van leeuwen hidden valley ranch dressing ice cream

Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

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Here are three things I love very much: ice cream, Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, and small businesses that began in a truck and went on to become a national sensation. 

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream rolled onto the scene as an ice cream truck in New York City in 2008. It has since expanded to eight states, and is probably best known for its vegan ice creams. But you’ll find nothing vegan about the limited-edition flavor they made in collaboration with Hidden Valley Ranch; it’s French-style, meaning it’s made with a whole lot of egg yolk, plus cream and milk. 

There was no world in which I skipped trying this monstrosity, which retails for around $5 a pint. Here’s how it went.

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hidden valley ranch van leeuwen ice creamPhoto credit: Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

The Container

I’ll give full credit to the art department on this one. With a label sporting blue skies and rolling green hills, this looks just like a bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch. Marketing really nailed this one.

The Smell

Not much of anything here. I always forget that you can’t really smell ice cream. Moving on.

van leeuwen hidden valley ranch dressing ice creamPhoto credit: Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

The Taste

I’m really struggling here, folks. This is so hard to describe. First of all, this doesn’t really taste like the classic salad dressing in my opinion. It does, however, taste like the peripheral flavors that surround ranch dressing. I can taste garlic and parsley, almost like Old Bay, and something that reminds me a lot of celery. Like sour cream with dry mix seasoning ... or something. (The ingredient list includes onion powder and garlic powder, along with generic “spices”.)

While it’s not tortuous to get through a spoonful (as with all Van Leeuwen ice cream flavors, the consistency is perfect), let’s just say I’m not going to tell myself the same thing I usually do when I bring home ice cream: “Try to not finish this all today, OK?”

The Verdict

It legitimately seems like Van Leeuwen is going for a “good” ice cream flavor, rather than pure novelty. Perhaps that’s why it tastes more like sour cream than Hidden Valley Original Ranch. If that’s the case, this is not a success. It’s just not the type of ice cream that makes me want to take another bite, and when it comes to my consumption of ice cream, that is quite rare. 

While this isn’t disgusting, it’s not good. Save your five bucks and try another novelty ice cream flavor

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