Which nostalgic frozen delight will come out on top?
After a greasy-in-a-good-way way burger and fries, nothing hits the spot like ice cream. Many fast-food places have their own specific offerings, but not all are created equal. Fast food ice cream is a nostalgic treat many of us remember from when we were kids—nothing satiates a craving for ice cream quite like it. Unlike cartons you buy in the store or hard-pack pints from scoop shops, most fast food ice cream is soft serve, or their own version of a softer treat. There are lots of new options on the market, so I wondered, how do these ice creams compare to the tried and true favorites we all enjoyed from childhood? The power of nostalgia is hard, but good ice cream is easy to spot, and lousy ice cream is hard to forget.
The Best Fast Food Ice Cream, Ranked
5th Place: Burger King, Vanilla Ice Cream (1/10)
I’m not going to lie; this was difficult to eat. The texture was extremely watery and icy; I felt like the liquid base had been watered down before it was frozen. The texture wasn’t at all similar to what I would expect out of soft serve; there was no creamy consistency or aeration. If I didn’t know this was ice cream, I’d guess that it was low-quality, fat-free frozen yogurt—it lacked the body and texture of full-fat ice cream. The flavor tasted predominantly of skim milk with a small amount of extremely artificial-tasting vanilla. It also had an odd tang which, at best, reminded me of frozen yogurt and, at worst, sour milk.
4th Place: McDonald’s, Hot Fudge Sundae (5/10)
McDonald’s ice cream base is neither excessively special nor incredibly bad; it’s a middle-of-the-road vanilla ice cream base. It’s creamy and sweet but without much flavor or dimension going on. However, the hot fudge is the major flavorant in this ice cream. The fudge sauce is extremely thick and slightly chewy, so it doesn’t homogenize with the ice cream very well, and the ice cream melts much faster than the chocolate. But a bite with the two together hits that deeply nostalgic note of an ice cream sundae as you remember from childhood. This sundae is by no means bad, but it’s not better than McDonald’s more popular ice cream treat, the McFlurry. Though if I had a hankering for soft serve near a McDonald’s and, for some reason, I couldn’t get a McFlurry; this would adequately scratch that itch.
3rd Place: McDonald’s, Oreo McFlurry (7/10)
Soft serve and Oreos go together arguably better than peanut butter and jelly. I know that the ice cream in this McFlurry is the same as the sundae, but it somehow tasted better. It felt fluffier with more body here than it did in the sundae. It still had that slight tinge of artificial vanilla and after a few bites, I caught myself thinking a lot about the chemical makeup of McDonald’s soft serve and how it differs from real ice cream. My only real complaint is that it seemed like the cookie pieces weren't actual Oreos, or at least it was just the cookie part. It was a very fine crumb dusting without the frosting, so there weren't any of those valuable bites with huge Oreo pieces that we all love.
2nd Place: Shake Shack, Vanilla Frozen Custard (9/10)
The first thing I thought after taking a bite of this ice cream was that it was so incredibly rich. It’s technically frozen custard, and you can really taste a difference in both flavor and texture. The consistency was almost pudding-like and so impossibly smooth. The velvety texture was the best part of this ice cream, and it was hands down the best texture of any of the ice creams on this list. The flavor was pretty straightforward vanilla, but it tasted like real milk and cream and lacked the distinct artificial note that almost all the others had. If I were in the mood for a scoop of ice cream, I would definitely stop here over other chain scoop shops.
1st Place Winner: Dairy Queen, Oreo Blizzard (9.75/10)
We can all agree, the Blizzard is iconic. This hit all my expectations and 100% lived up to the nostalgic memories I had of it from childhood. The ice cream was thick and dense and produced a delightful swirl when scooped up. The flavor of the base was very sweet and had a very light vanilla flavor that was not overtly artificial and tasted clean without an aftertaste. The best part, though, was the Oreo pieces. There was a perfect balance of crumbs that mixed in with the base and big pieces of crushed cookie that gave a pleasant crunch. Plus, it undeniably tasted like real Oreo and had all the frosting you want with a big bite of Oreo. The ice cream plus the Oreo had a deeper flavor than many of the other ice creams, and I felt like there was some dimension to the flavor overall. Even after eating four other types of ice cream, I happily finished this Blizzard.
The Taste Test Takeaway
What I’d buy again: Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzard, Shake Shack Vanilla Frozen Custard
What I might eat at a friend’s house: McDonald’s Oreo McFlurry, McDonald’s Hot Fudge Sundae
What I’ll avoid: Burger King Vanilla Ice Cream
Read the original article on All Recipes.