As a cereal, Grape-Nuts have always been appreciated more for their health benefits (fiber!) than their taste. For many, the only way to actually enjoy the crunchy breakfast nuggets is by topping them with a heaping helping of brown sugar and fruits. However, as anyone who’s ever let their bowl sit out for a while before digging in — or microwaved them into an Oatmeal-like mush — knows, the longer Grape-Nuts soak in milk, the better they taste. This helps to explain the sublime quality of Jamaican-style Grape Nut ice cream (or “Great Nut,” as it’s known in some iterations), which ostensibly consists of regular vanilla ice cream with the titular cereal mixed in. The result transcends any flavor you could imagine that combination to produce, bringing ice cream to its creamy extreme. We’ve heard Grape Nut ice cream is also popular in parts of New England and the Canadian coast but we just can’t imagine their version is as good as the Jamaican one. Just like mesh marinas, Clarks shoes and Western movies, Grape Nuts are another import from “farin” that’s been remixed and reclaimed by yardies into something distinctly Jamaican.
“It’s the actual grape nuts that gives off that great taste,” says Rudy Guerrino, owner of The Ice Cream Factory, a Mount Vernon, NY shop that specializes in island flavors. “When you put it in ice cream, it softens up and [the flavor] disperses.” Though some creameries use the generic Grape Nuts imitations found in most supermarkets to save money and avoid licensing fees, Guerrino says The Ice Cream Factory only uses Post Grape Nuts. “I actually have to buy them in boxes at the supermarket. Post won’t sell ’em to me in [bulk].”