Vanilla ice cream taste test results


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Vanilla Ice Cream Taste Test

(Photo: Schrempp Erich)

Yahoo editors have selected this article as a favorite of 2013. It first ran on Yahoo Shopping on Feb. 1st and was one of the most popular stories of the year.

Epicurious indulged in 13 brands of vanilla ice cream, but only one got rave reviews from the editors.

W hen it comes to vanilla ice cream, you might be tempted to ask whether there's really that much of a difference in taste from one brand to another. But having tried 13 different brands of vanilla, we can positively confirm it: Not all vanilla is created equal.

In search of the best vanilla scoop, we started by excluding French vanilla and vanilla bean varieties in favor of plain old basic vanilla. What did we want from the perfect pint? A natural-looking frozen scoop that can be enjoyed in a bowl, on top of a sugar cone, or à la mode.

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Vanilla Ice Cream Taste Test

(Photo courtesy of Whole Foods)

Best Vanilla Ice Cream:
Whole Foods Market Vanilla Ice Cream

Pros: "This one really stood out because of its perfectly milky taste and whipped mousselike consistency," stated one judge.

Others liked its snow-white appearance and the fact that it's made from only six ingredients.

Cons: Can be bought only at Whole Foods Market.

Editors' Rating: 4 forks out of 4

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Ice Cream Taste Test

(Photo courtesy of Breyers)

First Runner-Up:
Breyers Natural Vanilla ($4.99)

Pros: All judges commended this pick for being just sweet and creamy enough, capturing the essence of vanilla.

Cons: Some believed it lacks that signature vanilla fragrance.

Editors' Rating: 3.5 forks out of 4

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Vanilla Ice Cream Taste Test

(Photo courtesy of Ben & Jerry's)

Second Runner-Up:
Ben & Jerry's Vanilla ($4.69)

Pros: "Good, thick consistency and precise vanilla flavor," stated one judge. "Creammmy," said another.

Cons: Contains more fat per serving than the others.

Editors' Rating: 3 forks out of 4

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Vanilla Ice Cream Taste Test

(Photo courtesy of SoCo Creamery)

The Other Contenders

Most tasters thought SoCo Creamery was icy and tasted fruity, almost pineapple-y. 365 Organic was an unappealing yellow color, very thick and surprisingly bland.

And while we're fans of Blue Marble's other flavors, their brand's vanilla missed the mark: "Tastes like bad vanilla frosting," said one judge. "Needs a serious dosage of hot fudge," suggested another.

Additional Taste Test Details

All 13 types of vanilla ice cream evaluated are available nationwide in supermarkets or online. Listed from highest to lowest score achieved, they are: Whole Foods Market Vanilla Ice Cream, Breyers Natural Vanilla, Ben & Jerry's Vanilla, La Salle, Turkey Hill Original Vanilla, Häagen-Dazs, Graeter's, Stonyfield Farm Gotta Have Vanilla, Ronnybrook Farm, Edy's Slow Churned Classic Vanilla, SoCo Creamery, 365 Organic, Blue Marble.

Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of 13 types of vanilla ice cream. Results were ranked using the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best).

Prices and availability subject to change.

More from Epicurious:

Foods That Are Keeping You Up at Night

What's in Season: Your Winter Produce Guide 

How to Pick the Best Diet for Your Lifestyle

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