Sometimes you want a roasted plum People’s Pop, but other times you’d just rather stuff your face in a junky sugar-bomb from Good Humor.
Any old bodega is likely to have a long, low cooler filled with all sorts of cheap frozen treats — reach in, and what you come up with depends on where you are in town and the luck of the draw. Some get highfalutin with Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs. Others cater to the neighborhood with Latin or Italian ices.
We gathered sweets from several bodegas across town for a taste test and then put together this list of our 10 favorites. Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments.
10. Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich
Otherwise known as a Chipwich. Junky chocolate-chip cookies redeem themselves by containing a good pinch of salt.
9. Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Bar
The discerning stoner’s favorite: that awesome pink cherry ice cream studded with frozen Bing cherries, all of it wrapped up in dark chocolate.
8. Esquimalito Tropical Mango Ice
It’s easy to forgive this ice for being a little too sweet because it also tastes vibrantly of mango — floral and sweetly tart. (Mango puree is the second ingredient.)
7. Jack & Jill’s Double Sundae Fudge
A nostalgic treat in a cup: The ice cream is piped into little crowns, and the chocolate sauce tastes exactly like Hershey’s.
6. Popsicle Orange Sherbet Push-Up
Half the fun is pushing the oddly fluorescent confection up the tube. And that artificial milky orange flavor never fails to give us the pleasant shivers.
Slurp onward for the top five …
5. Snickers Ice Cream Bar
We’d love to pretend we’re too good for this kind of junk food, but nope, we’re not. This is a Snickers bar with vanilla ice cream instead of nougat, for heaven’s sake. It tastes really good. The chocolate is waxen and overly sweet, but the peanut-caramel layer has a salty-nuttiness that balances the sugariness of the other ingredients.
4. Good Humor King Cone
Here’s another one with nostalgic appeal. The ice cream is of relatively good quality — whipped and airy — and the peanuts stuck into the chocolate coating are a bit stale, just like they always have been. The cone has serious crunch, plus a plug of chocolate at the bottom tip.
3. Good Humor Toasted Almond Bar
Of Good Humor’s cake crumble bars (strawberry shortcake and chocolate éclair) this one is by far the best: sweetened, crushed almonds spackled onto smooth vanilla and almond ice cream.
2. Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche Mini Cup
It’s 3.6 ounces of pure bliss — dense and creamy caramel ice cream with a goopy caramel swirl. We like the built-in spoon and the built-in portion control.
1. Mamita’s Homemade Style Tamarind Ice
This tart-sweet confection is refreshment incarnate. It’s just a frosty slurry of water, sugar, and tamarind pulp, and it’s wonderful.