Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ben & Jerry's Vanilla Caramel Fudge (An Ice Cream Review)

I was recently alerted by a concerned reader that my ice cream reviews are “lackluster,” as I don’t know very much about this delicious indulgence. So be forewarned: a simple flavor and a lackluster reviewer are about to collide.

I know, the title says Ben & Jerry’s, so how can it be boring, right? Well, when you look at some of their more unique offerings, like What A Cluster, Chocolate Nougat Crunch, Phish Food, Milk and Cookies...(the list goes on)...well, a flavor like Vanilla Caramel Fudge just doesn’t stand out except in its plainness.

It’s simply “Vanilla Ice Cream with Swirls of Caramel and Fudge.” How many other companies have something similar, if not exactly the same? I mean, they couldn’t even come up with a witty name for this one!

And yet...that fudge busting through the top glistens with mouthwatering intensity. I haven’t even scooped, and already it looks thick, dense, and gooey.

Gooey? Check! In fact, this ice cream is as easy to scoop straight from the freezer as Talenti’s gelatos usually are. Which is rare because B&J’s usually gives me a pretty good workout! But there is so much caramel and fudge, and both are so liquid-y, that the ice cream has a much softer, creamier texture. It’s almost like eating a pint of swirls. This is the gooiest Ben & Jerry’s flavor ever!

So, sorry to get lackluster again, but there’s only so much you can say about vanilla ice cream with caramel and chocolate swirls. I can’t say the vanilla really stands out; it’s pretty much just there to mix the swirls into. The fudge is everywhere, so basically it’s like eating chocolate. The caramel isn’t nearly as prominent in frequency or flavor, which is disappointing for me since I prefer the caramel...but I suppose chocolate fans will be satisfied. I prefer the stronger caramel in Karamel Sutra or Dulce Delish.

Overall, though, B&J’s hasn’t come up with anything special here. I could achieve the same effect by dousing plain vanilla ice cream in chocolate and caramel syrup, and for a lot less money and calories. Not that it’s a bad flavor in itself; just not worth the $3.79/pint that I paid.
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