Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Rocky-ish Road (An Ice Cream Review)

So by now you probably know that I regard Ben & Jerry as the gods of ice cream. I finally got myself over the price ($4.99 per pint!) after I dug up a container left over from last spring’s can’t-let-your-meal-points-go-to-waste splurge on campus. It made me realize that, while less premium brands may be good, you really can’t beat the masters. Unless their Froyo has been subjected to harsh conditions for many, many months.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand. So far, I’ve really only written about flavors I’ve had before. (The exceptions being Chocolate Therapy and Phish Food Froyo, but that doesn’t really count because I’d eaten the full-fat version on more than one occasion.) Since that’s cheating (and also because--gasp--I’ve never actually had Rocky Road ice cream before), I decided to break out the pint of Rocky Road-ish in the basement freezer.

“Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream with a Toasted Marshmallow Swirl & Fudge Covered Almonds”
Not only is it NEW!, but it’s also a Limited Batch! I’ve read about people already being unable to find it anymore. With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on us and the pretty much guaranteed power outages lasting several days, I was terrified of never getting to try this flavor again. I couldn’t let that happen!

I was on the fence about buying this, because while the “toasted marshmallow” parts screamed “buy me!” the almonds warned me away. See, I’m a no-almonds-in-my-chocolate kind of person (and nuts in my world have no place in ice cream). But just looking at that toasted marshmallow swirl, I think I can deal with the almonds. It almost looks like a graham cracker swirl...oh, now I want to try B&J’s S’mores!

You could see a fair amount of almonds in the last picture, but once I started scooping they were everywhere! Hmm, I always applaud Ben & Jerry on their mix-in abundance, but in this case I’m not sure whether to be excited...on the plus side, the marshmallow swirl is also very plentiful!

I dug in. The base ice cream is pretty sweet, not overwhelming but definitely distinguishable from vanilla. I’m not sure I’d immediately think “toasted marshmallow” if I hadn’t read the description, but I still liked it. The almonds...well, I’m still not a huge fan, but their saltiness was a nice contrast to the sweetness of the rest of the pint.

And the swirl? Easily the best part of the pint for me, but it could definitely be too sweet for someone without such a love of marshmallow. It’s definitely different from the marshmallow swirl in Phish Food, so we know they’re not just making up the “toasted” part. If you look at the pictures above, it almost looks gritty, and it does have a bit of grit to it--until it melts into gooey puddles. I actually dug out the almonds and ate them first, and then saved the swirl for last. It was a huge sugar rush, and it was great!

I’m not sure if I’d buy this again, but I think the base is a keeper (the swirl, too). The only trouble is deciding what other mix-in to use so that marshmallow and marshmallow doesn’t get too...marshmallowy. I definitely enjoyed it, and it was a great(-ish) initiation into the world of Rocky Road. But I think maybe next time I’ll hunt for S’mores.
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