Minty Fresh Scouting: Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

   Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream in Soho  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream in Soho | Image: Laura Messersmith

Everyone needs a summer project; a goal to work toward over the hottest months of the year; a plan that will give meaning to an otherwise lazy series of days. I considered this question carefully and arrived at the most obvious answer: visit as many ice cream shops as possible in search of the best Mint Chocolate Chip Ice cream.

Why Mint Chocolate Chip? Mainly, because it’s my all-time favorite flavor, and because most shops offer an option that combines mint and chocolate. Lastly, even in the dead of August it still tastes refreshing. Wouldn’t want to be derailed by something too heavy like butter pecan, right?

  Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream in Soho   | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream in Soho | Image: Laura Messersmith

My first stop on this delicious adventure was a Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream truck in Soho. Their flavor is called Mint Chip describes as follows:

“For this American favorite with add Organic Peppermint extract from Oregon to our custard, along with rough cut little chunks of 72% Askinosie chocolate. These smaller chips melt perfectly as you enjoy your scoop, creating the perfect mint and chocolate flavor explosion!”

  Mint Chip by Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream   | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Mint Chip by Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream | Image: Laura Messersmith

Some Thoughts on Ratings:

I like a little kitsch matched with great ingredients, so my preference is for pale green ice cream with intense mint flavor and deep dark chocolate shavings. Yes, I realize that this doesn’t make them ‘chips’ per se, but then they’re more smoothly incorporated with the ice cream. I’m also giving points for a whimsical setting or special experience. 

The Score:

Flavor – mild minty-ness, lightly flavored (3 of 5)

Color – pale, pale cream. No green dye here…  (1 of 5)

Creaminess – very smooth, didn’t melt like crazy even on a hot day (5 of 5)

Chips – medium size, dark chocolate (4 of 5)

Charm – adorable truck set on a quiet Soho street (5 of 5)

Total: 18/25

  Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream in Soho   | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream in Soho | Image: Laura Messersmith