Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Dreyer's/Edy's Slow Churned Light Ice Cream: Peppermint (Limited Edition)
Looking through my site archives, I was shocked to find that somehow I had never reviewed the Dreyer's/Edy's annual Peppermint offering. It has always been a favorite of mine. Of course, in years past, it has also been an actual ice cream. This year's full fat/calorie version is -- and I am sure you are sitting down for this -- one of the non-ice cream "Frozen Dairy Dessert" Fun Flavors line. And to be fair, the Fun Flavors version could be quite good...but, as I have placed a self-imposed ban upon the Fun Flavors, I won't be finding out.
Luckily for me, Dreyer's/Edy's has added a Light Ice Cream version to this year's roundup. Would I prefer a real full-bodied ice cream? Absolutely. But as a rule, I do like the Slow Churned line, and even if it's "light," at least it's still ice cream.
So how is it?
The base of the ice cream is peppermint flavored, and there are crushed bits of mint candy sprinkled throughout. Visually, it's interesting. The white of the ice cream combined with the bright red pieces of the candy -- whose dye is more than a little runny -- gives the impression of bleeding ice cream. It's like Bill Compton's childhood holiday dessert.
The actual flavor is a nice mellow peppermint. It's clean and fresh, with a little vanilla. It never gets so strong that it tastes like toothpaste, and at the same time never gets too sweet.
The candy pieces are also perfectly sized. Not small enough that they barely register, but not so big that it's like gnawing through a candy cane.
In terms of flavor, this is one of those times that the Slow Churned line really nails it. It may not be the full fat/calorie version, but this flavor is just good.
The texture is what gives its "light" identity away. The texture is very, very soft. And if you really love the rich, fatty mouth feel of full-fat ice cream...well, don't be expecting it. Personally, none of this bothers me, because it is a light ice cream. And the loss of texture and mouth feel are going to be tradeoffs in exchange for the lesser amounts of calories and fat. In this case, the tradeoff is a good one.