nut allergy too said... Great site, very encouraging to see a highly-allergic person eating out! Any tips on nut-free ice cream? 8:29 PM, December 07, 2006
Hmm, a good question to be sure. My biggest tip for optimum nut-free control in an ice cream: make your own.
Gone are the days of the pricey Italian yuppie ice-cream maker as your sole option. Or even the old fashioned hand-crank one. I just read about this cute ice cream maker which, if it actually works, would be great.
Alternatively, if you don't want to invest the money or the time or you're not a cook, many high end restos make their own treats which "can" be safe. You’d need to have a discussion with the pastry chef. But for example the folks at Gramercy Tavern here in NYC are always very helpful about such matters and they make everything from scratch. Baring spending $10 on three handmade boules of ice cream I assume Nut Allergy Too was wondering about commercially made ice cream.
When I ate dairy, I ate soft serve Carvel all the time without incident. Pretty straight-forward line of vanilla and chocolate and yum-de-yum. But they are also pretty local to the Northeast.
Out of the bigger commercial guys, I think the good news is that bigger companies are getting savvy to the you-must-list-your-allergens stuff given the most recent ruling by the FDA.
As for individual companies, I think a little research will get you the answers you need: call the customer service lines or look up their websites. Many now have an FAQs that includes nuts, gluten and soy allergy issues. For example, I went to Ben and Jerry’s site and found a whole nut-free explanation. However, Haagen Daz’s site is low on allergen info and uses too many clicks to get to where you want.
I hope this is helpful, good luck and let me know what you find!