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Top Pick Of The Week

July 3, 2007

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Green & Black's Chocolate Ice Cream

Well, aren’t you special! Green & Black’s is one of the few chocolate ice creams made with real chocolate, not cocoa powder. Read more about it in the full review below.

WHAT IT IS: Organic ice cream made in the U.S. from the recipes of the U.K. parent company.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: The vanilla is made with real vanilla bean, not just extract; the chocolate is made with solid chocolate bars, not cocoa powder.
WHY WE LOVE IT: These recipes are textbook-perfect—assuming the textbook was written by a truly demanding chef who sought to create the perfect recipe.
WHERE TO BUY IT: At fine supermarkets and specialty food stores nationwide.
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Green & Black’s Organic Ice Cream: Way Cool

Green & Black’s chocolate bars, made in the U.K., have been sold in the U.S. for some time. They’ve been considered quite cool by those who prefer organic and natural foods. But now there’s something cooler still: Green & Black’s Organic Ice Creams. Organic and Fair Trade certifications aside, it can compete with the best gourmet ice creams on the market.

While the chocolate bars are imported from the U.K., the ice creams are made in the U.S., according to the British company’s specifications. They are superb. We usually don’t race to grab a pint of plain vanilla or chocolate. But we must admit: Since our first taste, these have been our ice creams of choice (along with the wonderful White Chocolate with a strawberry swirl). Read more about them in the full review below. If you scream for good ice cream, race out to try Green & Black’s—even if you’re a mint chip or coffee fudge guy or gal.

It’s July. It’s National Ice Cream Month. It’s Independence Day. As the British would say, let’s go have a “pint.”

  • Click here to read the full review below. (If your e-mail client does not support anchor links, scroll down.)
  • Read reviews of more of our favorite ice creams in THE NIBBLE online magazine.
  • See the Table of Contents of the July issue of THE NIBBLE, plus the prior issues archive and our most popular articles.
  • All of the Top Pick Of The Week newsletters are permanently archived on TheNibble.com, in chronological order and by product category.
THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.

 

Old-Fashioned Stainless Steel Ice Cream Parlor Dishes

Tulip Sundae Dish Parfait Dish Double Scoop Dish
Tulip Sundae Dish. Restaurant-quality, highly polished charmers. Click here for more information or to purchase. Parfait Dish. Tall and dramatic, ice cream tastes even better when served from a parfait dish. Click here for more information or to purchase. Double Scoop Dish. Classic and versatile: Think of everything else you can serve in it! Click here for more information or to purchase.

Green & Black’s Organic Ice Cream: Way Cool

INDEX OF REVIEW

MORE TO DISCOVER

If you think organic is hot in the U.S., Green & Black’s organic chocolate is the U.K.’s fastest-growing confectionary brand. That prompted corporate giant Cadbury Schweppes to purchase Green & Black’s (the world’s first organic, Fair Trade chocolate company), in which it had a small stake, in May 2005.

The company began in 1991 when Craig Sams, founder of Whole Earth, the pioneer organic food company in the U.K., received a sample of a 70% cacao chocolate bar made from organic cocoa beans. His wife, Josephine Fairley, tasted it, enjoyed the intense and unique flavor, and was convinced that other chocolate lovers would love it as well. Sixteen years ago, few consumers thought of chocolate bars as anything other than “milk,” “dark” and “bittersweet,” and few consumers had ever bought anything “organic.” In the tradition of dual-named British confectionary companies (Callard & Bowser, Barker & Dobson), they named the company “Green,” honoring the organic movement, and “Black” for the almost-black color of the 70% cacao chocolate.

Green & Black’s Ice Cream Flavors

Experts say that you should judge an ice cream manufacturer by its vanilla and chocolate: If they can make these well, then the other flavors will follow. That conventional wisdom seemed to beg for exceptions in the era of cuisine moderne and fabulous flavors. If a glacier (that’s glah-see-AY, the French word for a person who makes ice cream) is conceptually rooted in a line of herb and spice infusions or in sophisticated layered flavors like Prune Armagnac, he or she may not obsess over the perfect vanilla and chocolate. But that’s not the situation here: Green & Black’s comes out of the gate with a vanilla and chocolate that are pure heaven. The ice cream is made with a mix of skim milk and cream, which gives it a very nice weight: not too rich, just perfect.

While U.K. customers can buy six flavors, the U.S. line is starting with three (go buy them up ASAP so that G&B will introduce the others):

Chocolate

If a leading chocolate company can’t make a brilliant excellent chocolate ice cream, who can? Green & Black’s has made a stunner. Crafted with real chocolate,* not cocoa powder, this ice cream has a superb, chewy quality. Yes, even the superpremium and self-proclaimed ultra-premium brands are generally made with cocoa powder—read the label. The difference is that cocoa powder is defatted, while chocolate contains all that cocoa butter. A cocoa powder recipe can add cream to compensate, but that adds a heavier, richer (not necessarily in a good way—like too much butter) weight to the ice cream, and a creamy slick on the tongue. Here there’s fabulous texture as well as flavor.

Try Green & Black’s chocolate ice cream next to your current favorite and you’ll taste an ice cream that really tastes of chocolate. It also tastes of nirvana.

*Another company that makes ice cream with real chocolate is Dr. Bob’s Handcrafted Ice Cream, which uses Scharffen Berger, and gets the same chewy results. Read our review.

Ice Cream and Cheesecake
Chocolate Green & Black’s ice cream with a piece of
cheesecake.

Vanilla Ice Cream
Vanilla
ice cream.

Vanilla

Thankfully, Green & Black’s vanilla is just as good, with more pieces of ground vanilla bean seed (a.k.a. “flecks”)—large and small—than we have ever seen in a vanilla ice cream. It’s made with whole vanilla bean, not just extract.

So many vanilla ice creams, even expensive ones, are out of balance—you can taste the vanilla extract. Whether due to the use of the vanilla pod, superior craftsmanship or both, this one would pass Gordon Ramsay’s muster.

White Chocolate With Strawberries

This is an absolutely delicious flavor, although not what we expected when we made the purchase. There are no strawberries, but a swirl of strawberry preserves. Smaller print on the container mentions “strawberry swirl” while the lid and the top banner of the container broadcast “Strawberries.” Hmmm....generally, U.S. food labeling is much more precise. However, the swirl is undoubtedly a much better idea than frozen chunks of strawberry. It blends to make one smooth, creamy delight.

Even those who don’t like white chocolate can love this ice cream. Think about white chocolate: There are no cocoa solids—it’s just milk, cocoa butter, sugar and vanilla. There’s no “chocolate” flavor, only sweet creaminess. This ice cream is wonderfully creamy, and for a rich strawberry swirl ice cream, it can’t be beat.

 

Back to Index

Green & Black's White Chocolate Ice Cream
Green & Black’s White Chocolate ice cream with a
strawberry swirl
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ICE CREAM, GELATO, SORBET: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Sort out the confusion with our Ice Cream Glossary.

Based on this impressive debut, we hope the rest of the U.K. flavors—Chocolate and Orange, Vanilla and Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Caramel Nut—plus the White Chocolate and Raspberry Swirl they have instead of the strawberry swirl—join them. Soon.

—Karen Hochman

FORWARD THIS NIBBLE to anyone who likes ice cream.

GREEN & BLACK’S ORGANIC ICE CREAM

Chocolate, Vanilla and White Chocolate With Strawberries

  • Pint
    $4.69
    Suggested Retail Price

Available at food stores nationwide. We purchased ours at a Whole Foods Market.

Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change.

For more information about Green & Black’s, visit GreenAndBlacks.com.

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Chocolate Ice Cream


Read more about our favorite
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ABOUT THE NIBBLE. THE NIBBLE, Great Food Finds™, is an online magazine plus newsletters about specialty foods and the gourmet life. It is the only consumer publication and website that focuses on reviewing the best specialty foods and beverages, in every category. The magazine also covers tabletop items, gourmet housewares, and other areas of interest to people who love fine food. This e-mail from the editors features the Top Food Pick of the Week.

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