Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Tasty Test: Snoqualmie Organic Ice Cream

By: Irene Yang

Recently, I was lucky enough to be able to have a taste test with Snoqualmie Ice Cream’s new line of Organic Ice Cream!

Snoqualmie Organic is definitely premium craft ice cream—it’s made in small batches and has some of the highest cream content I’ve seen in grocery store ice cream. Beyond being organic, everything about it is extremely natural and great for the environment as well. There are no crazy bright colors or artificial-anything, and it’s sweetened with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. This is ice cream you’d bring home to meet the in-laws.

As part of my Tech Foodie Tasty Test group, we tried all the flavors out - below are our thoughts! You can find Snoqualmie Organic Ice Cream mainly in retailers in the Pacific Northwest, though you can also buy online

The Goods

The Texture
One of the most distinct and best aspects of Snoqualmie Organic Ice Cream is the texture. I've never had a more smooth, creamy, and velvety ice cream from the grocery store. Snoqualmie Organic excels among premium craft ice creams with their custard-like texture. It’s extremely high butterfat content (14%) and high egg content creates a French-style frozen custard that doesn’t melt easily and whose flavors linger on your tongue for longer.
The Unique Flavors and Ingredients
I call myself an ice cream connoisseur, and the Mixed Berry flavor is one of the most unique flavors I've ever had. It’s not your typical fruity-tart ice cream flavor, but a more sophisticated creamy fruity flavor. Moreover, most of the ingredients are local to the Pacific Northwest, so it supports local farmers. The other ingredients like the vanilla, chocolate, and lavender are high-quality imports, and they definitely taste that way too.

Good for the Earth!
While the most important thing about ice cream to me is the taste, how it’s made and by whom is also important to me. In this case, Snoqualmie Organic Ice Cream is a certified B-Corp, which means it takes care of it’s employees and the environment. Crafted in small batches in highly sustainable factories with USDA Organic-certified milk, cream, eggs, and berries, I feel good about buying Snoqualmie Organic Ice Cream.

The Bad

Breaking News: Ice Cream Still Not Healthy
While I feel good from an ethical and taste standpoint about buying Snoqualmie Organic Ice Cream, my stomach and thighs disagree. Yup, because of the premium taste and mouthfeel there is a lot of (Organic!) cream and milk. That means it's calorie-content is quite high compared to other basic ice creams, despite not being super sweet. 


Rating: 7/10
The vanilla is your standard vanilla flavor. It's not particularly strong, like a Haagen-Dasz Vanilla ice cream, but it tastes premium. As with some of the other Snoqualmie Organic flavors, the thing that sets it apart from other brands of the same flavor is the texture. The supremely soft, smooth, and creamy texture really sets it apart from some of the harder and more traditional styles. It's a good staple, but there's nothing spectacular about the taste unless you really love vanilla. 

Mixed Berry
Rating: 10/10
The mixed berry garnered mixed reactions. While some (like me!) loved the only-slightly-sour berry mix-ins, others were disappointed that it was not as fruity as they expected it would be. What stood out most was the sweet honey-vanilla base, but the distinct berry undertones make it a unique flavor and my personal favorite. The mix-ins were small frozen berry bits which were uniformly distributed with a good density. It's also great when mixed with the lavender flavor.

Rating: 3/10
"Too strong," "tastes like I'm eating perfume." Unfortunately, the Snoqualmie Organic's lavender ice cream missed the mark among all the tasters, and was universally the least favorite. While the signature Snoqualmie Organic texture is still present, the lavender leaves an extremely unpleasant lingering flavor on your tongue. If you're someone who lives for lavender you'll probably like it, but most people will find this flavor too strong.

Rating: 8/10
Another good staple flavor from Snoqualmie Organic. The chocolate flavor itself ranks highly among the premium top-shelf ice creams, but the texture really sets Snoqualmie Organic Ice Cream apart. Like the other Snoqualmie Organic ice creams, the base is extremely smooth and luxurious. Everyone who tested it remarked that they could tell it was a very high-quality chocolate ice cream.

Salted Caramel
Rating: 8/10
One of the favorites among the tasters. I've had salted caramel from different ice cream brands, and I can say that the caramel flavor of Snoqualmie Organic's is definitely the most bold. It's an almost perfect caramel flavor--not too burnt, and just deep enough. However, the salt taste wasn't very strong, and some tasters couldn't taste it at all (hint: adding your own salt--or soy sauce... trust me!--amps up the flavor 10x!). Also, "caramel ribbons" were advertised on the carton, but none were found 😩 

Mint Chocolate Chip
Rating: 7/10
How much you like this flavor depends on if you're a fan of mint or not. The consensus was that the mint flavor wasn't too strong. It's palatable for mint-haters, but a bit lacking for people who enjoy mint chocolate. Moreover, I expected the chocolate chip mix ins to be less uniform, like Stracciatella, but instead they were just your standard chocolate chips.

French Toast Biscotti
Rating: 9/10
One of their non-Organic flavors, the French Toast Biscotti was a crowd favorite. This one was the sweetest of the bunch, more like normal ice cream. The base flavor was very maple syrup and cinnamon-heavy, but it was very good and interesting. The mix ins were one of the key points of this flavor

Cookies and Cream
Rating: 7/10
One of their more traditional flavors, it still feels like an artisan version because of it's heavy, creamy texture. However, I feel like the texture works against Cookies and Cream. It just feels a bit too heavy in regards to what I usually expect for Cookies and Cream. The cookie bit mix ins were mushy and didn't provide a good textural contrast to the base. However, the base flavor was on point--it was the perfect sweet cream base, that served to highlight the chocolatey cookie bits. (PS please forgive the bottom picture, I couldn’t resist digging in before I got a chance to take good photos! 😝)

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