Hi, my name is Sara, and I am NOT…. a professional food critic, so please take what I say with a grain of salt (?pun? ?intended?)
These past few weeks my Instagram feed has been BLOWING UP with pics of these iconic, aesthetically designed tubs of ice cream that claim to have a ridiculously low caloric value. A whole tub of Halo Top has as many calories as a single serving of other popular ice creams, like Ben & Jerry’s or Haagen-Dazs. I was skeptical but curious, so I figured I had to try out some Halo Top Ice Cream for myself and see what all the rage was about.
Lemme tell ya, getting this stuff wasn’t easy. The Metro in the Glebe is the closest grocery store to me that has it, and they kept selling out before I got a chance to grab anything. Finally, after a week of popping into the ice cream aisle and after Metro finally issued a “4 halo top ice creams per person sweaty k thx xxoxo” note, I managed to acquire some of this revolutionary ice cream for myself!
Halo Top Ice Cream Ingredients: Air
Right off the bat, when you pick one of these suckers up, the first thing you notice is just how damn LIGHT these pints are. I could probably whip one at Ben’s head and it wouldn’t hurt much more than if I had thrown a pillow (ok, that may be a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea).
And that led me to a grand discovery: that Halo Top’s secret, the one that allows them to make ice cream with so little calories, is that their special ingredient is…..air. :’)
Air! And last time I checked, air is organic (CHEMISTRY! *gets triggered*), gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and has a grand total of 0 CALORIES baby! Since Halo Top has so much air whipped into it, it weighs LESS than your average pint of ice cream, and therefore, has less sustenance in it, so OF COURSE, it is going to have less calories, – you are eating less ice cream!
You can even tell that air is one of the main ingredients when you open the tub and start to dig in. The texture resembles that of a thicc, frozen mousse instead of that of ice cream, which I personally don’t mind, but don’t take it from me – I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I’m really not all that picky about these kinds of things. I did notice, however, that after I opened the pint, stuck it in the fridge for later and then re-opened it, that the texture had changed! It wasn’t as smooth as it had been before, which I found to be kind of curious – probably because all of the air dissipated when I first ate it.
Also, because there is so much air in this ice cream, I have found that it melts really quickly. It also bubbles up as all of the air is released :’) Which, of course, also alters the texture.
Artificial Sweetener In Halo Top Ice Cream
Halo Top also uses artificial sweeteners instead of sugar to cut down the calories in their products. The scientist in me always cringes whenever I hear this kind of shit. My advice? Take a second to look into the kinds of ingredients that go into your foods, especially ones that companies like to push on you and preach about their supposed health benefits – most of the time these companies take advantage of the fact that the general public doesn’t know much about chemistry and metabolism so they tend to stretch the truth or omit other relevant health effects. Check out this article on Erythirol, for example, a sugar-substitute that Halo Top uses. I’m not saying you should listen to me instead of Halo Top, but I think so many of us like to jump on the idea that because a company is using a “_____-alternative” , it MUST be good for us, when in reality it’s more often that these “alternatives” end up being just as bad or even worse than whatever they are supposed to be alternatives for, and companies really shouldn’t be charging us more for this notion.
Halo Top Ice Cream Taste
Taste-wise, both flavours were pretty great! The vanilla one tasted just like vanilla (surprise surprise) while I found that the “cookies and cream” one had a unique flavour. It wasn’t really like a Hershey’s “cookies and cream” bar, what with the heavy cream and oreos kind of taste… I’d say it tasted more like frozen almond milk with a *light dusting* of graham crackers. I mean, I still thought it was tasty, but it certainly did NOT taste like your hallmark cookies and cream variant of ice cream. From what I’ve seen on the internet and on Instagram, it looks like a lot of people noticed that their ice creams didn’t really taste like the flavours that they were supposed to be. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I’m sure some variants still tasted fine, but it is a bit odd for a company to advertise that their product tastes like something when they clearly don’t.
Despite not entirely feeling and tasting like your typical ice cream treat (I suppose that’s why it says “frozen treat” on the packaging instead…) I personally enjoyed these! What sets me off the most, however, is the fact that I’m having to pay so much money (7 dollars a pint) to effectively get HALF as much ice cream as I should (grams wise). The whole “90 calories per 125ml” concept is gimmicky in nature and the fact that their branding propagates this “go ahead, eat the whole pint” mentality that is not only destructive in nature for those struggling with eating disorders, but also encourages you to eat the whole thing so you can buy more pints and give them more money…is just a bit too immoral for me lmfao.
So will I be buying this stuff again? Likely not, because I don’t have the kind of budget to pay so much for so little actual ice cream, but I’ll enjoy the rest of these two pints for sure! If I’m going to drop the big bucks on ice cream I BETTER be getting some fat ass MFing chocolate brownie Ben & Jerrys ok?? Or I could support local business and grab some exotic Asian ice cream at Moo Shu Ice Cream instead! Don’t get me wrong, Halo Top Ice Cream is a genius idea and brilliant invention for an era of millennials that buy shit just because of the packaging (whoops…guilty!) and count calories over dollars spent. But even I have my standards when it comes to millennial branding, and I’d say that this is where I draw the line.