Four years ago, Ben & Jerry's released its first three vegan flavors to the delight of dairy-averse consumers nostalgic for pints so dense with toppings you can barely shove a spoon in.
But like many animal product substitutes, the first round of flavors were all just a little bit…off. The texture of the mix-ins ranged from sandy to frozen solid, and the almond milk ice cream made everything taste like cloying marzipan. It's hard to imagine anyone who eats dairy grabbing a pint.
Clearly, though, enough consumers have been buying them, because this month, Ben & Jerry's added yet another three flavors to its lineup of non-dairy offerings, bringing the total to 15. This time, the ice cream is made with a substitute that sounds, well, kind of gross: sunflower milk—sounds more like bird food than a decadent dessert. But it's actually a major improvement on the almond milk, particularly the "Milk" & Cookies.
Instead of that distinct marzipan aftertaste, the vanilla sunflower milk provides a warm, subtle nuttiness. But the best part is the chunks of chocolate chip and Oreo-knockoff cookies, which miraculously stay perfectly chewy, despite almost melting into the cream. It's a definite upgrade from the almond milk version, where the Oreo-like chunks were basically just bricks of sugar.
It all makes for a rare vegan ice cream that you'll actually have to guard from your dairy-loving housemates. Recommended.