A new non-dairy ice cream brand, Wildgood, is now selling frozen pints made with a tasty and nutritious but somewhat unexpected ingredient: olive oil.
Launched in April, Wildgood’s plant-based ice cream features extra virgin olive oil as the dessert’s main source of fat rather than milk fats. The “first-of-its-kind” non-dairy ice cream recipe is inspired by the Mediterranean diet and seeks to imitate the creaminess of real ice cream with this versatile cooking oil, according to a press release from the company. The cold-pressed olive oil is sourced from groves located in Greece that are owned by the family of company founder Sotiris Tsichlopoulos, who previously founded an Athens, Greece-based ice cream brand called To Pagoto.
Wildgood ice cream comes in eight flavors: chocolate, vanilla bean, coffee, mango, pistachio, chocolate hazelnut, sea salt caramel, and mint chocolate chip. And no, they shouldn’t taste noticeably like olive oil, the company says.
Non-dairy ice cream products typically use types of plant-based milk (such as cashew, almond, or coconut milk) and oils (like soybean, sunflower, or coconut) to replace the creamy texture and mouthfeel created by milk fats found in traditional ice cream. By using extra-virgin olive oil as the fat base for their products, which is listed as the third ingredient after water and fructose, Wildgood may attract consumers with the health halo of a longtime Mediterranean diet staple.
Extra-virgin olive oil is packed with monounsaturated fats, which are praised by nutritionists as one of the best “healthy fats” you can eat, especially for your heart. Monounsaturated fats can help lower your LDL cholesterol levels, in turn reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Each serving of Wildgood has between 6 and 11 grams of fat, depending on the flavor, with less than 2 grams of that coming from saturated fat. (Although more recent research suggests saturated fat consumption is not as clearly linked to heart disease as once thought, the American Heart Association and U.S. Dietary Guidelines do still recommend limiting them in favor of unsaturated fats.)
The other main ingredients in Wildgood are chicory-root fiber, pea protein, and carob bean gum (an emulsifier), and a variety of different flavorings like vanilla, cocoa, sea salt, mango purée, pistachios, and coffee.
Wildgood is vegan, certified kosher, and gluten-free. However, the non-dairy ice creams are made in a facility that also manufactures gluten-containing products, so it may not be suitable for all people with celiac disease if they are highly sensitive to gluten. The ice cream alternative also doesn’t contain the major food allergens dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts—except for the pistachio and chocolate-hazelnut flavors. (Wildgood products are made in a facility that also makes products containing those allergens, but the company follows cleaning protocols to reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination.)
While Wildgood first made its products available in select grocery stores across the East Coast last month, the brand is now also shipping its ice creams directly to consumers nationwide (except for those in Alaska and Hawaii). You can purchase them at Wildgood.com for $9 per pint (plus tax and shipping). Or, find them at select grocery stores in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, including Wegmans, Whole Foods, ShopRite, and Stop & Shop, as well as select Harris Teeter locations starting May 15. You can use the Wildgood store locator to see if a grocery store near you sells them.