Frozen fun for all

Ben and Jerry’s develops dairy free ice cream

Photo by JÉSHOOTS from Pexels

Ice cream has been a staple of hot summers for many years. However, not everyone is able to enjoy the frozen treat. Over sixty percent of adults cannot digest milk, according to USAToday. Lastose in-tolerance is when the body has trouble digesting the main sugar in dairy, lactase, which can cause bloating, stomach cramps and nausea.

Popular ice cream chain Ben and Jerry’s announced mid-November 2015 that they had been working on developing non-dairy versions of their ice cream flavors to ensure that everyone can enjoy them.

“I’ve heard that milk actually tastes better without the lactase,” senior Shanice Smith said.

In addition to benefiting people with lactose intolerance, the ice cream will also be certified by Vegan Action, a nonprofit organization “working to reduce animal suffering, minimize environmental impact and improve human health.”

There will be no traces of any animal products (such as milk, eggs or honey) in the pints.

“As long as it tastes good I’m happy,” senior Erin Mikolowski said.

In the search for the perfect replacement for an ice cream base, the company tested various kinds of man-made milk, including cashew and soy. Ultimately, almond milk beat the other contenders because of its’ creamy consistency.

“It took 50 or more versions of almond milk base mix to get to a point where we felt taste and texture were good enough to start adding chunks and swirls,” Ben and Jerry’s flavor guru Kirsten Schimoler said. “There were versions that were so thick they looked like pudding and I couldn’t freeze or pump it; there were versions that were so firm it wouldn’t scoop. Trial and error was the name of the game.”

The company has never shied away from promoting their beliefs. In fact, their official website features an entire page entitled “Issues We Care About.” Some of the notable sections include LGBT rights, Fairtrade and Climate Justice.

“Some of you are committed to a vegan life-style, while others can’t or would rather not eat dairy. And all of you are missing the indulgent frozen delights you once enjoyed,” the official Ben and Jerry’s website said. “We knew that with some hard work and experimentation we could deliver the taste and creamy texture you’ve been craving. So we did.”

Ben and Jerry’s announced on their website that they plan to release their first four vegan flavors to the public for around $5.69 a pint, nearly a dollar more than non-vegan flavors.

The premier flavors will be “Chunky Monkey” (banana ice cream with fudge chunks and walnuts), “Chocolate Fudge Brownie” (chocolate ice cream with fudge brownie bits), “Coffee Caramel Fudge” (coffee ice cream with a caramel swirl and fudge chunks) and “P.B. & Cookies” (vanilla ice cream with crunchy peanut butter swirls and chocolate sandwich cookie pieces).

Though“Chunky Monkey” and “Chocolate Fudge Brownie”are old fan-favorites being re-released, “Coffee Caramel Fudge” and “P.B. & Cookies” are both new flavors.

Ben and Jerry’s Scoop Shops are expected to begin serving them and pints will be sold in grocery stores as soon as early March. Michigan’s only Scoop Shop is located at 304 South State Street in Ann Arbor.

I scream, you scream - now, we can all scream for ice cream

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