Belmont Cookies & Cream Ice Cream (Aldi)

A carton of Belmont Cookies & Cream Ice Cream, from Aldi
Has this ice cream fully recovered from the recession? Yes!

I have a massive love-hate relationship with Aldi’s cookies and cream ice cream.  When I first started buying it, which was around 2007, each carton was smothered in delicious cookies, and it had a creaminess that was second-to-none.  Then, the recession hit.  All of a sudden the cartons became 90% vanilla ice cream, with just a few sprinkles of cookie throughout, and I refused to buy them.  Every few months, or so, we would open a carton to see if anything had changed--after doing this a few times, to similar disappointment, I even stopped doing THAT.  I made a mental note never to buy it again, and it was all but forgotten.

On our latest shopping trip, my wife had a sudden craving for cookies and cream ice cream.  This, in and of itself, was pretty out-of-the-blue:  I’m a huge cookies and cream fan, while it’s generally something she can take or leave.  She remembered the desolate, barren cartons that led to us refusing to buy them, but she felt like it was time to give them another chance.  After all, it had been at least three years, and while people often cannot change, can the same be said for cartons of ice cream?

Thankfully, the answer is “yes”, because this latest carton is a return to yesteryear.  The vanilla ice cream (or, the “cream” in the title) is creamy, rich, and full of flavor--in other words, the way it used to be.  There is a generous spattering of Oreo-style cookie pieces throughout (complete with cream filling in some!), but there are also huge chunks at semi-regular intervals, ranging from half a cookie, to almost a whole one.  These cookie chunks are chocolaty and delicious, and have the added benefit of being a little soggy from being hidden inside frozen cream for so long, giving it similar texture to dipping them in a glass of milk.

If you’re even half the cookies and cream fan that I am, you owe it to yourself to pick up a carton.  For well under $3, it’s got a nice, soft texture and delicious "cream" taste; now that the cartons are back to being loaded with cookies, you definitely get your money’s worth in that regard, too.

Overall: 7.5/10 (-1). An old-time favorite is back!  A delicious "cream" base is loaded with bits of cookie, and the end result is a solid supermarket ice cream.  At under $2 for a carton, it’s also a good choice for those looking for some sweets on a budget. The quality took a nosedive during the recession, with cookie pieces becoming rare, but those kinks have since been ironed out, returning it to its former glory.

UPDATE (6/12/21): Although this ice cream is back to its former glory, it is far from the great ice cream I made it out to be, something I learned after trying other supermarket brands. It's still a solid buy, especially given its low price, and shouldn't disappoint fans of cookies and cream ice cream, but the score has been lowered to reflect my updated feelings about it.

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