…in general, it is TREMENDOUSLY challenging for me to select one favorite dessert. Coffee cake any day. Mango sticky rice until I die. A whole plate of chocolate chip cookies will win me over more quickly than a diamond ring. Peanut butter chickpea blondies….OOF.
Having said that, ice cream holds an incredibly special place in my heart. Call it favoritism, call it whatever you’d like. But with all the desserts listed above, nothing sounds like a tastier accompaniment than a gorgeously spherical scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Low and behold, for national ice cream month, I plan on enjoying as much ice cream as I possibly can each week! San Francisco has some pretty neat brands available that one wouldn’t be able to find in Los Angeles, so it was MANDATORY to take advance of this.
Below are a list comprising of three ice cream or ice cream-adjacent dessert brands that I highly recommend thus far. The first is a vegan ice cream company whose products are found at many retail stores, the second being a local delicacy in a specialty market, and the last an EXTREMELY innovative and revolutionary new ice cream line and product that is released in limited locations around the country!
When grocery shopping a few weeks ago, Nada Moo! had a buy-one-get-one-free sale that I could not refuse. My choices ended up being their Pistachio Nut and Chocolate Peanut Butter varieties because I wanted to try something new aside from their Vanilla flavor that is basically the BEST coconut milk-based vanilla ice cream in the market.
As for the nutrition facts and ingredients, across the board: even though Nada Moo’s profiles are lower in sugar and calories than those of the average vegan ice cream brand, it’s still a dessert that you shouldn’t consume a whole pint of every single day (although I have done that before with their vanilla flavor…once you try it though, you can’t blame me for doing so!). But a serving every day? TOTALLY.
- Pistachio Nut: okay, pistachio ice cream is a relatively niche flavor that most people do not like, but for those that do, it is a gold-medal winner. Here is what I think of Nada Moo’s!
- Flavor: 2/10–I may or may not have given this a higher rating on my Instagram, but I genuinely found that the pistachio flavor in this ice cream was quite weird, not very sweet or the good kind of nutty where it resembles a sense of toastiness or fattiness; it is the nutty you would find in the dirt. I do have to give them credit for only using pistachio paste, not extract.
- Texture: 8.5/10–Nada Moo generally nails it in texture, especially when it is fully thawed! This is creamy, slightly airy and light, but not too whipped where it seems that there is too much overrun and I’m being ripped off for paying for more air and less ice cream, but this did not resemble straight-up coconut cream either! There is such a beautiful balance in lightness and richness.
- Consistency: 9/10–with a lovely base, there can’t be any monotony for me; the crunchy pistachios scattered in the ice cream compensated slightly for the off-putting flavor! Munching on the hard pistachios with the ice cream melting in my mouth felt like a party. Loved it!
- Overall: 6.5/10 (would not purchase again)
Chocolate Peanut Butter: could there be any more powerful duo than chocolate and peanut butter? Didn’t think so. I HAD to try out Nada Moo’s for obvious reasons!
- Flavor: 8/10–the richness in chocolate is extremely nice! Think of mixing coconut milk and a melted dark chocolate bar together–that is the flavor you receive and it is…MY OH MY! The base lacks sweetness by milestones, but I personally did not mind this. No peanut butter undertone, though this was found in the integration of real peanut butter.
- Texture: 8.5/10–same as the pistachio; the balance of fluffiness, thickness, and smooth silky flow when completely thawed is A++.
- Consistency: 5/10–funny how instead of the inclusions compensating for a crummy flavor, the peanut butter inclusion imposes the opposite here. Peanut butter is amazing in almost everything, but not in this case. The swirls of peanut butter were scarce and, if found, were thin and completely hard rock frozen. Honestly, I might as well just have bought a plain vegan chocolate ice cream and scoop out some peanut butter of my own for the same flavor but a more pleasurable consistency! I generally prefer variety in consistencies of each component, but not here. Beautiful creaminess in one bite…perfectly fluffy ice cream in another…OOP! That was a frozen peanut butter chunk–hard on the tooth!
- Overall: 7.1667/10 (eh, if none of the other flavors in stock look any better or if I feel like giving it another chance, I’d buy it again, but it would definitely not be my first, second, or third choice)
INDIE SUPERETTE (Marina District adjacent)
Oat Milk Soft Serve: One of my friends from the Bay Area recommended I visit this place and that they had been meaning to visit for a while (sorry that I came without you first!). I chose to take a peek at their menu and ended up leaving with six ounces of their oat milk-based soft serve topped with cacao nibs and berries after sampling their coconut milk and oat milk bases (though both were pretty darn phenomenal!)!
- Flavor: 9.9999/10–really lovely and sweet! There is the tiniest undertone of oat milk in the soft serve, but it somewhat enhances the vanilla essence! They complement each other very well and it is just a magnificent medley!
- Texture: 9.9999/10–I have seen many a gritty and icy soft serve cups, even from the places I love. Now, I don’t think I could ever enjoy their products the same way because the creaminess and softness of this soft serve is so thoroughly impressive! I was even more astounded by how it did not melt even as I exposed it to the sun since other products from places like Pressed Juicery tend to melt very easily and quickly.
- Consistency: 10/10–You know how you make a protein shake and add ice and less fruit, but you just taste crunchy water with some liquid and soft berries? Well, thankfully, this is NOT what you receive here! Uniformity is almost so remarkable that there needs to be some microscopic examination to find any inconsistencies.
- Overall: 9.99999993/10 (I would have their oat milk soft serve delivered to my house from this place every single week if I could!)
PERFECT DAY (PROVIDED BY SMITTEN ICE CREAM)
Even though I have heard of Perfect Day Foods long before actually trying them out, their remarkable imprint in the plant-based and sustainable food sector was further marketed to me in the best way. Yep, I decided to try this VEGAN DAIRY ice cream once and for all! That’s right–Perfect Day Foods‘ ice cream is made from special microflora derived from enzymes, probiotics, and various other microorganisms that undergo a special fermentation process to cultivate casein and whey! NONE of the nut or soy allergies involved, NONE of the animal exploitation necessary.
Smitten Ice Cream has partnered with Perfect Day Foods to scoop up a few flavors for us in the Bay Area! What makes Smitten unique is the fact that they will freshly churn the ice cream right after taking your order so that the textural quality is star tier. The shop is beautifully red and white–you HAVE to visit!
Fresh Strawberry: Now, I am no strawberry ice cream lover. If I want anything strawberry-flavored, I will happily just reach for the fruit itself. Having said that, this caught me by the BEST surprise possible!
- Flavor: 10/10–WHOA THERE! I have never tasted a more refreshing, mildly sweet, and light strawberry flavor that also tasted nice and milky. With some well-integrated pieces of fresh strawberries, I could not have asked for anything more.
- Texture: 10/10…okay, I was a little skeptical because I’m so used to my ice cream containing either too much ice or too much air depending on the base, whether the threshold be slightly above my preference or drastically excessive. While there are times where more air or ice would work in a base, it’s generally not the case. However, Perfect Day’s ice cream’s texture took me aback with how much creaminess, thickness, and body it possesses. No shortage of richness here!
- Consistency: 10/10–despite me most likely being satisfied with just the superstar creamy texture alone as a uniform one, the fresh strawberry pieces (so small that they could have passed on as a chunky jam) were just the glorious icing on the cake, or sprinkles on top? Not only do I receive the most amazing base, but also one that goes far and beyond to make it fun?! I felt like a freaking princess.
- Overall: 10/10! Give me a pint of this, please!
Brown Sugar Chocolate: You know I would not leave without trying all the flavors available. Brown sugar chocolate ice cream was the only other vegan variety in stock, so DUH, I needed to sample it!
- Flavor: 9.9999/10–if you take an 80% dark chocolate bar, melted it in a pot, incorporated about 1/4 cup brown sugar inside, and churned it with milk in an ice cream mixer, this would be your result. The sweetness is insanely slight as is the undertone of brown sugar. Still, it’s all there and the flavor overall was lovely!
- Texture: 10/10–just as the strawberry since the base is the same!
- Consistency: 9.9999999999/10–still nearly darn perfect, but I would have liked something a little extra, like crunchy brown sugar bits or even a thicker swirl of syrup!
- Overall: 9.99999993/10 alone, but 10/10 with the strawberry! ❤
Happy National Ice Cream Month! Hope you enjoyed a few scoops (or two, three, eight, fifty-one, whatever!) in July!