Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ben & Jerry’s Turns 30!

Ben and Jerry’s continues to push the importance of ice cream ethics in their latest batch of new flavors, which, honestly, are all worth trying and most worth keeping around:

ONE Cheesecake Brownie – The ONE Foundation does more than fight poverty: they inspire people to do more…and eat more. (I love eating for a cause.) This is not just a cheesecake ice cream with Ben & Jerry’s familiar brownie chunks: they actually use cheesecake brownies! Ben & Jerry’s proves once again they know how to do cheesecake ice cream.

Dave Matthew’s Band Magic Brownies Remix “Encore Edition” – The earlier version of this flavor was chocolate-based with a gooey brownie and raspberry swirl. This was good, but did not inspire multiple purchases. The “remix” is much more exciting: the brownies are now in black raspberry ice cream. Euphoric. (And a portion of proceeds go towards the band’s Bama Works Fund.)

John Lennon’s Imagine Whirled Peace – With its caramel and toffee cookie pieces, this one takes on a graham-cracker-y taste, reminding me of one of my favorite regional flavors, Stewart’s Crumbs Along the Mohawk
. (It is at least a step in the right direction for folks that aren’t in New England.) I do not think the caramel cups used in the flavor match the quality of the ice cream, but when they left a bad taste in my mouth I just took another bite.

Cake Batter – The secret to Ben & Jerry’s exemplary cheesecake ice creams is that they are uncharacteristically subtle while other brands overload theirs with cheesecake flavor. Similarly, cake-inspired ice creams are usually overly sweet with too much “frosting.” With Cake Batter, Ben and Jerry’s schools everyone else. Still, they could learn from Perry’s Piece of Cake by mixing in texture-enhancing cake pieces…and by using yellow cake…or they could just purchase Perry’s recipe.

Another update to the Ethics of Ice Cream debate: Häagen-Dazs is on a new kick. It is donating money toward research to save the dwindling honey bee population. It seems an odd cause to raise money for, but the blurb on the side of my most recent carton pulled at my heartstrings a little, like when that polar bear couldn’t find solid land
in An Inconvenient Truth.

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