Celebrating National Ice Cream Month at Home

Celebrating National Ice Cream Month at Home

I dream of ice cream. 

No, seriously. I do. Where most adults prefer to imbibe a glass of wine, pop the top of a can of beer, or hear the clink of the ice in a glass of fine scotch daily, I’m that person who would pick ice cream over alcohol any day of the week. So, I think it’s only natural that I cover all things Houston ice cream for this year’s National Ice Cream Month.

I was super excited to go visit my favorite ice cream shops and discover new ones to be sure to have due diligence for my article. That is, until the Stay Safe, Stay at Home order went out again for Harris County. So, instead of going out and trying all things Houston ice cream, I thought it best that this year, Houston Moms could feature enjoying this summer treat while staying in.

So. Many. Options.

According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the average American eats 23 POUNDS of ice cream a year. They also say that ice cream is an $11 billion industry. So it’s no wonder that when you walk the ice cream aisle in H-E-B, Kroger, or any other grocery store, there are an overwhelming number of options available. How the heck would I choose just a few {especially when I pretty much wanted them all]}?

I had to narrow it down. I’ve been working hard during quarantine watching what I eat and losing a few pounds. I couldn’t give in to my heart’s desires and try one of everything {my bank account couldn’t support that anyways}. So I decided to go with what ice cream I love the most – and that’s super-premium.

Super Premium, Premium, Regular…Does Anybody Even Know What That Means?

Well yes, yes they do. The FDA sets standards for all foods so that we, as consumers, have an idea of what we’re eating. Types of ice cream are determined by how much milkfat it has along with how much air is in it {ice cream goes through an aeration so it’s not just a frozen chunk of ice}. The higher the fat and the lower amount of air, the higher the quality of ice cream. {Fun fact::According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the FDA requires that ice cream not weigh more that 4.5 lbs per gallon}.

Super-premium is that ice cream that is super smooth and super creamy. When I was a kid {and maybe also this weekend as I finished off a pint}, I loved stirring my ice cream to make ice cream “soup” – taking it to a super smooth, unshaped consistency. You can do that pretty easily with super-premium and premium.

Even with narrowing down my choice to super-premium, there’s just an abundance of choices out there. I randomly decided to choose 5 different brands::

Kroger’s Private Selection

H-E-B’s Swoon

Talenti Gelato

Helados La Neta

Haagen-Dazs

I enlisted my husband to help me taste test, too. He’s a chef, and owns a little dessert shop {if you are in Katy, you MUST check out Proud Pie!}, so I felt that his expert opinion would be important. And also, I needed someone to eat all of the ice cream so I didn’t.

Taste Test Results

Celebrating National Ice Cream Month at Home

Kroger’s Private Selection and H-E-B’s Swoon were our favorites, hands down. Kroger’s was the creamiest by far, and it was as if I was eating happiness with every spoonful. To the point that I may or may not have devoured the entire pint the next day after dinner {okay, so I’m not always working on my diet}.

H-E-B’s Swoon was a close second, though. It’s flavor profile {my hubby’s words, cause he’s fancy like that being a chef and all} was much stronger than Kroger’s. I initially like this the best because of the bold, intense carmel flavor. But it didn’t make my ice cream soup as well as Kroger’s did, and so for me, Kroger’s was just slightly better than Swoon.

In third place was Haagen-Dazs. I mean, it’s Haagen-Dazs. It’s going to be amazing. Plus they have an individual, adorable size available that comes with its very own spoon. That also means you don’t have to share if you don’t want to, and everyone can get whatever flavor they like best.

Talenti was fourth for both of us. It’s supposed to be gelato. It had a very low-quality taste to it for us, though. My daughter said we should have tried the Mango flavor instead of the salted carmel. But I was trying to keep the flavors the same as much as I could, and their mango is a sorbet, not gelato or ice cream.

The Helados La Neta came in a very distant fifth. I wanted to like this brand so badly. But, I should have compared ingredients because had I done that, I would have noticed that coconut cream, instead of cream, was the second ingredient listed. This gave the product a very different flavor profile, and unfortunately, we didn’t care for it.

Houston Area Ice Cream

I feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t include a few places for you to try once we’re allowed to safely go out again. While I didn’t get to taste test these local places recently, I have been to them and they are delicious!

Milk + Sugar 1848 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098

This ice cream is about as super premium as you can get. They make everything that goes into their product in-house. They even make their own amazing cones. If you get a chance, try their summer flavor, Hello Summer! 

Fat Cat Creamery 1901 N Shepherd Dr #3, Houston, TX 77008

Another amazing small-batch shop, Fat Cat Creamery uses local ingredients to create its flavors. Their salted butter carmel is incredible.

Flower and Cream 2617 W Holcombe Blvd Suite B, Houston, TX 77030

This small batch, locally sourced shop has some really delicious and unusual flavors like honey rose and pistachio baklava. They also have a whole bunch of differently flavored cones, too. There are SO many flavor combinations to create!

Bing Su Katy 23119 Colonial Pkwy Suite B-16, Katy, TX 77449

Located in Katy’s Asian town, Bing Su is known for their popular Korean Shaved Ice dessert. But their ice cream is pretty amazing, too, and definitely something different to try. 

So – tell me – what flavor should I get next at the grocery? Where are your favorite ice cream shops to venture out to? I’m willing to try them all. For research, of course.


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4 Responses to Celebrating National Ice Cream Month at Home

  1. Avatar
    Tara July 25, 2020 at 9:14 pm #

    Mmmm, I am going to have to add ice cream to our list this week. The only one we’re been to recently during COVID-19 was Milk + Sugar. I thought they handled safety well!

    -Tara of Four Take Flight (www.fourtakeflight.com)

    • Carol C
      Carol C August 2, 2020 at 4:28 pm #

      We’ve been twice since the pandemic began, and I think they’re doing a phenomenal job too.

  2. Avatar
    Tina July 26, 2020 at 9:23 pm #

    Wait…you’re from Ohio and didn’t pick Graeters or Jeni’s?!! 🙂

    • Carol C
      Carol C August 2, 2020 at 4:28 pm #

      I thought long and hard about Graeter’s! And may have gone back to the spot in the freezer it was in about 5 times! But, I’ve had bad experiences a couple of time with picking up a pint locally and it had freezer burn, so I’m a little afraid to ever get it here now! I’ve never had Jeni’s, but definitely want to try it out!

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