Ever since I went dairy-free, I’ve been looking for a non-dairy version of my favorite ice cream flavor, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. You could say it’s my “white whale.” Ben & Jerry’s, the originator of the flavor, has inexplicably left this one out of its selection of non-dairy ice creams. So when I saw that a brand called Van Leeuwen made one, I was super-excited about it.
This one has a coconut cream base. That’s pretty evident when you taste it. The vanilla flavor is overwhelmed by the flavor of coconut. Which would be fine for ice creams that are more tropical in nature (like, say, pineapple or banana). But for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough? It’s a little weird.
As you can see in the photo below, there’s not a whole lot of cookie dough in there anyway. When I opened the lid, it looked like one random chunk of cookie dough ended up in a pint of vanilla ice cream. (You know those people who complain about the number of shrimp in their lo mein order? I’m becoming more like them every day.)
The cookie dough itself was decent. I couldn’t tell it was vegan. But the coconut flavor of the base really took front and center. As I’m not a huge fan of coconut-flavored ice cream to begin with, this made my experience vaguely unpleasant.
I should’ve known. I’ve tried a few of Larry & Luna’s Coconut Bliss non-dairy flavors, also made from coconut cream, and the only one I truly liked was Mint Galactica, probably because the strong mint flavor masked the coconut. Another coconut-based ice cream I tried, Nada Moo, also had a strong coconut flavor.
Ben & Jerry’s uses an almond milk base, which to me, tastes better. I just wish they’d quit messing around and give us a non-dairy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough already!
I haven’t given up completely on Van Leeuwen, though. They have a scoop shop in Culver City where there are many more flavors available. I imagine the Vegan Pink Lemonade, one of their current specials, could be refreshing on a hot day.
If I ever check it out, I’ll let you all know. In the meantime, let me know if you’ve tried Van Leeuwen vegan ice cream and what you think of it.