Ina Garten has been in the food industry for decades. The Food Network star opened up a specialty foods store back in 1968. Though she has since sold it, it set the stage for the rest of her career in the food business.
These days, Garten has tried plenty of homemade meals, store-bought brands, and more. And Garten once said it’s worth it to buy one specific type of ice cream versus trying to make it at home.
Ina Garten believes ‘store-bought is fine’
Though Garten has been a celebrity chef for years, she’s not afraid to admit that she purchases store-bought ingredients. Garten doesn’t have any formal culinary education; she learned all of her tips and tricks from other chefs, such as Julia Child, as well as from operating her specialty foods store, Barefoot Contessa, for nearly 20 years.
Over the years, Garten has learned that there are certain foods and ingredients that can be purchased from a store, and they won’t impact a dish’s flavor. Puff pastry is one ingredient Garten will almost never make herself. Plus, she buys high-quality pasta — and pasta sauce — rather than making her own from scratch. This not only saves time but also money, as Garten doesn’t need to purchase the extra ingredients needed to make something from scratch.
Ina Garten swears by Häagen Dazs vanilla ice cream
Garten has one other favorite store-bought purchase, and she often uses it in her desserts: Häagen Dazs vanilla ice cream. In a letter Garten wrote to Bon Appétit readers back in 2018, she admitted that it doesn’t make sense to make homemade ice cream when she can purchase a tasty store-bought brand.
“Shortcuts can make dishes easier to tackle, but just as impressive to share,” Garten wrote. “Take Baked Alaska: You don’t have to make your own vanilla ice cream if someone else does it better, and Häagen-Dazs does.”
Though Garten didn’t outright name Häagen Dazs as her favorite, she has spoken highly of the ice cream brand in the past. She even credits it as one of her favorite guilty-pleasure snacks.
Häagen Dazs has often made top 10 lists of the best store-bought ice cream, including by well-known media outlets such as Eat This and Southern Living.
Ina Garten has plenty of easy ice cream dessert recipes
Garten loves incorporating ice cream into her desserts. It makes for an easy side that pairs well with a warm pie or baked Alaska, yet it takes almost no effort to add it to the dish.
Garten even has a super simple ice cream dessert recipe, though it doesn’t necessarily have to involve Häagen Dazs: Her 3-ingredient coffee ice cream sandwiches. Plus, everything is store-bought: 1 pint of coffee ice cream, eight store-bought chocolate chip cookies, and a package of Heath toffee bits. Add the ice cream between the cookies, then roll it in the toffee bits to coat, and it’s ready to serve. How easy is that?