After determining the finest independently produced ices in town, we now turn our discerning critical eye to locally made frozen desserts you can buy at your corner store.
1. Laura Secord ($5.99/500 ml, NNNN )
Knowing her long association with cows, it's no wonder the sweetheart of Queenston Heights tops our poll. Full-bodied, evenly textured and luxurious on the tongue, her Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream proved an office favourite.
2. Mapleton's Organic ($6.69/500 ml, NNNN )
Although not entirely organic, this Elora-based farm's ice creams are 100 per cent preservative-free. Cows are fed certified organic feed containing zero hormones or pesticides. Frothy and flecked with real fruit, Mapleton's raspberry rocked our panel of experts (aka the gang in production).
3. Kawartha ($4/500 ml, NNN )
With several cottage-country retail outlets, this Bobcaygeon dairy has long been a favourite of deep freeze aficionados. And while their vanilla ice cream might seem pedestrian when compared to other more exotic flavours, there's no denying the quality of the ingredients.
4. Metropolitan ($3.99/500 ml, NNN )
Proudly Canadian as its label informs, this Toronto dairy's ice cream may not be certified organic, but it is certified kosher. Silky smooth and rich with butterfat, their ice creams are also free of artificial flavours, stabilizers and processed ingredients. Our pick: Madagascar Vanilla. Custom order: beet borscht!
5. Organic Meadow ($8.99/litre, NN )
Produced by the OntarBio Organic Farmers Co-operative, these eco-conscious ice creams may include fair trade ingredients - sugar basically - but wimp out in the flavour department. Best: Caramel Swirl.
6. Stoney Creek ($4.69/litre, NN )
Established in 1929, this southwestern Ontario dairy is one of North America's largest ice cream concerns. Distinctly mainstream, at least it's one of the few brands that can claim it's 100 per cent peanut- and nut-free.
7. Chapman's ($3.79/litre, N )
And you thought its cheap animated commercials were bad? Serve this flavourless froth to the kids and save the good stuff for the grown-ups. Sole redeeming factor: it's $1.99/litre at No Frills.