Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Flavors: Ben & Jerry’s Class of 2011

Dear Ben & Jerry’s,

To show there are no hard feelings over not being chosen for the Millennial Advisory Panel, I will dedicate a few blog entries to you, starting with this review of your new flavors. Since I'd been expecting to receive those 52 free pint coupons you give to Panel members, I held out on purchasing the new flavors. But now that reality has kicked in, so has my wallet.

Much anticipation preceded the new batch of flavors because of the 20-30 minute survey your company invited me to take regarding flavor innovations being considered. The results of that data must have contributed to this year’s batch: two new creations and three flavors that have long been explored in neighborhood scoop shops, but are uncommon to the grocery store freezer.

Red Velvet Cake – In my mind, the cake batter ice cream craze derives from the nostalgia of the quintessential birthday combination of cake and ice cream. For me, the true determinant of a successful cake ice cream is texture, namely the inclusion of cake pieces throughout. In red velvet cake, the trick is to have a balance of cake and cream cheese. In this flavor, Ben & Jerry’s uses the same delicacy and subtlety that they use in their cheesecake ice creams. My friends are going gaga for this flavor, and though it can't compare to Creole Creamery's flavor of the same name, I find myself stocking my freezer with this Ben & Jerry’s treat. Good thing since New Orleans isn’t exactly close by.

Clusterfluff –When I read the name of this flavor, I figured it was Fluffernutter ice cream, a flavor I myself had made before. But strangely, the flavor isn’t that at all. A peanut butter ice cream base features caramel cluster pieces, peanut butter and marshmallow swirls. The overabundance of peanut butter (When did peanut butter become a dessert? Am I in the minority in disagreeing with this?) makes for not enough cluster (which lack crunch) and not enough fluff (which is inferior to the deliciously gooey marshmallow fluff one finds in Phish Food). But the misleading nature of this flavor is nothing compared to the next one…

Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night Snack – When this flavor advertises that it contains fudge covered potato chips, it sounds delicious and innovative. But while I’m sure legal obligation means the clusters are actually potato chips, they taste like rice puffs to me. Where’s the salt to balance out the sweet? I couldn’t taste it. High expectations, terrible disappointment.

Also new is Bonnaroo Buzz which I skipped. It seems to be an amalgamation of ice cream flavors I don’t enjoy. All that’s missing is banana.

So there you have it, an almost completely negative review of the Class of 2011. I swear it wasn’t on purpose, Ben. Dry those eyes, Jerry. I promise to show some love in the blog entries to follow.

Yours in ice cream,

P.S. If you have any more of those free pint coupons, I still have a stomach.

UPDATE: What the fluff? Clusterfluff is now being labeled What a Cluster. This name is tamer than the original name and a LOT more tame than "Mothercluster" or "Fluffing Ridiculous."


Christa :) said...

Love the dry wit - it speaks to me. Also, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups? Yeah, I'd say you're definitely in the minority about the PB qualm, friend. Nothing beats Moose Tracks ice cream with the little PB cups inside... *sigh*.

Also, unrelated to this but related to ice cream, I was walking in Harvard Square with a friend last weekend and found JP Licks purely by accident. Is that the magical ice cream place you were trying to find while you were in Boston?

Brad said...

JP Licks is a classic for sure. I like eating the Oreo ice cream in the same cup with the Oreo Cake Batter ice cream. Le drool.