This allergy-friendly product review was written by guest blogger, Danielle Barry. Danielle is a student at the University of Toronto, finishing the last term of her Masters of Information. She has been allergic to peanuts her entire life, and has recently developed a soy allergy. In her spare time, Danielle enjoys travelling, photography, and finding new allergy-safe foods. All opinions are her own.
Chapman’s started selling safe ice cream when I was about 8 years old, and my freezer has been stockpiled ever since. It was like a magical new world where nuts and cross contamination had been removed from all the foods I’d ever wanted to try! I think at one point my bloodstream must have been at least 75% Maple Twist ice cream.
They had Drumsticks without nuts, frozen yogurt cones without nuts, banana popsicles without cross contamination, and a million different types of ice cream. Every time they came out with something new it was like it was a personal gift boxed up just for me, and I could pick out whatever flavour I wanted!
But you know what Chapman’s never had? A holiday line. So, while my friends ate their President’s Choice candy cane ice cream in high school, I passive-aggressively sat and ate my Tiger Tail ice cream for the 30th month in a row, thankful that I had something but irritated that it didn’t look like as festive as *that* ice cream. I mean, safe gingerbread houses didn’t even exist until I was 14. But at least I had those in high school.
(insert teenage eyeroll)
But worry not, my allergy friends! Chapman’s has finally heard my cries! In the past few years, my favourite ice cream company has started introducing new products into their “Holiday Moments” collection, fulfilling my childhood dream of eating candy cane-flavoured ice cream. This year the holiday collection is up to five products, four of which are safe for us peanut/tree nut allergy folks.
So without further ado, let me introduce you to this wonderful allergy-friendly line… just in time for the holidays! Oh, and I’ll even rate them for you.
Shortbread Ice Cream: 4/5
Okay, I should admit, I’m rating this somewhat blindly. I’ve never had shortbread prior to eating this ice cream! Shocking, I know. My mom and grandma made so many safe Christmas treats for me growing up—but never shortbread! Based on the flavour of Chapman’s Shortbread ice cream, I need to try it ASAP. We’ve gone through three boxes so far this holiday season. I’ll blame my 14-year-old brother, but we all know it’s mostly been me eating it.
Where to begin? There are pieces of shortbread in the ice cream, surrounded by a caramel swirl. If you’ve had the Butterscotch Ripple ice cream (also by Chapman’s), it’s kind of like that, but with massive chunks of shortbread inside. I’m not sure what flavour the ice cream is supposed to be, but whatever it is, it’s good. It doesn’t taste like the shortbread chunks, but it also doesn’t taste like the caramel swirl. It’s just a deliciously sweet ice cream. I’ll probably eat four more boxes before the season is over!
Peppermint Twist Ice Cream: 5/5
Alert the media! Chapman’s found actual candy canes to put in their ice cream this year! Last year, and maybe the year before, we had the unfortunate green-and-vaguely-mint-flavoured, rock-hard pebbles to contend with. And it used to make me so unbelievably sad. I may or may not have picked them out of the ice cream. For those allergy parents wondering what I’m complaining about here, remember that most allergy kids have never had anything crunchy in their ice cream. Usually crunchy = a nut of some sort. Why would someone put those together? Ice cream should not crunch, particularly not in the middle of the scoop.
BUT yet again, Chapman’s has saved the day for nut-allergy kids everywhere by including actual pieces of candy cane in the ice cream! When I saw the front of the package, I initially thought Chapman’s was trying to be sneaky with us, but they’re really, really not.
The pieces are very soft and melt into the ice cream, eliminating that awkward crunching of pebbles in last year’s version. My candy cane ice cream dreams have finally come true! I only bought one box for the sole purpose of writing this review, expecting to crunch my way through the ice cream and be very sad about it (yet again), and now I have to go buy at least four more boxes.
Peppermint Sandwiches: 3/5
These are a minty ice cream with minty flavoured pebbles, sandwiched between the traditional Chapman’s sandwich cookies. Those unfortunate green-and-vaguely-mint-flavoured, rock-hard pebbles I mentioned earlier? Yeah, they’re still here. Replace those with the yummy new candy cane pieces in the ice cream and we’d have a real winner on our hands! They’re good, but I think I’d prefer a regular or Neapolitan flavoured sandwich, if given the choice.
Vanilla Snowflake Cones: 10/5
Can I give something a 10 out of 5? Well, I just did. These are the most wonderful things to bless the peanut and tree nut allergy world in a very long time. It’s white chocolate ice cream with a chocolatey centre, topped with more chocolate and some snowflake sprinkles, all wrapped inside a delicious cookie-wafer-type cone. The chocolatey centre reminds me of the hot fudge sauce I used to be able to eat on top of McDonald’s ice cream sundaes—it’s just not hot. The sprinkles on top are the one exception to my “no crunchiness on my ice cream” rule. If these are in my freezer, they’ll be gone within five minutes. I can’t handle how great they are.
Overall, I’m in love with this whole line. Even the peppermint sandwiches, which aren’t my favourite, are better than having no peppermint sandwiches at all (trust me, I’ve been there). Even my grandad loves the two ice creams, and he’s been committed to Butterscotch Ripple his entire life! I’ve been able to find the ice cream at Food Basics, and the sandwiches and cones at Walmart Supercentres. If you can’t find them near you, just send Chapman’s a message on Facebook, and they’ll let you know which stores near you are carrying the Holiday Moments collection.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, all this talk about ice cream has got me really craving some more peppermint twist, and I better go get a bowl before my brother eats it all!
Friendly. Supportive. Encouraging.
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