Excitement levels are high with ice cream fans in the UK this week because Almond Dream is finally here! For some reason when UK based companies make ice cream they go with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry almost every time. I can't lie chocolate is right up there with my favourite ice cream flavours but I already have a favourite chocolate ice cream (Booja Booja) and I don't feel the need to try every other brands version. This on the other hand, this is exciting. Almond Dream, which is now being sold at Waitrose stores all over the UK (Check hannahbananabakery's Instagram for the full list), make Mint Choc Chip, Salted Caramel and Praline Crunch alongside their Velvety Vanilla.
I found out about this thrilling development whilst I was on some serious sedatives in hospital (I'm fine!) and the first thing I did was call my local Waitrose to see if they had it. I figured Nick was driving me home from hospital anyway so obviously if there was ice cream to be had we should go home via Waitrose despite my body still feeling like it was made of cotton wool - they gave me the good stuff! Sadly my local Waitrose told me they didn't have it and didn't know if they were getting it. The sadness! The upset! But then, a new twist! The next day still blurry from the drugs they gave me (I was beginning to understand why I wasn't to be left alone!) I saw pictures of people in Brighton buying and eating the ice cream!! Waitrose lied! Okay, they probably didn't lie they just messed up but that sounds more dramatic! But now we had no car and Nick was (unsurprisingly) not up for hiring another one just to go to Waitrose so I waited. And waited. And felt jealous of everyone all over my Instagram eating their amazing ice cream. Yesterday, finally able to walk places alone, I set my alarm and got to Waitrose bright and early to get my paws on the good stuff. I wasn't gonna wait a second longer than necessary, I knew that the Twitter and Instagram storm surrounding this product was going to be making it fly off the shelves! I knew people would be all over this stuff! I picked up both the Mint Choc Chip (one of my all time favourite ice cream flavours) and the Praline Crunch. I would have got Salted Caramel too but my little cool bag only had space for two tubs. Decisions had to be made.
Knowing that Nick was as excited about the frozen fun as I was instead of tearing into the tubs as soon as I got home I waited (and waited!) for him to get home from work at 7:30. We even waited a little longer and ate a proper dinner first (summer rolls, so yum!) but then we settled down on the sofa, popped New Girl on the telly box and dug into the tubs with gusto. And spoons.
It's been years (years!) since I chilled on the sofa with a whole tub of ice cream and this stuff didn't disappoint. The Mint Choc Chip was decent but almost too minty, a little toothpastey, and there were nowhere near enough chocolate chips for my liking. I think this'll be great covered in chocolate sauce (I think Tate & Lyle make a vegan one) or some homemade magic shell but as is it wasn't quite hitting the spot. The Praline Crunch on the other hand? OMG! This is seriously one of the best ice creams I've ever eaten! Sweet but not overwhelming and with the perfect amount of praline pieces scattered throughout. There's also something about the familiar tub size reminiscent of the Häagen Dazs binges of my teenage years that was just perfect. The price point of £3.74 also makes these ice creams a somewhat realistic weekly treat, as I said before I love Booja Booja's Hunky Punky Chocolate but at around £7 a tub I can't justify it too often - don't get me wrong I don't think that's too expensive for what it is. The raw ingredients that go into it are pricy and Booja Booja are a small company who need to make some money from their product, but the price makes it an irregular treat. Sadly for Brighton peeps where Almond Dream is concerned Waitrose (as of around 7pm last night) is down to vanilla only. If you live here and you want to see it back in stock asap call them! The more enquiries they get the more likely they are to get loads in stock next time and then we can all have our ice cream and eat it whenever we desire.