I Tried Jeni’s New “Everything Bagel” Ice Cream Flavor, and Here’s My Honest Review
Yogi Berra was talking about baseball when he said “Ninety percent of the game is half mental,” but the same can be said for trying new foods. As any parent who has ever begged a 5-year-old to please just try a bite of this, I think you’ll like it knows, the biggest leap often comes in opening your mind to the possibility that something could be good. Which is precisely the stumbling block with the new “Everything Bagel” ice cream flavor from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.
When the new flavor was announced a couple of weeks ago, the internet went into a frenzy. Some people said it sounded delicious, while plenty more were disturbed by the idea. “I would rather be thrown into a lake than eat too-soft ice cream with frozen shards of burnt garlic and salt,” Amy McCarthy said in Eater. Brutal.
But me? I was hopeful. As someone who has, in the past, enjoyed a variety of savory sorbets and topped vanilla ice cream with things like olive oil and chili crisp, I was open to the plausibility of a savory ice cream. But what really allowed me to accept that it could be great was a doughnut: The everything bagel doughnut from The Flour Box in Seattle, Washington, stuffs whipped chive cream cheese inside a brioche doughnut, with a crispy sprinkling of the seasoning on top. I ate it a few years ago and still dream of it often — although I have yet to successfully score another, as they sell out instantly on a daily basis.
Just like the doughnuts, this new Everything Bagel flavor from Jeni’s is already sold out online (for now). Luckily I was able to snag a pint so I could weigh in with my thoughts.
I Tried Jeni’s New “Everything Bagel” Ice Cream Flavor
The cream cheese base doesn’t stray far from Jeni’s roots — the company uses a cream cheese base for many of their ice creams for texture reasons already. It gives the ice cream a creamy, smooth texture (and, in this case, also offered a mild, savory background).
When I took my first bite, the strong allium notes hit hard. I’m just not used to my ice cream tasting like garlic unless something has gone very wrong in my freezer. It took a moment for my brain to get over that — but garlic is inherently sweet, and that sweetness ultimately tied the ice cream together into a coherent, delicious flavor.
What the company calls “everything gravel” — the little chunks of buttery streusel with sesame, poppy seeds, and those onion and garlic bits — really gave the ice cream the flavor of an everything bagel. The intensity of the spices didn’t overwhelm the subtlety of the cream cheese base, and the quality brought me back for more. The only thing I really wished for was a bit more of a crunch — the gravel was soft and sort of chewy, and some crunch seemed like it would fit with the savory flavor.
Over the next few days, I returned to the pint for more — the beguiling mix of sweet and savory hooked me — but never for dessert. After dinner I craved a classic sweet flavor, and the everything bagel ice cream wasn’t the answer to “wanting ice cream.” Instead, it worked well for an afternoon snack, like a midday palate cleanser. Basically, Jeni’s Everything Bagel flavor solved a problem I never knew I had.