Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ben & Jerry's Class of 2012

Not sure what's gotten into Haagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry's but they had some serious trouble giving their flavors names this year. The problem isn't that the flavors are lame; the problem is that most of the names have very little to do with what the ice cream actually tastes like. But when dealing with artificial flavors and relying more heavily on corn syrup, really it's all a guessing game. Every flavor could be called Je Ne Sais Quoi.

Chocolate Therapy - I know this flavor has been at Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops, but I feel like it was also in the grocery store years ago. Regardless, it's back and being labeled as "New." Unfortunately, it has more created a need for therapy than it has been a solution. Imagine buying something labeled juice (let's say Tropicana Trop50) and upon drinking it realizing it is actually flavored water (like Tropicana Trop50). The disappoint is the same with this flavor: there is no denying the color of the ice cream is blackish-brown, but this does not mean the flavor is that of chocolate. To be fair, chocolate ice cream does not taste like chocolate; it tastes like chocolate ice cream. But this ice cream tastes like a half cup of Oreos (which also don't actually taste like chocolate) ground into paste, mixed with cream and a touch of cocoa powder. It's not half bad, but it ain't half good either.

Rocky Road-ish - Similar to Ben & Jerry's Magic Brownies Remix in concept, this flavor takes an existing flavor and turns it on its head. But unlike Magic Brownies, this remix does not improve upon the original. At first bite, the toasted marshmallow ice cream actually tastes toasted and with each bite that flavor becomes more and more artificial until it disappears. After about five bites, the ice cream tasted like cake batter ice cream. The artificial flavor is so heavy, my mouth had that corn syrup after taste. The flavor also touted including a marshmallow swirl, something Ben & Jerry's mastered in Phish Food but failed at here. Hey, but at least there's chocolate covered almonds; sadly they are so tiny and over salted that they taste like peanuts. The carton mentioned nothing about the tiny bits of red goo that I encountered every four bites. Eww.

Chocolate Nougat Crunch - As a singer-songwriter, one of the finest compliments I've received for my music was, "I love it. It is both unique and familiar. I can't think of anything else that is quite like it." The same could be said for this new ice cream flavor. I know I've knocked the mystery of the past two flavors, but I'll admit the mystery of this flavor had me hooked like a red herring. After some thought, the flavor mystery was solved: this tastes like the physical manifestation of what ice cream shops smell like! Cake cones and sweet cream with a hint of roasted coffee and melted chocolate in the air. The chocolate covered wafers--while not "crunchy" as the flavor name would suggest--are a delightful new mix-in and the nougat gives that hint of Charleston Chew nostalgia. My favorite of the new flavors.

In a future post, I will discuss Ben & Jerry's Frozen Greek Yogurt.

1 comment:

Dawn @ Kitchen Lore said...

That's disappointing - I can usually trust Ben and Jerry's to use good ingredients.