This week I got to live out a life-long dream I never knew I had until it happened: I got to help a local ice cream shop create a vegan ice cream flavour. But not just any flavour. The ultimate flavour. A flavour named after one of my favourite animals. TRASH PANDA.
What, you might be asking yourself, is Trash Panda? It’s a delicious concoction created by The Merry Dairy featuring a chocolate coconut base with drool-worthy chocolate covered pretzels, Oreo bits, and in-house fudge & raspberry drizzle. It’s a kitchen sink kind of flavour that is like a raccoon’s buffet. And I got to try it. It is INCREDIBLE.
I met up with Amelia, head ice cream maker, who has worked at The Merry Dairy for five years. She walked me through the process of creating their delicious flavours and I got to learn all about what led them to their newest vegan flavour.
The Merry Dairy is a local ice cream shop that started their plant-based journey by creating a vegan coffee coconut flavour. They got their name because of the happy, merry-like and joyful experience that comes along with enjoying a good ol’ scoop. Since then, they’ve created over 30 ingenious flavours like Sugar Plumped Fig and Earl Grey or the wildly popular Radler Sorbet. We joked that one day, they might even become the Merry Non-Dairy, because their vegan flavours fly off the shelves. So much so, they had to create a dedicated scooping freezer in the front of their store. (Way to go vegans!)
Back to Trash Panda, though. I’m a sucker for their vegan coffee flavour, but after today I might be a convert. Seriously, it took everything in me to not to ask for a funnel so I could just down the whole batch. As Amelia says, their vegan flavours are created with the coconut base top-of mind. They choose ingredients that will enhance and work with their plant-based option – a dance of flavours. It’s truly an art to watch them work their magic. Everything is made in house, with the exception of the oreo crumble mixed in. They create their own vegan base, fudge and raspberry drizzle. All the way down to drizzling chocolate on the pretzels and chopping them up. Are you drooling yet?
Well, I’m happy to announce that Vegan Trash Panda is now available in store at The Merry Dairy. Head on over to 102 Fairmont (or order online for delivery!) and try it for yourself!