Olive Oil Conquers the Plant-Based Dessert

Wildgood, a new frozen dessert brand from a Greek ice cream specialist, is an airy confection made with extra-virgin olive oil.

By Florence Fabricant

Plant-based versions of ice cream (which cannot use the term cream) are proliferating faster than new flavors from Ben & Jerry’s. Every possible alternative “milk” — pressed from beans, grains, nuts and so forth — now beckon as vanilla and chocolate in the frozen food aisle. A newcomer, Wildgood, has taken a somewhat different approach, with a vegan frozen dessert that relies on olive oil. It’s the result of eight years of trial and error by Sotiris Tsichlopoulos, who studied gelato in Italy and created an ice cream brand in Greece. Among the ingredients that help turn extra-virgin olive oil into a frozen confection are chicory root, pea protein and carob-bean gum. It’s around 10 percent fat, and there are eight flavors: chocolate, vanilla bean, coffee, mango, mint-chocolate chip, sea salt caramel and the best of the lot, pistachio and chocolate-hazelnut. Perhaps using nuts helps with the texture because despite the olive oil, the end result has more of an ice milk lightness instead of the dense richness of a super-premium product. Mr. Tsichlopoulos’s company has support from Gary Hirshberg, a founder of Stonyfield Farm, among others.

Wildgood Frozen Dessert, around $6.99 a pint at Wegmans, Whole Foods, Shoprite and other stores, or nationally, $9 plus shipping from wildgood.com.

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