Asheville has a restaurant called "Plant" (just a stone's throw from Trader Joe's, by coincidence) in which every item on the menu is vegan. Nina and I ate there once just after I had moved here. What I remember most about it was the amazing non-dairy ice cream, made from coconut milk. I never would have been able to tell that it wasn't the real thing. It recently got picked up for national distribution as part of the Amy's Kitchen line of natural/organic grocery items.
After the rousing success of my first trial of a Trader Joe's ice cream product (the luscious Pomegranate Blueberry Sherbet), I was ready for another. When I saw this chocolate fake ice cream made from coconut milk, I immediately remembered the stuff from Plant, and grabbed a pint, hoping that it would be as good, though with some trepidation that it might be inferior, and thus a big disappointment.
I was not disappointed. It's scrumptious. I ate half of the pint in my first sitting, and (1) that was after a big dinner, and (2) I definitely could have polished off the whole thing, absent the exercise of a heaping helping of self-restraint.
It's soft, creamy, smooth, delicious. There is definitely a coconut note present, but I consider that a plus; coconut and chocolate are a great combination, as the Mounds bar proved decades ago. I will go so far as to say that if all real chocolate ice cream vanished from the face of the earth tomorrow, leaving only this product, I would not miss the dairy stuff. I could be entirely content substituting this for chocolate ice cream as long as I live.
Now the question is, can I refrain from eating every last bit that's left before Nina's next visit three days from now? If I can manage that kind of self-discipline, I think I'll qualify as a Shaolin monk.
If you're thinking that that kind of praise is leading up to another Top Ten award, you are correct.
Will I buy it again?
Definitely. I'm also eager to try the Plant/Amy's version once it hits stores, and compare them side by side.
There was indeed a spoonful and a half in the bottom of the carton by the time I arrived. I ate that spoonful and a half and I liked it. Since I'm gradually reducing dairy in my diet (I will spare you the disquisition on how dairy farming is basically the production of JUICE OF PAIN), I've found that coconut milk makes a pretty decent substitute in many cases. This would be one of those.
Weirdo that I am, chocolate is not at the top of my favorites list. I'd welcome the opportunity to try other flavors of this confection.