Edit on September 17, 2009: A couple of weeks after publishing review, I noticed that both of my local TJ's were out of this mango sorbet. Then today, my buddy @dtruong sent me a disheartening message, informing me that he had asked a TJ's employee in his hometown of Albuquerque and they said that this was just a seasonal product *tear* TJ's, please bring this back next summer!
In an effort to lead a healthier and slightly more spiritual lifestyle, I took a stab at veganism a few years ago. I figured that it would be a pretty simple transition since I had been a vegetarian for a few years previous. I was down with replacing my milk with soy milk, butter with Earth Balance spread, mayo with Veganaise, and real cheese with soy cheeses, but when it came to frozen treats like ice cream, I was at a loss. I love my ice cream and wondered if soy would taste anywhere nearly as good.
I decided that my best bet was probably Trader Joe's, so one day, when I really had a hankering for ice cream, I hit them up and came home with three different kinds of soy ice cream -- Soy Delicious in chocolate and vanilla, and TJ's own brand of Soy Creamy Mango Vanilla. I nervously dug into them, hoping that they'd be as delicious as real ice cream. ...I think I started crying, though. And it was not a good cry. It was icey, wanna-be (well, it is wanna be...) ice cream with an icky soy aftertaste. Sorry, vegans and the lactose intolerant. Needless to say, my run as a vegan did not last too long (as evidenced by my French Laundry, Boulevard and sashimi reviews).
What I did discover out of this experience though, is that the mango half of TJ's Soy Creamy Mango Vanilla was actually really, really delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I wished that TJ's had pints of mango sorbet on its own so that I didn't have to dig the mango portion out and waste the icky soy vanilla part of it. I know, I know, other brands have mango sorbet, too, but TJ's version of it was something else.
Fast forward to a few years later when I receive an issue of TJ's Fearless Flyer in the mail, the Summer Guide 2009, to be exact. I'll admit it, I rarely ever read them, but as I was tearing my address out of the guide to be recycled, right underneath that was an advert for "MANGO SORBET". It said that it was a product of Queensland, Australia, which, according to the flyer, "is famous for glorious weather, sandy beaches, kangaroos and mangoes", and that their sorbet is "made from authentic, sundrenched Kensington Pride mangoes fresh from Queensland farms", "ripened and selected one at a time as they reach the peak of sweetness". Sold!
I picked up a 33.8 ounce container of this stuff for $3.99 that night. It comes in a very un-ice cream-like tall, squarish container with a strange lid. What's inside, though, is absolutely magical. My freezer is usually on its coldest setting, so ice cream is usually rock hard and needs to be set out for about 15-20 minutes before consuming, but this mango sorbet, I could just scoop out and eat straight from the freezer. It's soft and creamy like gelato! And the taste is very much true-to-the-fruit. It's not just mango-flavored; it tastes exactly like perfectly ripened mangoes do because it's made from them! Since it's very rich and pretty sweet, a little goes a long way, but every time I have a bite, it seriously feels like unicorns and rainbows exploding in my mouth.
When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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