Last summer, before embarking on our great western adventure, we raved about the then-new vegan offerings from Brooklyn purveyor of fine ice creams, Van Leeuwen. Now that we’re Los-Angeles-based, it very easily—sadly—could have been added to the long list of things we miss about New York, along with dear friends, big old buildings, fast-paced-walking, and frigid, soul-crushing cold.
Wait, maybe strike that last one.
So imagine our delight when, driving by Oaks Gourmet Market on Franklin—a mere stone’s throw from our street in Beachwood Canyon—a sign reading ‘NEW VAN LEEUWEN ORGANIC VEGAN ICE CREAMS’ bold-facedly informed us we could promptly omit that item from the list of things to miss about New York.
What’s more, with their new packaged line, Van Leeuwen’s expanded from their initial vegan offerings of chocolate + vanilla to include six exciting new flavors: Mint Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk, Banana Nut, Sicilian Pistachio, Salted Caramel, and Coffee Crunch.
GMO-, gluten-, and soy-free, the vegan line of ice creams focuses on showcasing the purity in taste of limited, largely local ingredients. From their site:
“With just a handful of simple and pure ingredients we have created the creamiest and most decadent vegan frozen dessert possible. Van Leeuwen Vegan is always free of stabilizers, gums and thickeners. Made in small batches in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, our flavors are a celebration of some of the finest small farmers, chocolate makers, and producers in the world.”
The line also sets itself apart from the majority of recent successes by others in the vegan frozen dessert field by bringing in not only coconut milk but also cashew milk as a main ingredient—the primary one, in fact.
The result, from our recent experience, is fucking awesome. We picked up the Coffee Crunch, with crushed beans from Brooklyn Roasters, Toby’s Estate Coffee; Sicilian Pistachio, which is smooth and rich, made with finely ground pistachios imported from Bronte, Sicily; and—my favorite, by far—the Salted Caramel, a salty-meets-decadently-sweet, crave-worthy concoction that tastes (I imagine) like unicorns + rainbows.
The new vegan line is now available at all Van Leeuwen locations (Boerum Hill, Greenpoint, and the East Village), Whole Foods Markets in the Northeast Region, various other NYC locations, (randomly) the market down the street from us in LA, and rotating in by the scoop in their trucks in NYC and, now, LA (woo!).
Check Van Leeuwen’s Web site for a full list of carriers and follow them on Twitter for truck locations. We’ll certainly quickly work our way through the rest of the line and will be sure to post to our Facebook page when we do.