Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Bessant and Drury's Dairy Free Ice cream


Yay! It's hot again! And just in time, for my latest revelation. You may already be aware that one of the joyful discoveries I made at this year's Allergy show, was a new dairy free ice cream. 

It's made by Bessant and Drury, and is a product that is relatively new -  only nine months old in fact. Despite being so new on the scene, impressively, Bessant and Drury are already picking up acolades for their produce. The Mail on Sunday were impressed with their ice cream - describing it as 'creamy and delicious', when they chose it as top coconut product. At the Free From awards this year, they won the Innovation Award for their lemon flavour ice cream. As you can see the packaging is contemporary and really attractively designed. They've obviously put a lot into creating this product. Interested? Let's dig in and find out more!

The ice cream is made with all natural ingredients, including colouring. It is completely dairy free - the base ingredient is coconut milk. It comes in three flavours that you would normally expect to find in an ice cream: Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate. But then Bessant and Drury throw us a curved ball - offering Lemon as a flavour as well. If you are a nut allergy sufferer, although coconut itself is not officially a nut, you need to be aware that the ice cream is produced in a factory that handles nuts. At the allergy show, we sampled the chocolate and liked it enough to buy a big tub of it to take home, along with small pots of the other flavours. 

No surprises, really that (as a huge chocolate fan) I really liked the chocolate version of this ice cream, the cocoa in it definitely came across, but the flavour that won the favour of the Free From judges - Lemon - is undoubtedly the best. I dug into this one as soon as we got home, and, although I'm not usually one for citrus flavoured desserts, I thought this one was really delicious. Maybe the reason I loved it so much was because it reminded me somewhat of one of my favourite desserts of childhood - Lemon Meringue Pie! As The Hub observed, it was almost mousse like, but that did nothing to detract from its desirability.

The award winning Lemon
The strawberry flavour is also very good. Made with strawberry purée, you can definitely taste the fruit and a certain creaminess comes through with it, as well. I couldn't hand on heart say that it was the best strawberry ice cream that I've ever eaten, (the honours for that go to a certain strawberry ice cream I had on holiday in Italy, some years ago) but I would say it's better than other Free From versions, that I've tasted so far. 

If I'm honest, I wasn't such a fan of the vanilla flavour. I don't dislike it, but in my opinion, it's not a classic vanilla. I thought the vanilla was masked somewhat by a fruity flavour that I couldn't identify (I almost wondered if I'd got the spoons mixed up) until I realised that the ice cream was sweetened naturally with apple juice, as are they all. It doesn't float my boat but does reflect the desire of Bessant and Drury to create something healthy. Healthy ice cream? I like the sound of that! Of course, what I make of the product is just my opinion, yours may well be  different.

If you want to get your hands on some of this new ice cream, to give it a try for yourself, most of mine's already gone (with a little help from Baby)! However, it can be bought online from Goodness Direct or located in various independent shops around the UK. Bessant and Drury are  also exhibiting at various events throughout the summer and according to the lady selling the ice cream at the Allergy Show, they are meant to be on the shelves of Tesco from June 19th this year!

Bessant and Drury are on the shelves of Tesco! Only the chocolate flavour, at the moment, unfortunately. Just 332 stores currently stock them, but obviously, that could change -  depending on how well they sell. At £4.69, they're more expensive than Worthenshaw's but cheaper than Booja Booja. The question is, at that price, just how well will they sell?

Update May 2013:
Boo! Waitrose were stocking these too, but over the winter have scaled this back to just 100 stores. It annoys me, as I reckon they've been going by their winter sales figures, when obviously less ice cream is going to be sold!!

If you've tasted Bessant and Drury's ice cream already, why not share your opinions, in the comments section below?

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  1. Any now they are in Tesco they have changed the recipe and replaced the agave and apple juice with glucose syrup and sugar. Yuck.Oh the joys of having to give those retailers such large margins.

    1. Interesting! I thought they tasted a bit different, but hadn't checked the ingredients, to see if they had changed. I'm not so sure it's about margins though - if you've watched any programmes about Tesco's selection of products, they taste test them pretty rigorously, and I have to admit, I think sugar may taste better (to most people)than apple juice, as the apple juice made the vanilla taste quite strange. It's a bit tough on anyone trying to avoid sugar, though.

  2. I agree the vanilla tastes weird :( I much prefer Booja Booja Vanilla...although I think Bessant's chocolate one is better than Booja because it isn't overpowering..I think the chocolate Booja has too much cocoa in. I haven't tried the others.