Friday, October 19, 2012

Karamel Sutra: The Return of Ben & Jerry

Guess what...after a hiatus, Ben & Jerry are back! They return with one of my old favorites--Karamel Sutra (and they had to rename Clusterfluff!). I used to buy this from the little convenience store near my dorm when I lived on campus and needed to use up extra meal points. I haven’t had it since last winter, so needless to say I was pretty excited!

“A core of soft caramel encircled by chocolate & caramel ice creams & fudge chips.”
This flavor has been around for a while, but recently I’ve seen it emerging in reference to a new line of “Core” ice creams, about which there seems to be frustratingly little information. I’m not even sure if they’re all available in the United States--for sure I’ve never seen the other two, “Dough-ble Whammy” and “Berry White.” I can only find them on the UK page. Shame on you, Ben & Jerry. They sound delicious (well, maybe not the berry one).

Anyway, we still have their lovely cousin, so let’s dig in!

It’s hard to see, but there is some core already oozing out the top there. (It’s on the left, right along the divide between chocolate and caramel ice creams.) It’s a lot more obvious once you start scooping what you’re in for:

Oooh, I just love caramel! And this isn’t just any caramel. It’s thick, gooey, chewy in its own right. Not just caramel sauce but real substantial stuff. It has a life of its own.

You can see lots of little chocolate chips, too. They’re only in the chocolate ice cream, which isn’t explicitly mentioned in the description, but in this case I think it works. They are really crunchy, which is a good contrast to the goopy caramel, but I still like the size of the fudge fish in Phish Food better.

I’ve seen complaints about the caramel ice cream tasting little different from boring old vanilla, but I found it to have a very discernible and pleasant caramel flavor, even absent glops of swirl. It’s waay creamy and super easy to scoop, which isn’t the case for the chocolate. One thing I’ve noticed about Ben & Jerry’s chocolate ice cream (absent mix-ins like the gooey Phish Food marshmallow) is it’s always harder than other flavors. Actually, I’ve found that to be the case with most chocolate ice cream, like the Penn State Creamery and even Edy’s as well. So it’s not purely a B&J’s phenomenon, but it’s really noticeable since their premium ice cream is already super-dense. Just to be clear, I am sooo not complaining here!

The bottom line is, I wish there were more mix-ins and yes, this is one of Ben & Jerry’s less exciting flavors--BUT it is still freaking amazing. Especially the caramel core. So yeah, definitely a success and repeat freezer resident here!
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