REVIEW: Edy’s (Dreyer’s) Old Fashioned Vanilla Frozen Custard

Edy’s Old Fashioned Vanilla Frozen Custard

With the notable exception of some four months Rob Van Winkle’s To The Extreme spent at the top of the Billboard charts during 1990, there have been few, if any, reasons to get excited about anything “vanilla.”

I get it. Vanilla is boring.

Perhaps not as boring as three yards and a cloud of dust Big 10 football boring, but it certainly surpasses C-SPAN2 on a Friday night. But you might not realize vanilla is America’s favorite ice cream flavor.

And after trying Edy’s new Old Fashioned Vanilla Frozen Custard, it’s really not too hard to see why.

If you’re familiar with frozen custard, you’ve been fortunate. Well, at least in one sense of the word. Forgetting for a moment that those of you who are familiar most likely have to suffer through horribly oppressive winters and have a potentially high proportion of cows to people in your local community, you and your Midwestern specialty of at least 1.4 percent egg yolks have remained one of the last great frozen treats to avoid being mass produced and shipped to every megamart in America.

Excuse me, had remained, because Edy’s/Dreyer’s has taken the rich, egg-infused dairy dessert and taken it to supermarket shelves everywhere.

On one hand, this is clearly a good thing. For us East Coasters it means not having to stand in ridiculous lines at Shake Shack or putting ourselves at the mercy of unnecessary commutes. But on the other hand it also could mean the inevitable bastardization (or as I like to say, “gelatofication”) that comes with trying to recreate an incredibly fickle product for retail.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. With flavors like Snickerdoodle, Peanut Butter Pie, and Salted Caramel Pretzel, why on Earth would anyone buy Old Fashioned Vanilla?

Because old fashioned vanilla is classic, and if there’s ever going to be a litmus test for whether or not something mass produced truly lives up to the hype of a regional specialty, it’ll be the most pure and unadulterated form of that product. I can get pretzels and cookie bites stuffed into any factory made ice cream or frozen dairy dessert, but if the dairy base is what sets it apart, and if the egg yolks are noticeably present, then custard of even plain vanilla should stand out as the most sophisticated of desserts. In other words: this is where ingredients matter.

Edy’s Old Fashioned Vanilla Frozen Custard Closeup 3

The custard is thick and packed tight with little to no overrun and a noticeable yellow shade common with egg-infused dairy products. Two modest scoops weighed in at over 130 grams (about a serving and a half), meaning there’s little manufactured air. It’s a welcomed change from all the frozen dairy desserts on shelves these days.

You can taste it, too.

The texture registers all the common ice cream buzzwords; not only is it extremely creamy and rich, but it holds its texture when licked and scooped. It’s definitely indulgent, but the flavor isn’t heavy or overwhelming. Instead it’s floral and somehow light, with a sophisticated and multilayered sweetness and bold vanilla flavor which stays with you long after that first scoop.

The smooth nature of the custard makes it exceptional and keeps it from becoming too hard, while the vanilla flavor is something of a revelation. I’ve had plenty of vanilla styled ice cream before — Vanilla Bean, Homestyle Vanilla, and French Vanilla — but, with the exception of maybe some premium brands, nothing has come close to the intensity of the flavor. Even Rita’s, a frozen custard chain I once worked at as a teenager, doesn’t compare when matching the authenticity of the flavor.

Edy’s Old Fashioned Vanilla Frozen Custard Closeup 2

Knowing I’d probably never choose an unadorned vanilla ice cream when confronted with plenty of other flavor choices, you might say I had my doubts when choosing the Edy’s Old Fashioned Vanilla Frozen Custard. But those doubts were accompanied by the hope that if this really was genuine custard then I’d be in for a rich and flavorful treat even without all the bells and whistles.

Thankfully this flavor lives up to the reputation of authentic frozen custard, and more than makes an acceptable and affordable substitute for when standing in line at Shake Shack just isn’t an option.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 210 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of total fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, and 8% calcium.)

Item: Edy’s Old Fashioned Vanilla Frozen Custard
Purchased Price: $3.97
Size: 1 Quart
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Exceptionally smooth and creamy texture. Bold sweetness and rich flavor. Floral and distinct vanilla flavor. Rivals premium ice cream price but comes in a slightly larger (weight) container. Not having to travel far for authentic frozen custard.
Cons: Completely unrealistic serving size in terms of actual scoopage. The inevitable backlash of Midwesterners everywhere.

21 thoughts to “REVIEW: Edy’s (Dreyer’s) Old Fashioned Vanilla Frozen Custard”

  1. Unfortunately, it’s not on supermarket shelves everywhere… I live in Atlanta and according to the Edy’s website there are no stores selling their custard in at least a 50 mile radius from my zip code. I really want to try some.

    1. They sell this particular product at target stores in Pennsylvania. The flavors they carry in my area are vanilla, chocolate malt, mint chocolate chip and snicker doodle. I left the store yesterday thinking is it worth the 3.99 price tag for something I can get at Rita’s. I think I’m convinced now. I’m not a plain vanilla fan, but vanilla custard is a different story. The cartwheel app has 25% off this product and there is also a $1 off one manufacturer coupon. I think that’s all the push I need:)

    2. This may be way late, but I picked this up a few weeks ago at my local Kroger (in Athens) – I’ve also seen it at a Kroger in Lawrenceville. If you couldn’t find it then, hopefully you’ve been able to by now.

    3. They had it stocked in my local Publix supermarket and when I tried it, I found I loved it. Now for some reason they do not stock it anymore. I don’t understand but I am also heartbroken over not being able to find it here in S. Florida.

  2. Great review. Agree that the vanilla custard is a winner. I’ve never been one to choose plain vanilla ice cream but vanilla custard really always hits the spot for me, this is no exception.
    I also got the chocolate custard but was disappointed with the lack of flavor, I’ll stick with the vanilla. (Found them at Target in California)

  3. Edy’s had this once before waaay back when they still had 1/2 gallon containers. Actually back in 2000-01 (when I worked for them doing deliveries) they carried this flavor and several other “homemade” flavors like Strawberries and Cream, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate Chunk, and Banana Cream Pie. The Vanilla, Strawberries and Cream and Banana Cream Pie were all labelled as custards. I think they even had a Egg Nog and Cream custard at Christmas.

  4. I’m a fatass so I’ve tried 5 of the 6 flavors… I recommend them all, but vanilla is definitely my favorite. All of them have that rich, slow-to-melt texture. My rankings:

    Vanilla- Best overall flavor
    Chocolate Malt- Good chocolate flavor (it actually has a hint of bitterness), hint of malt, less sweet than most chocolate ice creams
    Salted Caramel Pretzel- Good swirls, nice balance of ice cream to swirls of caramel and pretzel bits. A bit on the sweeter side.
    Snickerdoodle- good swirls of the cookie flavor and hints of cinnamon, good cookie bits. The underlying custard gets a little lost in the cookie flavor.
    Peanut Butter Pie- Good peanut butter flavor throughout, plenty of bits in it– too sweet though.

  5. got it, love it….. creamier and denser than Haagen Daz…. got the Vanilla….yummo!

  6. Thanks a lot for the review; now I will use the $2 off coupon from Stop and Shop. Almost jumped into my car to go get some, but it can wait a day.

  7. Just found this in my local Safeway and was deciding whether to try it or not, so thanks for the review. We moved from Wisconsin where frozen custard was a regular thing. I was afraid this would be a bad attempt to recreate it for the mass market. But I so miss frozen custard!

  8. Introduced to Frozen Custard last year in Brandon and fell in love. Had it then in Wisconsin. Had Dreyers last week from Safeway in California. Did not care for it at all. Tried Vanilla and another flavor and don’t find the smoothness or richness.

  9. I loved frozen custard as a child so I gave Edy’s vanilla frozen custard a try. Triple yuck.
    It’s made with skim milk, corn syrup, and it has molasses in it. Molasses? ? ? Gross.
    Returned to the store. I told the manager not to order any more.

  10. I have been missing and talking up frozen custard for over 10 years. When I found out they were selling this in California I was really excited, and once I tried it I was extremely let down. I got my favorite frozen custard flavor, vanilla, and I didn’t remind me of the custard I had been dreaming of all of these years:( huge disappointment….it belongs in the trash

  11. Disappointment plus. I won’t buy it again. Just like regular ice cream only more expensive.

  12. I was disappointed too. Virtually no vanilla flavor whatsoever, just felt like creamy buttermilk. I’ll pass.

  13. This is nothing but a quart of overrated ice cream! There is nothing custard about it! Don’t waist your money????????

  14. I live in Rochester NY where we have Abbott’s frozen custard and it is all the rage. I consider myself a custard snob, but I tried Eddy’s frozen custard in vanilla from Wegman’s and I think it is delicious!! I will continue to go to Abbott’s, but when it is $5 for a pint, I will also be stocking my fridge with Eddy’s frozen custard!

  15. Who wrote this great review?!? The writing itself makes me want to go buy this product. This, my friends, is a great writer!

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