Last I checked there were 26 flavors of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Based in Columbus, Ohio, the ice cream costs more than the average pint, but it consistently delivers solid flavors and textures. Three years ago I decided to try them all and rank them (to my spouse’s … amusement? chagrin?). Flavor is subjective, yes — so take it for what it is: a self-declared amateur ice cream judge’s Top Five list. And, for what it’s worth, I like most things, and am partial to ice creams that are less sweet.)
#1 Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks
Chocolate and peanut butter is a winning combination every time. I attended a conference in Columbus the first time I tried this ice cream, where it went by the name “The Buckeye State.” I assume they changed the name because not everyone knows that Ohio is called the “Buckeye State.” In addition to being a type of tree, buckeyes are a popular midwest treat consisting of balls of peanut butter dipped in chocolate. Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flakes is aptly descriptive. I tend to avoid this flavor at the grocery because if I buy it, I will eat it more quickly than I’d like to admit.
Close behind the Salted Peanut Butter is a flavor called Supermoon. The colors are striking — a beautiful soft blue ice cream swirled with a light yellow one. The blue is tangy and comes from the blue violet giving it its flavor, and the yellow is marshmallow-vanilla. While I find the marshmallow on its own too sweet, the tart blue violet balances it out. It was also the favorite of my (then) 7 year old niece (now, 8).
#3 Brown Butter Almond Brittle
A perfect mellow buttercream ice cream mixed in with toffee-like bits that give it some crunch. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. Salty, but not too salty. Rich, but not too rich. It’s my mom’s favorite.
#4 Boston Cream Pie
I didn’t think I’d like Boston Cream Pie flavor because I don’t love Boston Cream Pie. I expected it to be a solid meh among the list of better-sounding ice creams. But no — it’s delicious. A gooey chocolate swirl and vanilla cake mixed into an iced vanilla custard base. Delicious.
#5 Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam
I’m not sure this one would taste as good in winter, but in the hot summer months the taste of peaches and buttermilk cream hit the spot. The sweet cream biscuits take a bit of getting used to because the texture is a little odd. However, I found myself going back to grab another spoonful throughout the week and every time I did I thought, “I really love this flavor.”
There you have it — the definitive Top Five Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream list!