Two things I love are Star Wars and ice cream. I have seen the original trilogy countless times, and briefly reconsidered marrying my husband when he admitted he had never bothered to see the movies. And, ice cream! If I could only eat one dessert for the rest of my life, ice cream it would be. (Nod to Yoda.)
Now Ample Hills Creamery, a top-notch Brooklyn-based ice cream company, has married my passions with three new flavors of ice cream to celebrate the December release of the next Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi. The flavors pay tribute to the villains, heroes, and theme of the story: First Order, Resistance, and The Force.
To make sure that the ice cream flavors do justice to their source material I organized a little in-office taste test. Five of us tasted, talked, and tasted some more (just to be sure). Before I share the results of our sampling, here's how Ample Hills describes its creations:
First Order: To showcase the monolithic, fierce power of The First Order, salted dark chocolate ice cream represents villainy, while cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate and a dash of powerful espresso reinforce the dark side.
Resistance: A celebration of the spirit and determination of the Resistance fighters who stand against The First Order, The Resistance is a brown sugar and vanilla bean ice cream with an assortment of mix-ins: fiery red velvet ooey gooey butter cake to represent tenacity, hard-edged toffee pieces to exhibit ferocity, and hopeful marshmallows.
The Force: Inspired by the harmony and peaceful nature of the Jedi, The Force illustrates the precarious balance between the dark and light side with sweet cream ice cream, swirled with rich chocolate fudge, and set against a galaxy of white and dark chocolate pearls.
Our tasting notes:
First Order: As expected, this one was very rich. "Dark and a bit nutty, like Kylo Ren," said Jessica. It was dense and creamy with a seductive salty edge to the chocolate. Marisa called it an ice cream to savor and noted, "If you don't like dark chocolate this flavor definitely isn't for you." Monolithic indeed, just like the Dark Side, but deliciously so.
Resistance: After the intensity of the First Order, this flavor tasted much sweeter (appropriately so, since it does represent the good guys). But it wasn't cloying. The brown sugar flavor really came through. Julia commented that it seemed like full dessert, thanks to all the mix-ins loaded in. We agreed that the diversity of flavors in each bite was like the diversity of the Resistance itself. If a former stormtrooper can be welcomed, so can chunks red velvet ooey-gooey butter cake.
The Force: Like any Star Wars fans, we wanted to like this one. All that mystical magic should make for a stellar ice cream. But, alas, it was our least favorite. While the creamy consistency was appealing, the flavor was a tad bland. We agreed that unlike the other two it needed an accompaniment, maybe a waffle cone or a piece of pie. When you think about it, this makes sense. After all, the Force is generally expressed through another being like Luke, Rey, or Darth Vader (in the olden days).
The winner? Jessica and Leslie sided with the Resistance. Like caught in a tractor beam, Julia and Marisa felt pulled towards the Dark Side and the First Order. As the tie-breaker I knew I had a momentous decision to make. My first instinct was to go with the power of the First Order, but the relative lightness of the Resistance called to me as well. I decided to leave it as a tie. After all, if one side ultimately vanquished the other there'd be no need for more Star Wars movies... or more taste-testing.