Saturday, March 01, 2008

Wheeler's Delivers the Goods

Wheeler's Black Label Vegan "Frozen Dessert" sent me a sampling of their vegan ice cream a couple days ago. This stuff is all the buzz in the vegan blog world though it only seems available through an intriguing underground network in a psst-pass-it-on-and-maybe-you'll-get-some kind of way. I haven't quite figured this out yet. It's actually leaving me a little panicked now having tried it with no means of continuing to get it. But whatev! I got me some iiiccee crreamm . . .

The rumor was that this vegan ice cream was the creamiest in all the land; that it's crazy, crazy good and leaves one checking Wheeler's blog to confirm that it is actually vegan. I couldn't wait to review the goods before I received them though when they did arrive and when things were finally tested, I realized that a legitimate review can't just be, Holy Shit This Is Good. Though when people eat my baked goods, that's all I'm hoping to hear.

Here's what I mean about this black market thing. I received nondescript containers with sharpie scribblings on the lid. Like, it's a big secret until the minute the box is taped up and shipped. I feel this was sneaked to me, handed off in a dark alley. In many ways, I love this about Wheeler's.

I'll start by saying this about the Elvis flavor: Holy SHIT it was good. It was so creamy that it reminded me that a lifetime ago I used to love premium nonvegan ice cream. The flavor of Elvis is what's perfect though. The ice cream had a subtle banana flavor -- and I thoroughly appreciate subtle -- with small swirls of peanut butter. Forget it. Fantastic. The family got a few bites each, and I even managed to parcel out a couple spoonfuls to a neighbor, but after that Mina confiscated what was remaining of Elvis as her own. We couldn't pry it from her fingers.

Here's Chocolate Peppermint. Again the texture was perfect, but the peppermint for me was overwhelming with a biting taste. But 12 year old Maya loved it and pretty much wrote "Maya's" in sharpie next to the flavor's name. You see, with Wheeler's containers you can do that!

Wheeler's flavors are innovative and interesting and from reading the blog and the list of flavors I am certainly drawn to their creative exploration and desire to broaden the spectrum. I think they are navigating new territory mostly with a series of flavors that mimic alcoholic drinks. They not only mimic, but clearly contain alcohol.
Margarita and Champagne are two sorbets. Both are refreshing and surprisingly they are very different in texture. The Champagne is truly sparkling in texture; light, almost pretty. It goes on the tongue sweet, then immediately tastes like champagne, even leaves a lingering alcohol taste. It was different and unexpected and sophisticated. The Margarita was a much thicker and smoother sorbet. It was a frozen margarita gone to the dessert level. Very sweet and tart, very good, and the salt kicker, noticeable once it dissolves, is brilliant.

My favorite flavor of the bunch was the ginger ice cream. It was gorgeous. The flavor was absolutely perfect and the texture so creamy. I was inspired so much by it that I baked an orange-ginger cookie bowl to show it off. It needed a pedestal; a stage. The cookie recipe comes from Fran Costigan's book More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally.
For the sundae, I topped the ice cream with the clove-infused caramel sauce that I made for the Maduro Cupcakes and topped with a "milano" cookie made from the orange-ginger cookies sandwiching chocolate.

In the next sundae, I added a scoop of Wheeler's green tea ice cream next to the ginger. The green tea was probably my second favorite because again the flavor was perfect and subtle, but there were parts that were a bit icy in texture, maybe when I refroze it. It was the only flavor that did this. Still pretty stunning.

Thank you so much Wheeler's! Good luck with all your ambitious endeavors. I can't to have more.


Rebel Girl said...

Can I live at your house?

girl least likely to said...

lucky lucky!! i signed up to do taste-testing in my town the instant i learned about them, but they never returned my email. boo!!! the elvis and the chocolate peppermint are so up my alley, it's not even funny.

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, so jealous! now if you'll excuse me, I have to go whirl up some tropical ice dream and pretend that wheelers does not yet exist. ;)

Kristin C. said...

you're killing me.
you are torturing me with the idea of these glorious treats that I cannot enjoy becasue they are black market treats. jeez.

also, the delicate ginger cookie bowl really put me over the edge.


madness rivera said...

Rebel, of course! I'll make room.

GirlLL, post a comment on his blog now. He's asking again. Don't give up! I had to email him a few times.

DGMMV, I think you should tell Wheeler to supply some for the belly.

HA - thanks Kristin. Sorry for the torture.

Hil The Thrill said...

I just LOVE your writing, and I want to know what kind of life I have to live to get to sample icecream. That is clearly awesome. I'll be back to read more. xoxo, hil

bazu said...

Ooooooh! Your ice cream all looks so good! I know exactly what you mean, though. When I got my shipment of the stuff, my pleasure at eating it was mixed with a horror at the thought that once the stuff was over, it was really over for good. I even started contemplating a move to Boston. Such is the power of Wheeler's.

madness rivera said...

Hi Hil, go over to Wheeler's site and tell you want a taste. Then email him a few more times until you get some. Tell him I sent you!

Bahar, let's cry on each other's shouders. Have fun in Paris! Can't wait to hear more.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Daaaamn, you got hooked up! I need to try more than one flavor. That cookie cup is brilliant!

Emilie said...

i'm behind on my blogs so i'm just seeing this. glad you got the goodz and damn, you really knocked it out with those cookie bowls. i am going to take the page straight out of your book next time i get the wheeler's hook up. lookin awesome.