Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ben & Jerry's Walmart Exclusive Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup (An Ice Cream Review)

First off, Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there! How about some Ben & Jerry’s for celebration?

I have to admit I’ve been caught off guard this time by one of Ben & Jerry’s surprise flavor launches. They really ought to have warned me...then I wouldn’t have almost peed myself from excitement in the freezer aisle when I first saw this pint containing the most epic flavor combination ever invented.

That’s right, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup! It’s described as “Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Cups,” it’s a step up from the original Peanut Butter Cup flavor, whose ice cream is just peanut butter.

OK, I’ll be honest...the first time I saw this, I passed after peeking at the nutritionals, but then I reconsidered overnight, found myself at Walmart again the next day, and the rest is history.

The name of this flavor certainly brings great expectations, and the nutrition label better be worth it! There are definitely ample peanut butter cups, and they’re BIG--it was difficult to scoop around them, but they do break/crumble if you apply enough force with the  ice cream scoop. I actually appreciate this physical labor, as it kept me to only putting half the pint into my bowl. :)

These guys make the mini cups in Talenti’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup gelato look like a joke. They’re cut in (approximately) half, but they’re still at least three times the size. These peanut butter monsters are actually what carries this flavor, providing most of the peanut butter taste as well as a creamy, fudgy, rich chocolate. They are, as always, high-quality. I would gladly eat these instead of a Reese’s.

The base, though, fell a little flat. Literally. In adding chocolate to their peanut butter base (or peanut butter to their chocolate base), Ben & Jerry’s has muted both flavors, which were super rich and flavorful all by themselves. This one falls short somewhere in between the salty, nuttiness that peanut butter lovers adore and the deep chocolate that chocoholics crave. The result it, unfortunately, less than stellar. Having experienced the true potential of Ben & Jerry’s peanut butter base in What a Cluster, I can say that this is disappointing. The peanut butter flavor of the base is mild, while the chocolate is funky.

That said, the overall flavor of the ice cream is still overwhelmingly peanut butter, just because of the peanut butter cups. Their size and volume make sure of that. And the base is better after it gets slightly melted; it loses some of its flatness. It certainly melts faster than the pure chocolate base. As I continued eating, the base started tasting less and less peanut buttery and more like plain chocolate--though not the awesome chocolate base I’m used to with B&J’s.

Final verdict: not worth the gut-busting calorie count. It’s really nothing special, especially by B&J’s standards. The base is neither chocolatey nor peanut buttery enough to satisfy either of those cravings, and let’s face it--you could just go eat a peanut butter cup. If the base were either pure chocolate or pure peanut butter, it might be better (but we already have Peanut Butter Cup). I’d also like to see a peanut butter swirl included, because if I’m honest, this combination is just a little boring. It might be worth a try just because it’s an exclusive and limited flavor, but next time I think I’ll spend the extra calories and just buy Peanut Butter Cup.
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