During our travels, we've become hyper-aware of the plenitude of Trader Joe's locations in certain regions and the overwhelming dearth of them in others. Cities like New York and L.A. have dozens of Trader Joe's locations to choose from. Smaller cities like Omaha, Boise, and Spokane have exactly one TJ's store. Many big college towns have a single location, as well, such as State College, PA.
Then there are entire states that don't have a Trader Joe's yet. There are exactly six among the contiguous United States: West Virginia, Mississippi, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. And many of the folks who live in those states are within a two hour drive or so to a Trader Joe's in an adjacent state.
I won't disclose exactly where we're stationed right now, but I will say that we live a little farther from a Trader Joe's than we ever have before, and that makes buying Trader Joe's frozen treats just a bit more complicated. In this case, Sonia in particular was tempted just to consume this pint of "oat cream" in the parking lot outside TJ's rather than risk it melting in the cooler on the ride home. We only consumed about half of it before packing it away, and it made the trip completely intact, despite the hot summer temps.
So yeah, Sonia's crazy about this stuff. I like it, too, but I don't think I'd put it on par with good old fashioned cow's milk ice cream. To me, most of the flavor of this frozen dessert comes from the bits of almond brittle and candied strawberry they've tossed into the mix. The taste of the oat milk cream itself seems a little on the bland side. It's not unpleasant at all, and it does have hints of that natural nuttiness you'll find in oat milk, which we both like.
The texture is near perfect to both of us, very closely approximating that of dairyful selections. It's super smooth except for the above-mentioned almonds and strawberry bits. It's pretty darn refreshing in this August heat, too.
Maybe I'm just used to the taste of cow's milk ice cream, but I probably wouldn't reach for this oat cream again. Nothing against it. I just think the taste of true strawberry ice cream is a bit more pungent and flavorsome. Sonia will probably grab a pint on her next TJ's run and finish it right after her shopping, and will eagerly await more flavors to be released.
$3.99 for the pint. Three stars from me. Four and a half from Sonia.
Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.