Van Leeuwen (2023)My experience with Van Leeuwen Ice Cream has been hit and miss. They make a lot of unusual limited edition flavors that I'm interested in trying, but a lot of them that I've had the opportunity to try have ranged from pretty good (Hot Honey), to just ok (Pizza, Grey Poupon), to kinda lousy (Kraft Macaroni & Cheese), to an abomination of the grocers freezer aisle (Hidden Valley Ranch). There's only one flavor of theirs that I really loved, and that was Cranberry Crumble.
I've had enough bad experiences with this brand that it would take something pretty remarkable for me to be willing to pay full price for one of their pints (except Cranberry Crumble, which is worth every penny). I must not be the only person in town who feels this way because there's often an endcap freezer at my local Wal-Mart that's filled with pints that have been put on clearance. That was the case with these four flavors, each of which were marked down to $1.50.
There are few foods in this world that I enjoy more than pickles, so I was tempted to buy this when I first saw it a few months ago. The thing that stopped me was the memory of the Hidden Valley Ranch flavor. I'm not a fussy eater but it was, in the words of Jules Winnfield, some fucked-up repugnant shit. Thankfully, the Dill Pickle flavor was much better. If anything, it could probably have used a bit more of the pickle flavoring. This falls in the category of "just ok" because I wouldn't buy it again, but I'm glad that I got to try it.
Idaho Potato Malted Milkshake & Fries was the sleeper hit of the group for me. I've actually had a very similar flavor a few years ago from a company called Coolhaus Ice Cream. That one was quite good, and the Van Leeuwen version was even better. Instead of little mini french fries, this one is made with potato flakes mixed in like the crisped rice in a Nestle Crunch bar. This is one that I would buy again.
Kiwi Burst is the flavor that I was looking forward to trying the most out of these four because I love the fruit, but it was pretty underwhelming. It tasted good, but the flavor was kind of weak and although kiwi puree was in the ingredients, I didn't think that it tasted like a kiwi. Not bad, but this one is a one-and-done for me.