Andrew Levins

It's crunchtime for Gaytime

It's now in a tub as well as on a stick, but the question is whether it still has the critical crunch.

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For some, summer is the chance to show off that perfect body you've worked so hard on throughout winter and autumn. For others, it's just a cruel realisation that you forgot to work off the extra weight you put on last summer from eating too much ice-cream, which is immediately followed by a strong desire to drown your sorrows in as many new ice-creams as possible and let next winter deal with the aftermath.

With every bus stop advertisement taunting you with new flavours of ice-cream brands you've never heard of, we bravely ate our way through the frozen section of the supermarket to find the best new ice-creams for this summer.

The Weis Strawberry, Watermelon Lychee & Ice Cream Bar is No. 1.
The Weis Strawberry, Watermelon Lychee & Ice Cream Bar is No. 1. Photo: Supplied

10. Mango Fruitare, Streets, $2

A frozen smoothie filled with frozen chunks of mango

Don't have time to make a smoothie every morning? Streets has frozen them and put them on sticks. They proudly claim to be "made with real fruit", and while the strawberry flavour tastes as real as the pink part of a neopolitan tub, this mango flavour actually tastes like a real, albeit very overripe, mango. At least they didn't make a kale smoothie flavour.

The chocolate Golden Gaytime really hits the spot.
The chocolate Golden Gaytime really hits the spot. Photo: Suplied

9. Star Wars Ice Sabers, Hunter Leisure, $7 for nine

Lightsabers made of frozen green, red or blue water

One way to make ice blocks appealing is to call them ice sabers and slap pictures of Yoda and Kylo Ren all over the box. Luke's light saber is lime, Obi Wan's is lemonade, and the most delicious flavour, raspberry, is Darth Vader's, meaning that every kid will choose the dark side this summer.

Streets Olaf ice-cream tastes like marshmallows.
Streets Olaf ice-cream tastes like marshmallows. Photo: Supplied

8. Olaf, Streets, $2.20

The best character from Frozen is now an ice-cream

What better way to celebrate summer than by giving your child a melting nightmare version of their favourite Disney character. In Frozen, Olaf the snowman pondered through song what would happen to him in summer. For $2.20, you can find out: he gets eaten and tastes like marshmallows.

The Peters Drumstick Glamington is a coconut-covered tribute to the lamington.
The Peters Drumstick Glamington is a coconut-covered tribute to the lamington. Photo: Supplied

7. Glamington Drumstick, Peters, $3.80

Peters pays homage to Dame Edna by making a lamington-flavoured Drumstick

Probably the weirdest ice-cream campaign this year was Peters' decision to release a series of new Drumstick flavours under the banner Aussie Legends. Of the hundreds of potential legends to name their new ice-creams after, they chose Dame Edna and Jimmy Barnes. Barnesy's One Tough Cookie Dough is a dull affair, void of anything resembling toughness or cookie dough, but Dame Edna's Glamington flavour is awesome – a coconut-covered tribute to the lamington, with chocolate ice-cream and a raspberry swirl.

The Bubblegum Fandangles tastes as purple as it looks.
The Bubblegum Fandangles tastes as purple as it looks. Photo: Supplied

6. Bubblegum Fandangles, Peters, $2

A bright-purple frozen bubblegum rectangle

Peters has created something new to replace its long-dead Billabongs – the joyfully artificial Fandangles. Launching early last year with flavours such as Choc Shmallow​ and Fairy Floss, the technicolour ice-creams proved popular enough to warrant and new trio of sweet sticks. The best of them is Grape Bubblegum, which tastes as purple as it looks.

Chocolate Golden Gaytime is a variation of Australia's most beloved ice-cream.
Chocolate Golden Gaytime is a variation of Australia's most beloved ice-cream. Photo: Supplied

5. Maggie Beer Ice Cream Sticks – Burnt Fig, Honeycomb and Caramel, $7.99 for six

Maggie Beer branches out from tubs with great results

Maggie Beer has gone and done us all a solid by popping a stick in her best tub flavours and covering the whole thing with chocolate. Oh, you thought the Magnum Ego was as classy as ice-cream got? Use a picture of one of these on your Tinder profile and attract at least one new date for every day of summer.

The Weis Strawberry, Watermelon Lychee & Ice Cream Bar epitomises the Australian summer.
The Weis Strawberry, Watermelon Lychee & Ice Cream Bar epitomises the Australian summer. Photo: Supplied

4. Sara Lee Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, $8.99

An enormous tub of vanilla ice-cream, blueberry swirls and cheesecake bits

Sara Lee knows you eat its cheesecakes straight out of the freezer, so it has made the whole process easier by cramming one of its blueberry cheesecakes into a tub. It's unbelievably sweet, with ripples of purple blueberry goop​ all the way through and little chunks of pie crust. While most ice-cream companies offer the half-litre tub that's easy to eat by yourself, Sara Lee offers only the one-litre bucket that's still easy to eat by yourself as long as you're happy with crippling stomach pains and deep regret.

3. Ben & Jerry's Hazed & Confused Core, $11.99

Heaven for fans of the chocolate-hazelnut combo

Ben & Jerry's has finally launched its Core tubs in Australia, which feature an already popular Ben & Jerry's flavour surrounding a core of soft fudge, caramel or jam. Hazed & Confused Core should definitely be your first foray into the exciting world of fudge cores, a tub of which contains hazelnut ice-cream, chocolate ice-cream with chocolate chips and a dam of soft, fudgey Nutella-like substance down the middle. 

2. Chocolate Golden Gaytime, Streets, $3

A variation of Australia's most beloved ice-cream that gives the original a run for its money

Australia's happiest ice-cream made a few bold business decisions this year, and one of them was much better than the other. While the overhyped Golden Gaytime/Blue Ribbon tub should be avoided at all costs, the experiments in new flavours of Golden Gaytimes were rewarding. Mint flavour is like a giant frozen after-dinner mint, and strawberry is super sweet, but it's the chocolate flavour that really hits the spot, tasting somewhere between a Gaytime and a chocolate Paddle Pop. It's still not as good as a normal Golden Gaytime, but few things are. 

1. Weis Strawberry, Watermelon Lychee & Ice Cream Bar, $6.49 for a four pack

The classic summer ice-cream with a classic summer flavour combo

Australian summer: applying sandy sunscreen on your already sunburnt shoulders with one hand, scoffing a Weis bar with the other, creating a cocktail of sand, sunscreen and melted ice-cream that no other culture would understand. Weis really upped the ante in 2015 with this tropical combo that tastes like a Frosty Fruit crossed with a Splice (neither of which offered anything new that year), except served in a helpful Weis bar form.  You could eat every ice-cream on this list, but what you should do is just eat 10 of these.