I eat a lot of ice cream and if I could only eat one dessert for the rest of my life it would certainly be in the top running (I cannot commit to a full answer just yet, it is too terrible a prospect to bear thinking about). Like many of you my relationship with ice cream has been a lifelong one. We have been through some ups and downs together, I can still remember upsetting moments such as dropping my 99 on the floor as a child, and I am sure that there will be many more to come.
As I have grown older my tastes have changed. Previously a huge tub of supermarket own brand Neapolitan would be enough to keep me happy, but this is no longer the case. These days it must be something better, more interesting and in a much classier cardboard tub. Thankfully the ice cream industry has moved on great leaps at the same time as my own tastes improved. We now have masses of choice when it comes to our ice cream, which is certainly a good thing.
Jude’s Ice Cream are a relatively new player in the ice cream market. It was started back in 2002 by a man wanting to follow his dream of using local Hampshire milk to create the best ice cream in the world. He named the ice cream after his wife and set about growing and developing the flavours and business. Their products are now available in major shops and supermarkets across the country and are also supplied to top chefs and restaurants across the UK. They have also won over 25 great taste awards, but were yet to have passed the Food, Booze and Reviews taste test; that is until now.
Let’s get down to business
I was delighted to come home to a beautiful box of ice cream and immediately took to getting some photos. I really like the simple packaging with its hooped colours and bold text. There was something suitably British and Ice Creamy about it. This simple styling also appeared to fit with the understated and classy feel of the product; giving me the impression of both the countryside that the milk comes from and the British seaside.
In terms of the flavours I had a nice selection ranging from simple vanilla and chocolate through to slightly more adventurous flavours like gin and tonic and hot toddy. I was not sure where to start, luckily there were a few mini tubs that felt like a welcome entry point into the range. Before I get started on each of the separate flavours I would like to go over a few points that apply to the whole range.
Each of the containers reminds customers that 10% of their profits are donated to charities who support and work with children and young people. If you are the sort of person who feels a bit guilty about eating ice cream this means you can feel a little better about yourself as you are supporting good causes.
The main impression that I got from each of the flavours is the smoothness of the ice cream. You can really taste the quality of the milk used, it reminds me of proper Cornish ice cream, so it has a delightful creaminess to it. When you remove it from the freezer it is pretty much ready to scoop and there are no ice crystals to be found which tells me it is a quality ice cream that I am about to enjoy.
The other standout point is that I found each of the different flavours to be very well balanced and not overly sweet. Jude’s is not ridiculously sweet or rich like some other popular ice cream brands. You can really taste the flavours in each of the tubs, and they tasted exactly like what they claimed to be. This may sounds stupid, but what I mean is that the flavours were natural and organic rather than tasting synthetic or forced. Each of the tubs was subtle in its flavouring meaning that you could taste the quality of the base ice cream in addition to the particular flavouring used.
Ice cream, you scream everybody scream
Essentially you can stop reading now as I’ve kind of given you the overview of the ice creams. However, if you are interested in seeing what I thought of the individual flavours I tried you are welcome to continue reading.
Very Vanilla – Often overlooked in favour of more exotic flavours, by my anyway, the Very Vanilla flavour is a good place to start. With no fancy flavours to hide behind you can always tell a good ice cream from their vanilla. This is the perfect example of the classic flavour, pure white in colour and speckled with vanilla seeds. This really shows off Jude’s creaminess and the vanilla is the perfect flavour enhancer.
Truly Chococlate – Another classic and Jude’s is a straightforward version that does not disappoint. Made with pure Colombian cocao it is pale in colour and the chocolate flavour is understated and clean. This is very unlike the super dark and rich chocolates you would get with Haagen-Daaz or similar and is much more reminiscent of the chocolate ice cream I ate as a child; but made with much better ingredients.
Flat White Coffee – I absolutely love coffee flavoured desserts and this did not disappoint. As with the others the flavour is not super intense, it is a flat white after all and not an espresso, making for a gentle coffee experience. There is no bitterness to it whilst not being overly sweet either and so could happily be served with other desserts.
Salted Caramel – A wonderfully rich deep caramel flavour with a deep almost fudge like taste that makes me think of Cornish clotted cream. Not overly salted but subtle enough to give you that underlying savoury note that keeps the spoon dipping in for more.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Ripple – If you like peanuts you will love this as it is absolutely packed with the things and the ice cream has a definite peanut flavour. Unfortunately, I cannot stand them so it is not for me so Yolanda will be enjoying this one. Her only thought is that there could be a little more chocolate and this is the only one that was a little more difficult to get out of the tub.
Brown Butter Pecan – Wasn’t sure if I would like this one as I am not a big fan of nuts but I was pleasantly surprised. There is a swirl of caramel throughout which goes fantastically with the nut pieces and the savoury nuttiness of the brown butter. Nice depths of flavour and textures in this one making for a fun ice cream experience.
Gin & Tonic – I really wasn’t sure about how this would work out as an ice cream. I love a bit of gin, as many of you may know, and I’ve had gin and tonic sorbet before. As an ice cream I was not convinced. There was a definite gin taste from the Sipsmith’s that is used which I liked, but I thought the overall taste a little odd with some bitterness. Not for me but I applaud the thought.
Hot Toddy – Was quite excited about this one. It has a really strong peaty whisky taste to begin with thanks to the Laphroaig Islay single malt. This gives a fabulous smoky and earthy note that is balanced out by the creamy ice cream and slight sweetness from the honey. If you cannot stand whisky you probably wont like it, but if you do it is a real treat and I’ve not come across anything similar.
01962 711 444
Jude’s, Northfields Farm, Hazeley Road, Twyford,
Winchester, Hants, SO21 1QA