Yes, you read the title correctly. This is a review of a pizza-flavored ice cream, or is it ice cream-flavored pizza? Either way, the latest product you never knew you needed but are intrigued to try (or at least read about someone else trying) is from the folks at Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, who are also responsible for the previously reviewed Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Ice Cream.
I imagine there was a meeting of Van Leeuwen decision-makers where someone threw out the idea of pizza ice cream, and it seems that at least some in the meeting thought it wasn’t a terrible idea (perhaps the same ones who gave the thumbs up for mac and cheese ice cream). Now, if Van Leeuwen was run by a bunch of first graders, then I could understand this flavor getting the green light, along with chicken nugget ice cream. Even though I did not do any research to back this up, I’m guessing Van Leeuwen is not run by first graders, although the company’s website refers to their products as “pints” when they only contain 14 (not 16) ounces, so I guess they do struggle with numbers a little.
So, is this a terrible idea?
Actually, no. I sort of liked it, even though it only sort of tastes like pizza. This does contain a good number of pizza-ish ingredients — tomatoes, unbleached flour, mozzarella cheese powder, and unnamed spices — but they come through with different levels of flavor. The base ice cream (the cheese) is wonderfully creamy; I suppose because it’s French ice cream, which the container explains contains more egg yolks than non-French ice cream. There’s a hint of mozzarella taste but much more of a cheesecake flavor, thanks to the decidedly non-pizza ingredient of cream cheese.
The sauce part was a pleasant surprise. Despite how mixing tomatoes and ice cream might make you cringe, it was more than palatable. That’s probably because it’s a tomato jam, according to Van Leeuwen, and, according to me, it pairs nicely with the cheesy ice cream base. It has enough tomato flavor so you know what it is, but its mild sweetness eliminates the grossness factor.
The crust, made of basil cookies, is the only part that didn’t win me over. There was not much there as far as texture or taste, but it didn’t do anything to the detriment of the ice cream as a whole. It’s like having a co-worker who rarely does any work but doesn’t screw things up either.
As has been said in other reviews of Frankenstein-inspired freaks of food folly, this product is not a great substitute for either of the items it claims to be. If you are craving pizza, then even that cold pizza in the fridge that you question if it’s still OK is to eat is probably better. And if you have a hankering for ice cream, then just about any “regular” flavor will hit the spot better than this. But you only live once, and do you really want to be sitting in a retirement home playing bingo and wondering what pizza ice cream tastes like? I certainly do not, so I’m glad I tried this.
Purchased Price: $4.98
Size: 14 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 310 calories, 16 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 110 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 33 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.