Cool Whip is definitely an element of food-culture that does not travel well from North America to Europe. It is essentially a long-life artificial whipped cream that can be frozen and defrosted without altering its texture. According to a Wired Magazine piece on Cool Whip, it is double the price of whipped cream and contains mostly water, air, sugar, wax and condom lubricant (brings a whole new meaning to dessert topping). Dig in!
Ease 5/5 – Open, insert spoon, plop onto pie. None of that painstaking, time consuming, calorie burning whisking to slow down dessert.
Colour 4/5 – Not white, like whipped cream would be, more like an off-white. Somewhat like vanilla ice-cream, not offensive, but kind of odd.
Texture 3/5 – I know that this is whipped. Your mouth can feel that this is whipped. Unfortunately all of this aeration doesn’t result in something that is creamy or nice on the tongue; it feels like a dense, stabilised foam – which, I think, is a pretty damned accurate description. Doesn’t really melt in your mouth but rather collapses.
Flavour 4/5 – It tastes sweet. It doesn’t really have much beyond that. High fructose corn syrup, palm kernel oil and coconut oil are the main ingredients – I haven’t eaten enough palm kernel oil to know it when I taste it, so who knows.
Resemblance to packaging 1/5 – You fail, Kraft. Unless you were to whip the container’s contents (which you’re not going to, because it defeats the purpose of a ready whipped topping) and dispense from a piping bag, you are never going to get Cool Whip to look like the packaging.
In my vast experience with Cool Whip I have never really given much thought to the actual ingredients until today. I see the appeal, it’s pre-made and sweet, it comes in lower calorie versions, it would have been a house-wife’s dream in the 60’s, but do you really want to eat something that is full of chemicals and delivers a sub-par gastronomical experience for the sake of saving 5 minutes of whisking and the hassle of washing up? If so, to each their own, but I will always choose real whipped cream. Every time.