I’ve been intending to write about the Coolhaus Ice Cream I received from the California Milk Advisory Board for no other reason than because I found myself really liking the ice cream. In fact, they exceeded my expectations so much I immediately went online to check what other flavors are available.
One of my favorite childhood treats has always been ice cream. Until now, I would gladly take ice cream over a cupcake any day. But boy am I picky with my ice cream! The moment an ice cream is too sweet or not creamy, I get turned off. It has to do with my philosophy of making the treats I eat count, so every time I try a new-to-me ice cream brand I get a little nervous.
Opening my package of Coolhaus Ice Cream invoked the same feelings in me: Uncertainty tinged with anticipation. And then, as I read the label and playful flavors, all that was left was excitement. Milkshake & Fries? I personally don’t get weirded out by such flavor combinations, but the expectations start building the moment I see the potential for something interesting. I was hoping really hard that this would not let me down!
Coolhaus is an ice cream brand based in LA. It launched into stardom at 2009’s Coachella Festival. It’s founded by two ladies with backgrounds in design and real estate who happen to love baking cookies and making ice cream. Fast forward to 2019, Coolhaus now distributes to over 6,000 grocery stores in the US, aside from its several storefronts and mobile ice cream trucks in the West Coast. They have even begun distributing to certain locations in Asia! So far I have seen them prominently displayed in Landers Superstore branches. This is definitely proof of how far a love and passion for something can take you!
I only have good experiences eating artisan ice creams during my trips to the States so there wasn’t really any reason for me to be pessimistic about this. With that, let’s start talking about the Coolhaus Ice Creams in pints.
When I was in college, anytime I was particularly stressed, you’d see me in the McDonald’s beside our school building dipping fries into my vanilla sundae. And so it shocks me very little that anyone would come up with a Milkshake & Fries Ice Cream. This one really brings back memories!
The thing that I loved across all Coolhaus products I tried is the texture of their ice cream. It’s just thick enough to get that perfect scoop, with a cool and creamy mouthfeel that is super satisfying. Whatever flavor, the add-in’s are also well-distributed inside the pint.
The Milkshake & Fries flavor has shoestring fries and chunks of milk chocolate inside a delicious Tahitian Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. It leans a little on the sweet side, but the fries kind of help keep things in control. I’m just a little iffy about the shoestring potatoes, because it feels like I’m eating frozen raw potatoes when I bite into them. (Maybe it’s all in my mind? Maybe I’m just used to eating freshly cooked, warm fries with my vanilla ice cream?) I honestly don’t know if a different cut of potato would make a difference, but all in all, I still enjoyed this a lot.
Now the Midnight Munchies is one of those ice creams that can make a chocolate-lover’s mouth water. JUST LOOK AT IT! Coolhaus added chocolate-covered pretzels for a hint of saltiness, plus some peanut butter cups to boost the peanut butter-taste of its ice cream base. Instead of just a plain chocolate ice cream, Coolhaus used a chocolate peanut butter base instead.
I really think the peanut butter components add dimension to this ice cream. It swirls through that deep chocolate flavor in a good way. You get crunchy and salty bits from the pretzels within. Funny story about this ice cream: As I was being my meticulous self trying to get the perfect shot, my brother got so impatient to dive into this. He started nagging me to hurry with every click of the shutter. He ended up eating the ice cream straight from the scooper.
I’m not in the habit of finishing off a pint of ice cream so I can’t say if this is the sort of chocolate that is so rich it sticks in the throat if you eat too much, but I think this is an addictive option for chocoholics! We had a mini spoon war as we ate through this lol.
Coolhaus also has some ice cream sammies or sandwiches that come in these cutely colored packages. Ya’ll know I love making ice cream sandwiches myself, but it’s tricky business. You have to match the flavors of the components well, and you also have to make sure the cookie/bread part does not get rock hard once frozen. Coolhaus pretty much nails the texture aspect in their sammies.
For both flavors, the actual sammies look a little thinner than the picture on the package. Although I think piling the ice cream a little thicker will highlight its creaminess more, from a portioning standpoint this is just enough to fit in the mouth. Despite being frozen, the soft cookies melt away like the ice cream does as you eat.
I wasn’t able to photograph the Cookies and Cream ice cream sammies but I loved their not-too-sweet classic flavor. The Birthday Cake Sammies is a more modern combo, and I thought it was clever to have a “frosting filling” to complement the rainbow sprinkle cake cookies. 4 out of 5!
One of the things I love the most about the artisan ice cream scene in the States is how I can feel this palpable passion for the craft of ice cream-making whenever I step into a shop. The proof is in the clever and unique flavors they come up with, as well as in the sort of following where you see lines of people wrapped around an entire block. (True story!)
I will tell you from experience that many of these American artisan ice creams are worth the trip and the wait, but I sure appreciate having to skip all that work and being able to buy some Coolhaus at a local grocery store! I hope this is just the beginning and that CMAB will bring more of these artisan ice cream brands to the Philippines. For now, I’m working on trying out as many Coolhaus flavors as I can. Balsamic Fig & Mascarpone, where art thou?
Disclaimer: The products above were sent to me for review. All opinions stated above are my own. I received no monetary compensation for this post.