Friday, April 11, 2008

Vanilla Ice Cream Taste Test

Vanilla Ice Cream Taste TestWe had a family activity Monday night that we do every once in a while--an Official Taste Test. We get five or six samples of something and give it a go to see what's the favorite.

It all started with Andrew's claim that his body had developed a toxic reaction to diet soda and that he would go into instant seizures should the stuff ever pass his lips--only the non-diet stuff for him. I believe my response was "Oh yea? Prove it!" and the first taste test was born.

Vanilla Ice Cream Taste TestWe started with root beer and interestingly enough Andrew was unable to discern the difference between diet A&W and the real stuff. Perhaps he had a cold that day. Results showed that in a blind test five Mittons out of six preferred Big K diet root beer (the Fred Meyer generic brand) over Mug, A&W and Barqs. So there.

Anyway, we sampled various chocolates the next time around and Grace learned that she does, in fact, prefer Hershey's over Lindt, Dove, Nestle and Toblerone (not that I understand that but what are you going to do about it? It just means the good stuff gets saved for me). The overall family favorite proved to be Lindt.

Vanilla Ice Cream Taste TestI was going to try apples this time and compare Granny Smith, Braeburn, Delicious, Fuji and Gravenstein but I got outvoted, apparently there just weren't enough calories to make apples an appealing option so vanilla ice cream it was (big surprise--I was completely stupid to tell them what I was going to test before I bought it).

I picked up samples of Ben & Jerry's, Safeway Select, Haagen-Daz, Breyers Double Churn and Breyers French Vanilla and we subjected ourselves to a highly scientific test. Normally it would have been $1600 or $1700 worth of ice cream but they were on sale and I had a two-for-one coupon.

I printed up "Official Taste Tester Forms" on cardstock where everyone could write their name, the date, the item being tested and the five brands of vanilla ice cream. Then we tasted and rated each brand for three criteria: taste based on flavor and creaminess, then cost and calories, giving a score of 1 to 5 for each criteria then giving each brand a total score by adding the points up.

So I know you're dying to hear what the results were right? Grace liked the Double Churned Light the best, Andrew the regular Breyers, Spencer the Haagen-Daz (or as David called it Hog and Dog--apparently he's no whiz at fake Danish words) and I went for the Ben & Jerry's. What can I say? The calories don't lie and 290 of those little guys can't be wrong.

Going purely on taste wasn't conclusive, we all seemed to prefer different brands, but when taking into account the calories and cost the Double Churned Light easily won with an overall total of 14 points. It was the 100 calorie servings and low cost that edged it ahead of the others that tasted slightly better. Good work Breyers, you've made the world a little better place.

Maybe we'll try apples next time.

***

Thank you so much to the Wall Street Journal for including me in their list of ten Top Motherhood Blogs and thank you to those who were nice enough to notice and send their congratulations--what a thing to wake up to! It was the best thing I've ever had happen at 6:45 am. Thanks too, to Susan at FoodBlogga who sent me the email about it--you're on my Top Blogs list!

***

Totally unrelated but with Lillian practicing her Totally Amazing Reading Skills lately we found this online book site with a cute children's book titled (and if this doesn't grab you I don't know what will) The Wiener Dog Magnet by Hayes Roberts. If you've got a new reader around, it's just a hoot to read together. Reading it slowly just builds the suspense.

67 comments:

Mrs. Organic said...

I just saw that article, congratulations!

Jeana said...

Wow! Good for you!

Bunny B said...

Congrats on your news! :)
Since everyone likes different brands of ice-cream, are you gonna buy it all? :P

Gray Matters said...

What a great family activity! I saw the article yesterday - I'm so proud for you. Great job!

chelle said...

w00t on Wall Street! Totally deserving recognition!

What a wonderful way to spend family night! Your an inspiration!

Chris said...

Looks like yummy fun!

Congrats on the article! I'm not a Wall Street Journal reader, so I didn't see it. I'm going to go look now.

trek said...

We tried the Double Churned but I don't like the artificial sweeteners and won't let my child eat them. We like the HD - or a local shop that has wonderful soft ice cream.

Oh, and preferring Hershey over Dove? Stay on that. Don't ever introduce her to Godiva or Scharfenberger - keep those a mommy-secret!

Marketing Mama said...

Love the taste test idea. How fun!

How AWESOME that you are in the top ten list - congrats! I hope you get lots of extra visitors today! :)

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I'm a regular Breyer's person, myself...

Christie O. said...

so official, your taste testing, how much fun is that!

And yes congrats to you!!!

luvmy4sons said...

Wow! Congratulations! You've hit the big time! And I loved the ice cream testing! My boys would be SO into that!

Jennifer said...

Congratulations on making the WSJ. I had not realized how big your blg was. Maybe it is because you are so kind in replying to others that I didn't notice. Hopefully that won't change too much!

Susan said...

Thought you'd be interested in this short omega-3 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIgNpsbvcVM

Janet said...

I saw that Design Mom was on it and I tried to open it to see if anyone else I know was (Not surprised you're on there) but I STILL can't open the article. It just won't load.
I like Breyer's vanilla bean, if you're talking vanilla. For usual, I like chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Yeah, I know.
We like Pink Lady and Gala apples.

Edi said...

I just love your taste test idea! But I don't think the ice-cream taste test will work for me b/c you know I'll love all the ice-cream and end up consuming the greater portion of all the cartons of ice-cream.

As you said - maybe we'll try apples next time. :)

Mrs. Annie said...

Wonderful family fun and ice cream, now that's memory making!

Congrats on the article!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I may not read Wall Street but I read you everyday.

Man, why didn't I think of having a family ice cream taste testing? Well, now we know what we'll be doing this next Monday night!

I personally think that only certain vanillas go with certain toppings.

Cafe Johnsonia said...

This is so great! I'm always thinking that we need to start having our Monday night activity even though our kids are small and won't listen to traditional lessons, etc. They would love this!

Congrats on the WSJ mention!

Pocklock said...

What a fantastic idea for family night! So much fun!

Congrats on the article. Awesome!

Jen Rouse said...

We recently tried the Breyer's light and thought it was the best light ice cream we've ever had. Definitely a hit.

Also, that's amazing about being in the WSJ! Way to go!

Jody said...

Congratulations! That is so very cool!

Melissa said...

Congratulations! What an awesome honor, but it is totally deserved. I love your blog! :)

Piseco said...

What a fun idea! We'll have to try a few taste tests here. My dad and I do have a long-standing tradition of tasting the worst possible sodas we can find (one called BIRCHOLA that was a combination of birch beer and cola springs to mind as among the worst) by pouring samples into juice glasses for the bravest to try!

Lisa said...

Congratulations! You're right up there with Dooce and Suburban Bliss and thankfully you're much less profane. The ADN ran that article this morning without the list. They must not have known or noticed our famous local blogger.

Scribbit said...

Lisa--where did you see it? I'd be interested in seeing the mention.

Amy said...

I am so incredibly proud of you! What an honor and you totally deserve it- I know how hard you work!

Oh, and your taste test rocks.

JMC said...

I LOVE this idea. I'm stealing it right now.

grace said...

I just read the article. Congratulations! You deserve to be there.

BTW, what dedication you all have in the ice cream test task!

Jacki said...

Congrats on being recognized by the WSJ!! And I think I am going to have to try this Taste Testig thing....that sounds like so much fun. And I can think of so many things this would be fun with.....candy, soda, chips....yuummm....

angie said...

This looks like such a fun activity to do with the family. Congrats on the Wall Street Journay recognition. You deserve it. How long have you been blogging on Scribbit, anyway?

Irene said...

I can't believe you buried that WSJ information at the end of your ice cream post! Congrats!!!! That is SO cool!

Scribbit said...

Angie--I started Scribbit in June 2005 but only picked at it for about a year. In August 2006 I started taking it more seriously and it was about a month later that I started posting every day. So I guess that makes it about a year and a half that I've been at it for real.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Wow, The Wall Street Journal ... and to think that I have conversed with you on the phone. I am popular by association :) !!

Congrats!

Richelle said...

I have to say Hersey's chocolate has nothing on any European chocolate. After being in Scotland for a year and a half, it was hard eat nasty American chocolate again.

Nice to know about the ice-cream, I'll have to try some. (I think that brand is even on sale at Kroger this week, hmm...)

Congratulations for the article!

Phyllis Sommer said...

what a fun family tradition...i am so stealing this idea for the future...

and congrats on the news!

Sandy said...

What a fun family night activity!

Oh, and congrats! You totally deserve it.

Shannon said...

THE WALLSTREET JOURNAL?? You, my dear, have hit the big time! COngratulations! I am hugely impressed but not at all surprised. Very well deserved.

So fun that you taste test. I love it!

Greg said...

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cndymkr / jean said...

Congratulations! You must be so excited.

And I really like the idea of taste testing. I'll have to try it here.

Heffalump said...

We are always trying to think of fun family activities. We'll ave to try this one! I'm sure the boys would love doing a taste test!

Linda said...

Oh Geez. Now I'm wondering what business did I think I have commenting here so often?! You are amazing. Congratulations. Well-deserved.

Christine said...

Congratulations, Michelle!

That's fantastic news, and very well deserved.

As for ice cream, we love Breyers.

Michelle (the beartwinsmom) said...

Wow, way to go, Michelle! That is just wonderful news to be mentioned in such a high-profile newspaper. Look out for increased blog stats! :-)

I also love your ice cream taste test. I'll have to save that for a summer activity.

Babystepper said...

Love the taste test idea. I want to try it on my mother-in-law who claims that she will never find a diet soda she likes.

thediaperdiaries said...

I was just coming over to congratulations to you. How exciting!!

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

Congrats on the article!

That is a fantastic idea on the taste testing. My son would love to do that!

the mama bird diaries said...

Awesome on the article.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the taste test.

My in-laws swear that if you are blindfolded, you can't tell the difference between 7up and coke. have you done this?

If not, get our kids to work and please report back. :)

diXymiss said...

Wow, congrats on the WSJ nod.

Love the "taste test" idea for family fun. I'm eXcited to give it a try. ThanX!

allysha said...

I can't imagine why the apples didn't go over! :) Probably because apples aren't in season, and your family is obviously full of discerning taste-buds.

Tammy said...

Wow, this just sounds like such a fun family activity! :-)

Annette Lyon said...

What a fantastic idea--I think we'll have to do some taste testing with the family some Monday night.

Congrats on the article!

Stephanie said...

What a fun idea to have a "taste test" activity with your family! I was just telling my husband about this last night - it would be fun to do with soda, pizza, juice, ice cream, chocolate, etc.

Also: congrats on making the "top 10" list! That's wonderful!

Magpie said...

I love that you did an ice cream taste test! Cool.

Anna Broadway said...

Love the taste-test idea. My church has talked of doing a root-beer and wine-tasting combined, as a social that would work for both tea-totalers and not. It also reminds me of this game I played at a baby shower once (which was an awesome game, I should add): a smell-test to identify several different types of baby food. We didn't actually taste those, however. ;)

Oh, and congrats on your press! That's great. :)

Lis Garrett said...

In regards to the article - what an insightful glance into the life of a pro-blogger. Although the $40 grand a month would be nice, it comes with a heavy tradeoff. I don't want to be in therapy because of all the hate-mail I receive, and I'm not so sure I'd want everyone so intimately connected. I think we all have it in us to write what's really on our mind, but I'm certainly too chicken to do so!

I think the reason why your blog is so popular, Michelle, is because you are fun, refined, and classy - a great combination. Congratulations on making the list!

Damselfly said...

Wow, The Journal?! Congratulations!!!

Scribbit Consumer Reports can't be far behind . . . ?

Damselfly said...

PS I would have loved to see the look on people's faces when they saw all the different ice cream cartons you were buying!

luckyzmom said...

What a clever idea!

allrileyedup said...

Hog and Dog sounds like a fabulous new name! I'm going to start using it myself.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

What a fun family night!

Wanted to say congrats on the article. That is so exciting and well deserved.

Theresa said...

Wow! Congratulations. It's funny, when I glanced at the story in the ADN, I thought it was about you. I didn't think to look online for a top-ten list, but you'll always be my favorite Mommy Blogger.

Siri said...

We did a vanilla ice cream blind taste test in a marketing class waaaay back in college. The cheapest, 99 cent a gallon, Sparkle ice cream was the most preferred BY FAR, so apparently fake vanilla flavoring wins out over the marketing of real vanilla beans added.
Love this idea of doing taste tests at home with the family.

Pieces said...

That is such a fabulous idea! I can't wait to do this on a Friday family night.

SabineM said...

First of all a BIG CONGRATULATIONS on making the WSJ. What a big honor! I will be able to say that I KNEW you before you were FAMOUS!
And love the ice cream test!

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I saw the article, too. Congrats!

And thank you so much for the awesome online book link. I'm definitely checking that out with my little reader (and dog lover) tomorrow. :)

Natalie C. said...

I know it's been a while since you posted this, but I just wanted to let you know we had a taste test at our house, too, inspired by you. :) I blogged about it here: http://cardonsinva.blogspot.com/2008/05/fiesta-fhe.html

Thanks for the fun idea!

Chocolate Ice Cream said...

Cool activity. Its simple not so expensive and I sure the kids will love it... Thanks