Ginger Time

One scoop? Or two?

Yes, I have a thing for ginger.


Whether it’s pickled, fresh, crystalized, or dried, I can never get enough of it. That sweet-heat on the back of the throat wins me over every time.

So you can just imagine my delight when two new ginger products landed on my front porch for sampling.

First up, the new Haagen-Dazs “Five” ice cream flavors. There are seven flavors — each of them containing only five ingredients: milk, cream, eggs, sugar, and one wild card for flavor. The five-ingredient concept is played up to denote purity and simplicity. The ice cream comes in vanilla bean, milk chocolate, mint, coffee, brown sugar, passion fruit, and ginger.

Guess which one I opened first?

That would be correct.

The mouth-feel of these ice creams is wicked good — rich, smooth, and creamy as all get out. But then you expect no less from Haagen-Dazs.

The ginger one had a musty-ginger flavor. It had fairly subtle heat, too. Perhaps, too subtle for a true ginger addict like yours truly.

I had high hopes for the brown sugar one. After all, it tastes exactly like brown sugar. But let’s face it, how much brown sugar would you really want to eat? After one taste, that’s pretty much enough.

The vanilla bean was the epitome of purity — very vanilla-like. The milk chocolate made me think of my childhood — in a good way. It reminded me of eating cups of Carnation frozen milk chocolate out of paper containers with a tiny wooden spoon.

My favorites were probably the coffee (very perky tasting), the mint (incredibly cool and refreshing), and the passion fruit (like a tropical island on a spoon).

Itty bitty, but with a huge taste.

Next up, the Ginger People’s new Ginger Snaps. A 5.3-ounce box is $5.50.

Dainty as can be, the cookies are hardly bigger than your thumbnail. But boy, do they pack a ginger wallop. No wonder, as these crisp, tiny little things are made with ground ginger, candied ginger, and ginger juice.

The heat lingers on the palate for a good long time.

For a ginger junkie like me, it’s impossible to eat just one.

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  • Too bad the Haagen-Dazs was a disappointment. I’ve been eyeing those new varieties in the grocery store for the past couple of weeks.

    Reed’s Ginger Beer (not their Ginger Ale) has that good ginger burn that can’t be beat.

    I’ll have to look out for those cookies.

  • The ginger snaps sound great! I buy Whole Foods bulk ginger snaps precisely for their stronger bite over the packaged brands that provide just a ‘hint’ of ginger flavor. As for Haagen Daz, I’m easy to please – if it contains the words ‘ice’ and ‘cream’, I can enjoy just about any flavor. With that said, the mint would be a top choice.

  • Carolyn – Where can I find those cookies? Many years ago, before commercial ginger ice cream was available, I used to buy Double Rainbow vanilla ice cream, let it soften and then mix in fresh ginger juice, chopped fresh ginger, and diced crystalized ginger, and then refreeze. The BEST in gingerness! Everyone wanted the recipe, and laughed when I told them what I did. BTW: I don’t dare buy an ice cream maker – last time I owned one, I gained 20 pounds in one summer.

  • Those are samples we could not get…we’d eat them all. No matter how disappointing. Ice cream is hard to pass up.

  • Oh, ginger! I made an ice cream recently with homemade chocolate-covered candied ginger in it. It was phenomenal. I had a hard time not eating all the ginger before I got it in the ice cream!

  • Great photos! I could so go for a coffee ice cream right now.

  • i sampled some of the Five Haagen Dazs ice-creams at a tradeshow recently, and i totally loved them! they have the most amazing texture! i really liked the vanilla bean one; yumm

  • Ginger snaps look so yummy! My all-time favorite ice-cream is mint, looking forward to trying the Haagen-Dazs one.

  • Did you make a ginger ice cream sandwich? If not, I’m going to be sorely disappointed. And by the way, if the mint Haagen Dazs Five is half as good as their “light” version (which seems to have disappeared, sadly), I’m going to buy it immediately.

  • I did like the Vanilla Bean “Five”…I liked it plain and with some toppings…Kahlua goes good with it…but I haven’t tried the ginger yet.

    And yes please, any idea where we can buy the ginger cookies locally

  • For all those ginger-loving folks out there, the Ginger People Ginger Snaps should be available at Whole Foods. That info from the company’s publicist, who also touted the cookies as a great ingredient for making your cookie crusts for pies and tarts. Yum, I bet that WOULD be good. Just imagine how good a pumpkin cheesecake would be on a Ginger People ginger snap cookie crust.

    For brown sugar lovers out there, Martha Holmberg, food editor of the Oregonian in Portland, Ore., highly recommends that flavor drizzled with balsamic syrup and fresh strawberries. I think that combo would definitely add more interest to the one-note ice cream flavor you get by just eating it straight.

  • I love the Ginger People products! I haven’t tried the cookies yet. Thanks for the heads up 🙂

  • my dad ADORES ginger, too. He chews on those crystallized ginger to “get rid of kimchi breath.”
    have you tried the apricot-ginger cream cheese from Whole Foods? it’s the bomb!

  • I passed on the new Hagen Daas 5 ingredient ice creams the other day at the store. So glad you reviewed it here.

    My husband and 5 year old son love the dried ginger (ginger chunks?) they sell at Trader Joes.

  • Sophia: Yesserie, I have tried the apricot-ginger cheese at Trader Joe’s. It’s a favorite of mine, too. That’s hilarious about your Dad’s reason for eating all the ginger. Too cute!

  • I think the passionfruit one is my favorite. The ginger one hints at chai, my family uses a lot of ginger in it.
    Have you ever been to Ici (in Berkeley)? They (usually) have an ice cream sandwich made of meyer lemon ice cream with gingersnap cookies. Not super-ginger-y, but still delicious. I just went yesterday, and had their brown-sugar&gingersnap ice cream.

  • I’m a big ginger lover too! I’ve been hearing a lot about these FIVE brand of flavors. And they keep tempting me in the refrigerator aisle. I wonder if they’re going to add more flavors?

  • I think I might have to try this, it doesn’t get much better than ginger ice cream!

  • Joyti: I LOVE Ici in Berkeley. There’s almost always a line out the door, but it’s so worth waiting for. Unusual flavors, always done well. I had a burnt orange-caraway ice cream the last time I was there. Never had caraway in ice cream before. It was divine.

  • My whole family loves Ginger ice cream! Delicious and Refreshing summer time treat!

  • Carnation milk chocolate malted ice cream in cups with a cardboard spoon — ah, the memories! You’ve made me wax nostalgic. I’ve been curious about the Five Line and you’ve satisfied my curiosity. Especially about the brown sugar.

    I LOVE ginger, and I LOVE cilantro, and I don’t understand what went wrong with the wiring of anyone who doesn’t. Interesting, the only ginger product I don’t love, are ginger snaps. I think it’s just a textural thing, they are usually hard and dry. The snaps you’ve described sound unique and fantastic.

    Have you made your own ginger lemonade? Ahh, summer in a glass. I just splash several capfuls of Ginger People ginger juice into a pitcher of cold, sweetened lemonade. That’s just a elixer, I tell you.

  • Well, now I’m craving ice cream! The passion fruit sounds great. They all sound great, but I think I’d start with that one!

  • Nothing beats ginger ice cream – I just tried an amazing rendition at Bi-Rite Creamery, but maybe this will be next!

  • I would definitely go for the ginger one first too! I recently made ice-cream with ginger too, delicious!

  • Mmmm that ice cream photo is gorgeous! I love ginger too, my favorites being crystallized and pickled. Its so good in cocktails too!

  • I don’t have much Haagen-Dazs flavors here (we have other excellent original ones) and I’d like to taste with ginger and perhaps to become a ginger-junkie like you!

    I saw this first great – great pic at tastespotting really super 🙂



  • oh I love ginger too, I’ll look for that ginger ice cream – sounds delicious! and with those little ginger snaps crumbled over top…

  • I went to a little dinner party yesterday and the hostess made ginger cookies that she bent into little bowls when they were right out of the oven. She then filled them with hand made coconut ice cream. It was delicious and very unique!

  • oh Haagen-Dazs ice cream is my guilty pleasure. I could eat the whole pint. I haven’t tried their new flavors. But given my lack of willpower, I’m sure I’ll try it soon.

  • I have the brown sugar and the vanilla bean both in my freezer right now, and while the vanilla is almost gone, the brown sugar remains untouched. I thought it would make a good accompaniment to grilled peaches, and it might, but you confirm what I’ve been thinking all along: How much brown sugar do you want to eat? I’m pretty sure I’ll try it in the future, but my expectations won’t be as high as they once were. I’m also a ginger fan, so that’ll be my next flavor to try 🙂 Thanks!

  • I adore the Hagan Daas 5 ice creams. I honestly don’t expect anything mass produced to have enough ginger in it so I was pleased with the flavor of the ginger one.

    The brown sugar went well with stuff. I wouldn’t really want to eat it by itself, but it was delicious over rice pudding.

  • Ginger is one of my favorites as well. Have you tried the Ginger People’s ginger syrup, its like my breakfast catsup – I put it on everything!

  • I also love ginger, I like to put roughly chopped Australian candied ginger in my basic scone recipe, smother with homemade blackberry jam and go directly to heaven.

    As for icecream, try the new Mayan Chocolate from Hagen Daas, I can consume the whole carton if no one is watching!

  • Sue: Ahh, if my hip measurement increases by five inches, I’ll have you to blame. Hah. Mayan Chocolate? Oh my! That sounds incredible. I guess I’ll have to pick up a pint the next time I’m at the grocery store. Calories, be damned. 😉

    OysterCulture: Yes! I have tried the Ginger People’s ginger syrup. Morning catsup! I LOVE that! It’s great on waffles. I love it stirred into hot tea, too.

  • i tried the passionfruit two weeks ago when i was sick w/strep. i thought it was really good, but not my favorite. my boyfriend loved it.
    my absolute favorite is the coffee flavor. it’s the best coffee ice cream i’ve ever had, and i’ve had a lot.
    i’m dying to try the mint.

  • Interesting. I would have gone for the brown sugar one first. Yes, there can definitely be too much of a good thing. Do you think creating an ice cream sandwich with some plain shortbread and brown sugar ice cream would work?

  • Helen: Yes, I think actually if you added at least one other component, that the brown sugar ice cream would be much more enjoyable. So yes, some shortbread cookies would be a nice addition.

  • I ordered the little cookies Thursday, they were delivered by Saturday (!) and I had some for “breakfast” Sunday. I might just be addicted……

  • Oooh, more ginger, hooray. Your ginger fascination is what won me over when you were writing for the Mercury News.

    To poster cheryl – ginger ice cream cookies – brilliant suggestion!

    Rick’s Rather Rich ice cream store on Middlefield in Palo Alto used to make a ginger ice cream a few times each year, and it was good. I walked into the shop one day when they were pressing the ginger in the back, and it was like walking into a dream. Gelato Classico has a good ginger ice cream, too, but it’s also seasonal. It would be nice to have a year-round option.

  • Yum! I love ginger, too! I’ll have to try that ice cream!

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  • I know I’m way late to Stumble onto this post, but I just thought I’d mention (since it looks like you’re in the bay area) to call Bombay Ice Cream on Valencia and 16th in SF and see if they have their ginger ice cream available some time. It’s so spicy that you almost need another flavor to tame it down. So delicious!

  • Meagan: Ginger ice cream THAT spicy? Oh, I am soooo there! 😉

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