to the smoothness of the ice cream.
The variety of textures in this ice cream make it even more enjoyable than ice cream without any additions—at least in this humble food reporter’s opinion. There is the smoothness of the ice cream, the chewiness of the fundge and the crunchiness of the walnuts. Those, coupled with the uniqueness of the banana flavor makes this one a standout. You could do worse in your choice of ice creams but for me this one is close to the top of the list.