Vegan ice cream has come quite a ways. It wasn’t all that long ago when finding high quality vegan desserts (especially ice cream) was a daunting task. During those dark ages, any, if not most, brands of vegan ice cream were bland, chalky or had a strange aftertaste. As veganism grew, so did the demand for high quality desserts, with ice cream being a top priority. We were no longer going to just settle with cold, semi-sweet globs of meh in our mouths! Some ice cream makers, small and large, began to take pay heed and listen to our concerns. Nowadays there’s a nice selection of frozen vegan treats that even non-vegans enjoy.
One of those brands is Steve’s Ice Cream. Based in Brooklyn, Steve’s is grown-up's ice cream with combinations Baskin-Robbins or Carvel couldn't even imagine. Steve's prides themselves on the small batch approach to making fresher, more high quality desserts. While Steve's is not a vegan company, they offer some non-dairy options.
Mac and I first stumbled across Steve’s on FreshDirect, which is a local online grocery store in the area. Neither of us had heard of the company, but their clever packaging and they offered a non-dairy flavor caught our eye, their Cold-Brewed Cinnamon Coffee! If you know me, you know I LOVE my coffee. No brainer that would be the first try. And how bad could it be?
When our order arrived on an early Saturday morning, the plan was already in place for our first tastes to come that evening. Whoa! Upon trying it, Mac and I shot each other a raised eyebrow seal of approval. Extremely creamy and smooth, this amazing ice cream needs no toppings or additions, although I’m tempted make a float with it the next time. Flavor-wise it leans a little more cinnamon than coffee, perhaps because they use freshly grated cinnamon. Yes, you read that right, freshly grated cinnamon. As Mac said "Who does that?"
After that pint was downed, we thought we would have to wait for our next FreshDirect order. Oh but no! Guess we found at our nearby Whole Foods in Yonkers?!?! Not only the Cinnamon Coffee, but 2 other other non-dairy flavors, Blackberry Honey (not vegan), Scotch Chocolate and Mint Cacao Chip. Into our cart went the Cinnamon Coffee and the Scotch Chocolate, which did not disappoint in the least! As it turns out, Steve's is offers of the best packaged vegan ice creams we’ve ever had.
Steve’s Ice Cream no longer has brick-and-mortar locations, but they do sell pints in various shops nationwide (they have a handy “find us” feature on their website). They also ship in increments of five. Although they’re a little pricey, the superior quality of their products is worth the expense.
For more info on Steve's Ice Cream, check out http://shop.stevesicecream.com/