has the inside scoop.
tasted 34 kinds of chocolate and vanilla ice creams to find out which were the creme de la creme.
Testers found a significant range in quality. The lowest ratings went to WalMart's store brand, called Sam's Choice.
"It had a gummy texture and was very sweet and had imitation vanilla flavor," tester Erin Gudeux said.
While Sam's Choice ice cream says "homemade" on its package, it lists ingredients like glycerol monostearate and mono and diglycerides.
In contrast, testers rated Häagen-Dazs as one of the best tasting vanillas.
Along with Häagen-Dazs, two other vanillas -- Dreamery and Ben and Jerry's -- earned top ratings by testers. All three have real vanilla flavor and a creamy texture. As for the chocolate ice creams, testers said Godiva Belgian Dark received top honors.
"If you like bittersweet chocolate, this one is defnitely worth a try. It has an intense chocolate flavor and a creamy texture," Gudeux said.
Häagen-Dazs chocolate also scored high, but testers found its flavor tastes more like milk chocolate like than Godiva's.
also found another good choice in chocolate was Winn Dixie's "Prestige Chocolate." For those trying to get more calcium, testers recommend Breyers' Calcium Rich Vanilla.
©2002 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. All rights reserved.