Comparison of 2 healthy ice creams (part 2)

Last week I wrote that within a few days, I decided to try two “healthy” ice creams, both new on the shelf. (I define healthy as having either a nut or a fruit in the title. That’s all.)

I started to compare the 2 flavors in one post, but it turns out each has an interesting story, so this is  Part 2. In Part 1,  I already reviewed the high-end luxury ice cream from Gelson’s : Coolhaus Balsamic Fig and Mascarpone Ice cream.

artists rendition (mine) of what this might look like in a cone
artist’s rendition of what huckleberry pie ice cream might look like in a cone

The other new flavor ice cream I bought was from Ralph’s, Ralphs Private Selection Huckleberry Pie Ice Cream. Private Selection is Ralph’s house brand.

Design and Packaging

Ralph’s used to have great branding: all of their products, including dry goods, and household supplies, were almost all black, with white lettering! It might sound depressing, but it really popped on the shelf, and looked great in the kitchen, too. Black in a white kitchen — cool!

Another advantage, with that original packaging, you used to be able to grab their products with barely looking at the title. However, it’s all gone now. I think they call their brand Home, and it’s some wifty white with blue sky or something…not worth talking about.

Anyway, maybe because they hired that smart designer again,  their Private Selection ice cream, has a lot of black on the carton and lid. Handsome, with gold lettering in a fat Georgian-type font,  I like seeing it in my freezer.

Ralphs Private Selection Huckleberry Pie Ice Cream

ralphs limited edition ice cream
Private Selection huckleberry pie ice cream

After jumping into the Coolhaus pint, and jumping right out, I felt a little bummed that I had bought the Ralph’s Huckleberry Pie ice cream. Was 2 healthy ice creams in a week too much?  However, I was very pleasantly surprised!

The text describes the ice cream as huckleberry ice cream laced with cinnamon ribbons, and studded with buttery streusel pie clusters. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten huckleberries in any form before, even though this is California, berry central.  The base is tart, flavorful, pale violet, and it has a good amount of sweeter pie crust pieces strewn throughout to contrast with the very slightly sour taste of the berries. Mix-ins are tricky for creameries, but they got it right with this one.

I don’t know if it’s a seasonal item, but I’ve already bought it a second time, as a refreshing “healthy” alternative to my wicked chocolate-type ice creams. It’s yummy. And did I mention that Private Selection ice creams are usually on sale, at an excellent price?  🙂

What others are saying

I guess I thought a big brand name like Ralphs Ice cream invented flavors in a lab or something, but surprise, the Huckleberry Pie flavor was invented by Sara Wells, a food blogger in Idaho, who co-writes Our Best Bites.

Long before we ever partnered with Private Selection, I basically went door-to-door (exaggeration, but not by much) proclaiming my love for their amazing ice cream line.  That’s why it was a little dream come true to actually participate in a contest where Kate and I created our own custom ice cream recipes representing our home states.

So Ralphs/Private Selection had a contest, and she and her cooking partner won! Good for them, cracking a huge market like that.

from vintage Carnation milk cookbook - other ways to enjoy your ice cream
from vintage Carnation milk cookbook – other ways to enjoy your ice cream

And Sara is from Idaho, so I guess that’s where huckleberries grow. Uh-oh, the Idaho Statesman writes that huckleberries are in short supply, so it is seasonal — better get this ice cream while you can!

Ralph’s is calling it artisan, and it has 4 stars from visitors.

I don’t see any more reviews yet, so you’ll just have to try the ice cream yourself – and I invite you to leave your opinion in the comments.