We Tried 13 Brands of Chocolate Ice Cream to Find the Best One
Don't try this at home, kids.
There's a reason chocolate is one of the most popular ice cream flavors: It's good. It leaves your taste buds giddy, your mouth a little dry, and your stomach pleased.
We've done vanilla, we've done strawberry, and now, in perhaps our most conflicting taste test ever, we've dug a spoon into every brand of chocolate ice cream we could get our hands on to declare a winner. And let me tell you, determining the best chocolate ice cream was a lot harder than we thought.
Not our favorites, but still ice cream
So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Chocolate
Firstly, I'd like to say that we're not against vegan ice cream, and that several dairy-free ice creams (Jeni's, for instance) make a tasty product. However, we found So Delicious to be lacking, especially in terms of chocolatey flavor. Even our resident office vegans were disappointed with the flavor, which was overpowered by the coconut base.
Beckon Chocolate Ice Cream
The idea of separating lactose from dairy is nice in theory, but not always great in practice. Beckon's lactose-free chocolate ice cream has a very mild taste, which is fine. It's the texture, which borders more on ice, that leaves more to be desired.
Nada Moo Gotta Do Chocolate
Despite its coconut milk base, Nada Moo's chocolate ice cream delivered another (unexpected) flavor altogether: Mint. The results were pretty divided here, depending on how much a particular person liked coconut. The texture is enjoyable, but we wanted more chocolate.
Middle of the road
Edy's Chocolate Ice Cream
Edy's chocolate ice cream pretty much met our standard definition of the treat. There is a pleasant chocolate flavor, and a nice level of creaminess, which is accented by an intense degree of fluff.
Mayfield Chocolate Ice Cream
Like Edy's, Mayfield's chocolate ice cream is fluffy with a milder degree of chocolate intensity. It's fine for, say, a kid's birthday party, but it's not an option
Blue Bunny Chocolate Ice Cream
Again, we've got a standard, baseline chocolate ice cream—this time with less fluff and richer chocolate flavor compared to the proceeding contenders in this category. Plus, Blue Bunny delivers a nice degree of creaminess.
Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream
Blue Bell's trademark creaminess put Dutch Chocolate near the top, but compared to other brands, its chocolate flavor isn't stand-out strong. Truthfully, it's more comparable to chocolate milk in terms of choco intensity, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Greenwise Organic Chocolate Ice Cream
Publix's organic chocolate ice cream pleasantly surprised us with its well-rounded chocolate flavor and luscious texture. Pretty solid stuff for a grocery store brand.
If there's one thing we learned from this test, it's that ice cream is a highly personal experience, and we all have our own priorities in terms of evaluating measures of quality. Various elements, like texture, flavor, overall richness, etc. rank differently among individuals, leaving us with no single chocolate ice cream to rule them all. The following five were our favorites.
Cold Crush Triple Chocolate Ice Cream
We picked up this carton on a whim, and its rich, cocoa-forward nature won over a solid portion of our tasting panel. Cold Crush's chocolate ice cream is supported by crunchy chocolate bits and syrupy chocolate ripples, making it decadent as well as delicious. Truthfully though, if a classic chocolate scoop is what you're after, it's a little bit too decadent (particularly in the price department).
Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Ice Cream
Häagen-Dazs is more cream than ice and a little bit soft on taste compared to its other classic flavors, like strawberry or vanilla. But the consistently incredible creamy texture, especially upon a slight melt, won a lot of love from us.
Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Organic Chocolate Ice Cream
Whole Foods' in-house brand was notably distinct from all its competitors, in a very tasty way. Here, the texture and flavor are balanced, with slight malty notes and a cloud-like texture that scored a lot of loyalty.
Jeni's Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream
Those with a taste for richer chocolate notes were steadfast fans of Jeni's Darkest Chocolate, which is smooth and delectable without boasting too much sweetness. It's decadent, but not in the way that gives you a headache, making it damn near perfect.
Breyers Chocolate Ice Cream
Flavor and texture are important when it comes to ice cream, but so is nostalgia. A bite of Breyers chocolate ice cream transported several tasters back to their childhoods. Breyers maintained a great balance of fluffiness and chocolate flavor without going too far in any one direction. Breyers held its own, even among the specialty brands. Additionally, of every single carton, it was Breyers that was emptiest at the end of the tasting.