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Freshie Faves: N’awlins Ice Cream

The name sort of gives it away – New Orleans Ice Cream Company. So does the picture on the label – a big fleur-de-lis, the French symbol that you see all over N’awlins.

But even without those two giveaways, you would totally know where the ice cream made by New Orleans Ice Cream Company comes from, just based on the flavors: White Chocolate Bread Pudding. Coffee and Chicory. Bananas Foster.

This ice cream – a new arrival in our frozen aisles – is a big celebration of all the dessert flavors that make NOLA such a great culinary destination.

The company is a smallish operation, started after Hurricane Katrina and using as many locally produced ingredients as possible. They make plain vanilla and chocolate ice creams, but the real attraction to me are the original flavors, that could not come from anywhere except New Orleans.

The white chocolate bread pudding, for instance, has a deep cinnamon flavor, with chunks of creamy white chocolate. Bananas foster tastes strongly of nutmeg and rum, with real bananas blended in, just like the famous dessert . Cherries Jubilee has a double cherry punch – brandy-soaked cherries in a rich cherry ice cream. Praline crunch is like eating a creamy, frozen version of the caramel-pecan candy.

I especially like the more obscure flavors, that really delve deep into Louisiana lore: Nectar Soda is named after a regional soda once popular in New Orleans soda shops. And Pontchatoula strawberry is made with real Pontchatoula strawberries, a Louisiana delicacy so revered it has its own festival every year.

These are premium ice creams, so their fat and cream content is definitely not on the light side, though not quite as heavy as, say, a typical Ben & Jerry’s flavor. But if you are craving real New Orleans flavors, these are definitely worth the calories.