Saturday, March 2, 2013

NEW Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Peppermint Crunch (An Ice Cream Review)

OK, we’re two full months into the new year, and you know what that means...Ben & Jerry’s 2013 flavors should be appearing soon! I’ve heard tell of a few being spotted, but aside from the new Greek Froyo flavor Liz Lemon (which I have  no interest in), I had yet to see any. Until yesterday.

Yep, I stopped at Giant fully intending to buy a pint of Phish Food Froyo, but, sitting right below it on the freezer shelf, was (not even on their website yet)...

Chocolate Peppermint Crunch! (Sorry for the terrible lighting...)
“Chocolate and Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint and Fudge Swirls and Mint Chocolate Cookie Balls”
Now, I’ll admit that I don’t really like peppermint. It’s just not something I go out of my way to eat. But it is Girl Scout Cookie season, and I love my once-a-year Thin Mints, only this year’s don’t seem as minty as I remember in the past.... Hold on, we’re talking about ice cream here. Let’s just say the minty mood hit me last night, and Dubba’s review at On Second Scoop convinced me to open this up.

Wow, I haven’t even dug in (except a little taste from the upper right, hehe), and already every component is visible: we have the white, liquidy peppermint swirl, some ribbons of chocolate swirl on the right, and a few cookie balls peeking through the top layer. Oh, and the chocolate ice cream.

You can’t overlook that chocolate ice cream. This is what makes Ben & Jerry my all-time ice cream heros. The base is so deep and dark and flavorful that I would almost be satisfied just eating is alone. (Almost, but not quite.) Which is saying something, because I’m totally a light-colored base gal--cake batter, sweet cream, caramel, heck even vanilla. But this chocolate is supernatural in its awesomeness.

The next-best part...well, it’s either the cookies or the fudge swirl. The swirl is hard to see, but you can definitely taste it when you get an extra-chocolatey burst of flavor. The cookie balls are like Whoppers in texture, but instead of malt they taste like Thin Mints. I don’t like Whoppers (although Chocolate Nougat Crunch won me over),  but these are awesome little balls of goodness. And they really do pack a crunch. Plus, they’re literally everywhere--AT LEAST one in every spoonful!

The cookie balls really don’t contribute that much to the peppermint flavor when compared to the peppermint swirl that runs through this pint. It is the heart of the “Peppermint” in “Chocolate Peppermint Crunch.” Ben & Jerry have managed to liquidize the filling in a York Peppermint Patty and swirled it with their premium chocolate base to create a peppermint tone that leaves no corner of the pint untouched. Even where the swirls weren’t, the flavor still was.

Once this ice cream reaches that super creamy, semi-melted consistency, it’s absolutely perfect. Heaven on Earth. It’s the chocolate base that really steals the show for me, but the whole thing was very enjoyable. Despite the heavier 300 calories per serving, and the fact that I don’t usually like peppermint, I think this one will return to my freezer. Great job Ben & Jerry on your first new flavor of the year!

But I still bought the Phish Food. :)
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