NZ's favourite ice cream flavour named at national awards

Close-up scoops of an assortment of ice cream. Photo: Getty Images
Fourteen of New Zealand's favourite ice cream and gelato flavours from all over the country battled it out in this year's Ice Cream Awards, just in time for summer. Photo: Getty Images
A trip to the supermarket will offer you countless flavour options when it comes to ice cream - but it turns out Kiwis prefer to keep it nice and simple.

Earlier this month, 17 judges tasted 316 different products in search of Aotearoa's best gelatos, sorbets, ice creams and dairy-free desserts.

Then 14 of New Zealand's favourite ice cream and gelato flavours from all over the country battled it out in this year's Ice Cream Awards, just in time for summer.

But it was the humble vanilla and the often controversial mint chocolate chip flavour that took out the title.

The NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers Association Supreme Champion award went to Much Moore Ice Cream Co's Awesome Vanilla Ice Cream.

And the Formula Foods Supreme Boutique Champion gong was awarded to Lewis Road Creamery for their Double Mint and Dark Chocolate Ice Cream.

Chief judge Jackie Matthews said the trophy winners had "perfected all aspects of their product", from ingredients and recipes to packing and freezing.

"It's the attention to detail in every aspect and bringing it together with the right balance which achieves excellence."

Matthews said the supreme winner, Much Moore's Awesome Vanilla, was superbly smooth and creamy with fresh vanilla flavour.

Much Moore, a family-owned company headed by Marcus Moore, has been concocting award-winning desserts for more than 30 years.

Not everyone loves a scoop of mint chocolate chip, but Lewis Road's version must have done something right to take out the award for Supreme Boutique Champion.

Matthews said their Double Mint and Dark Chocolate flavour was "superbly crafted".

"The flavour was fresh peppermint with a hint of spearmint, perfectly balanced with chocolate flakes. Rich and creamy, it had a lovely chocolate melt."

Peter Cullinane started Lewis Road Creamery in his kitchen in 2012. It's recently been wholly purchased by Southern Pastures.

Another stand out was the Pacific Flavours and Ingredients Kids' Choice Champion, judged by 10 Year 7 students from Auckland Normal Intermediate. They chose Talley's Blueberry Ice Cream.

And in a first for the NZ Ice Cream Awards, two People's Choice categories were included. Both awards were taken out by Hamilton's Duck Island Ice Cream for its Fairy Bread ice cream flavour and its Hamilton East shop named the People's Choice Favourite Scoop Store.

The Ice Cream Awards have been held in New Zealand since 1997. Owned and run by the NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers Association, it's the only national ice cream, sorbet, gelato and dairy-free dessert competition.

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