Six Publix Supermarkets.
I drove around for an hour and a half, to six different Publixes to obtain this freakish ice cream. I persisted through torrential downpour, nearly t-boned a Lincoln Town Car and hit my head really hard on my own driver-side door… all for a $4 pint of ice cream.
After about the first 3 Publixes, it became more of thrill of the hunt sort of mission. And of all 6, every single Publix carried multiple brands of dog ice cream. Seriously…what is that? Six Publixes can remain well-stocked in canine frozen dessert, but only one has the weirdo ice cream I so desperately sought out…
Whatever. Point is, I have this ice cream, I’ve been eating this ice cream, and now we’re gonna talk about this dagum ice cream.
But before we do, I apologize if I failed to correctly pluralize “Publix.” I’m guessing that’s not common knowledge, cause most normal people aren’t driving to six of them on the way home from work.
Anyway, it all started roughly a week ago when my recently adopted young foodie child muploaded ((uploaded from her mobile device, ya old farts)) a picture of the ice cream you see before you. And the ice cream you see before you, this Arctic Zero ice cream, contains 150 calories… per pint.
Not in a 1/2 cup… not a whole cup… in the whole freaking pint. Landing it at a mere 37 calories for each half-cup serving.
Naturally, my first reaction was something along the lines of, “Um no. WTF. There’s something wrong here… I must try it.”
Which brings us to a train of slightly better developed thoughts.
First being this: my thing has always been that if you enjoy stuff in moderation, you’re gonna be just fine and you’ll enjoy whatever the item is significantly more than if you were to have loads of it. It’s dumb to sacrifice the flavor and quality of an eating experience in lieu of sheer bulk. Basically what I’m getting at is… if say I develop an overwhelming urge for a brownie à la mode tonight, I’m gonna take epically more pleasure in devouring one super fudgey rich brick of a warm gooey brownie topped with a heaping scoop of creamy vanilla-bean ice cream and bathed in hot caramel sauce with toasted pecans this evening than I would in having a petite low-fat sugar-free brownie with fat-free fro-yo on the daily. Ya know?
But you see, it’s a rather slippery slope. After a few weeks of less-than-moderate eating, I am dealing with some vanity poundage issues myself and I get that it can be super tough when you’re trying to trim a few pounds or something. Typically when I eat ice cream, I eat to indulge; but even if you are trying to shift the diet a smidge, everyone still needs that occasional indulgence. Which is where products like this start to look real appealing… cause I mean if you were to slide down the aforementioned slippery slope and end up killing an entire pint of ice cream, there’s a certain guiltless comfort in knowing you actually consumed roughly the equivalent of a granola bar.
Even the Skinny Cow and Weight Watchers junk has like 90-110 calories per serving, so I’m thinking this Arctic Zero “ice cream” must be freakish chemical sludge out some toxic lab. There’s just no other way.
I’m okay with saying that this is one of those rare occasions where I was… wrong.
In all actuality, the product consists of relatively few, natural ingredients…not the extensive chemical formula I was expecting atall. Besides being dairy-free, fat-free and pretty low in both sugar and sodium, Arctic Zero contains a bit of fiber and protein, making it quite friendly to a wide variety of dietary needs.
Out of pure curiosity, I looked into the final ingredient on the components list. Apparently, monk fruit is a super fruit of sorts native to China and Thailand, where it’s been used for medicinal purposes and in low-calorie sweeteners for like a thousand years. Asians so got their game on.
You could almost call this stuff healthy.
My final and most important concern with Arctic Zero was its taste.
Verging on healthy and next to no calories, this crud must be disgusting. Why even waste those 150 calories on something so nasty?
But once again, my premature skepticism proved false…
Make no mistake, it’s not like normal ice cream. But, is it much better than anticipated? Yup. It sure is.
Overall, the frozen dessert is surprisingly creamy and smooth for containing no dairy element. Mildly sweet in comparison to most typical ice creams, the product maintains a decent sugary effect with an ever so slight aftertaste. The subsequent flavor is neither strong nor bad, more so weird… almost tasting like water. Which I suppose makes sense given the first member on the ingredients label.
The chocolate peanut butter flavor lacks any resounding peanut butter vibes, tasting very similar to chocolate and peanut butter protein bars… if you’ve ever given those a go. Still, all in all, not bad.
Notably sweeter upon contact, the vanilla maple additionally asserts a slightly stronger hint of artificially sweet. The Arctic Zero company offers other flavors such as coffee, strawberry and chocolate mint cookie. And in all honesty, I’m totally game to try any of them.
Though lacking the decadence of real ice cream, Arctic Zero is indeed quite satisfying. I think it’d be great for anyone watching the waistline or simply looking for a healthier alternative to the usual frozen treat. By no means a substitute for the occasional indulgently loaded ice cream treat, this is a guilt-free way to stay on track. If you’re on a not so strict diet and since you’re saving so many a calories on the actual ice cream… I’m thinking a little chocolate syrup drizzle might really vamp the stuff up. Also thinking it could work pretty well in a milkshake. Just a thought.
Final tip of consumption: allow the ice cream to soften appropriately, and then scrape small bites to avoid any overwhelming slaps of odd taste. For more info and locations on where you can find it, check with Arctic Zero.
And ever since I mentioned it a few paragraphs ago, I’m having excruciating cravings for a brownie à la mode. Sweet.