Halo Top. Arctic Zero. Enlightened. Even other store brands. Everybody's jumping on the light ice cream band wagon. Shouldn't it be "lite" ice cream, though? The old, formal, traditional spelling is so...heavy, dontcha think?
The idea of diet ice creams pre-dates this latest wave of lite offerings by at least a few decades, but it's as if they just recently realized that they don't have to make these reduced calorie offerings taste disgusting. I guess it's the advent of stevia...? I mean, there's still cane sugar, powdered sugar, cream, and eggs in this concoction—even Joe-Joe's cookies.
So what's the secret? If it's not painfully apparent already, I'll let you know that I'm no food scientist. Could it be the "steviol glycosides"?? The dextrose? The monk fruit extract?
Wait a minute. What the heck is a monk fruit? And what is its extract doing in my cookies n' cream ice cream?
I may never answer any of these questions in my lifetime, let alone in the next few paragraphs of this review, so let's just move on to what I can tell you about this new product from Trader Joe's...
In short, it's not nearly as disgusting as the diet ice creams that were around decades ago, but it still tastes like diet ice cream.
There's a thick, rich quality to it that I've noticed in some of the other "healthy" ice cream offerings I've tried in the past couple years. I guess it's the milk protein concentrate. It's almost as if they added a protein shake into the ice cream mix. It's a little "pasty" for lack of a better word, but it blends surprisingly well with the flavor of the ice cream and cookies in this particular instance. It's still not a taste I'd ever crave over traditional full-calorie ice cream, although Sonia was even more okay with this "protein powder effect" than I was.
For the most part, the Joe-Joe's are far and few between, and they're little more than crumbs here. We're about half way through the pint at the time of the composition of this review, and there was only one notable exception to that rule so far—there was about a quarter of a full Joe-Joe cookie wedged into the mix near the top of the container. It was nice to have that big slab of cookie, but no amount of Joe-Joe's would ever make this my favorite cookies n' cream ice cream.
If you're into reduced calorie ice creams, I guess this flavor is worth a try. Flavor-wise, it's no replacement for the real thing in my opinion, but it's on par with most other light ice cream offerings on the market right now. $2.99 for a pint isn't a bad price point when compared with other brands. Also, lots of protein here, and only 100 calories per serving.
Three stars from me. Four from the better half.
Bottom line: 7 out of 10.