Dining Panda: We Try Four Flavors Of Halo Top Ice Cream

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By Cooking Panda

I’ve been hurt before.

Years ago, when the hype surrounding the supremely low-calorie, “good for you” new ice cream on the market — Arctic Zero — first reached me, I let my hopes run wild. While I am somebody who makes a concerted effort to use and feed my body healthily, I am also somebody who wants to eat an entire pint of ice cream every single day for dessert with no consequences.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Unfortunately, I took some issue with Arctic Zero: namely, that it tasted bad, melted bizarrely, and left me wishing I’d just gotten drunk instead.

So when the buzz started generating about Halo Top, a creamery that describes itself as the “world’s first 100% all-natural light ice cream” with only 60-70 calories per serving, I was hesitant. 

Fool me into buying a low-calorie ice cream pint for almost $6 once, shame on you (and my “grown-up” budgeting decisions, frankly); fool me twice, however…

Well, shame on me. Halo Top is on the come up, and I wanted to try it myself. After reaching out to the company a few weeks ago, they were gracious enough to send me a coupon for four free pints.

I admit that actually sourcing out a location that carries the stuff was a hassle. I live in New York City, and still had to visit several locations before finally finding a scant few pints that hadn’t yet been snatched up at the Whole Foods in Union Square.

After sharing the four flavors I picked up with some friends, however, we all came to the same conclusion: Halo Top delivers on its claim of greatness.

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Vanilla Bean

This was my favorite (but I suspect only because Whole Foods was all out of the Birthday Cake flavor); it is so, so creamy, has a rich and satisfying flavor profile, and you can actually see the black specks of vanilla bean in the pint. 

As put best by one of my fellow taste-testers: “This nilla’s on fire!”

Chocolate

If you’re somebody who gravitates toward pure-chocolate treats (think fudge bars, those new Starbucks choco-frappuccino-bombs, and the like) then this is for you. It has none of that chalky-protein flavor that so often accompanies “good-for-you” chocolate ice creams. The flavor is on point, satisfying in a way that Arctic Zero certainly isn’t (nobody has time for those dismal flakes of almost-chocolatey ice), and would pair really well with most toppings.

Says one taste-tester: “The flavor falls somewhere between milk chocolate and dark chocolate — it tastes like creamy brownie batter.”

Lemon Cake

I’m not a huge fan of citrus-flavored desserts, but this one is thick, fluffy, and ultra-creamy; I liked that they skimped on the sour and favored the lemon’s sweetness; it was almost like having a cold lemon angel food cake. Two of my friends ranked this as number one.

“I love this. It doesn’t leave any traces of that synthetic, lemony flavor behind at all. A+ from me.”

Mint Chip

Just like its vanilla cousin, this pint had little black specks mixed in with the ice cream — presumably supposed to resemble chocolate chips? I’m not sure if they made a difference, but it hardly matters. The texture once again falls somewhere between frozen custard and normal ice cream, and the natural mint flavor plays pleasingly with the milky sweetness of the base. And we can’t say it enough: 240 calories for an entire pint! Total win.

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As of June 30, Halo Top offers 7 different flavors of ice cream, all falling within the range of 240-280 calories per pint. Visit this link to see where you can buy Halo Top near you.

Photo credit: Halo Top Creamery/Instagram (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

Tags: halo top, high protein, ice cream, low calorie
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