Monday, August 5, 2013

Ben & Jerry's 7-Eleven Exclusive Nutty Caramel Swirl

When Ben & Jerry’s introduced their 7-Eleven exclusive Nutty Caramel Swirl, I lamented the fact that there were no 7-Elevens close enough to pick up a pint. But then, several fortuitous events happened in such a sequence as to make trying this flavor a possibility.

First I entered true recovery, meaning I eat at least 3,000 calories per day while sedentary. Then I went on vacation in Virginia Beach, being more active than usual, meaning I’d ideally eat 4,000+. The first night we were there, I tried to order a mini Vermonster from one of the B&J’s scoop shops along Atlantic Avenue, but they wouldn’t make one for me. So there I was at the end of the day, with my stomach grossly distended and uncomfortably full from eating half a pizza and a basket of fries and a little brownie sundae from said scoop shop, with a daunting 2,000 calories looming ahead of me and I was in a panic. Until we asked the guy at the front desk of our hotel where to buy a loaf of bread (for peanut butter sandwiches), and he told us about the 7-Eleven two blocks away.

We didn’t come back with bread. We came back with ice cream.

And yes, I ate the whole pint. At once. That’s 1,240 calories. In much less volume than 1,240 calories of peanut butter sandwiches.

As soon as I opened it up, the smell of peanuts overwhelmed me. And no wonder! Even just looking at the surface, they’re everywhere. So are the fudge chunks. No caramel swirl yet, but I trust that it’s waiting below.

And there it is! It’s certainly saltier than most of B&J’s caramel swirls, more akin to the one in Late Night Snack than the others. And it seems rather infrequent and thin, even though it packs in the taste. Maybe they just couldn’t fit any more in; despite the terrible lighting above, you can still tell just how packed this ice cream is. It’s literally impossible to scoop only the base. Nonetheless, it’s super creamy just like any super-premium ice cream. It’s hard to get a read on with all the chocolate and peanuts, but it comes across as a nice mellow background for all that action. I think this could be a really good base for another ice cream--maybe one that’s not quite so busy. I do love nougat.

The fudge chunks, at least on top, weren’t frozen and melted dreamily on my tongue. They’re B&J’s typical milk chocolate chunks, nothing too special and not enormous, but definitely enough to create a strong chocolate presence. Further down I think they stayed frozen, because they seemed more crunchy and less chocolatey. The peanuts were...well, peanutty. They weren’t overwhelming, in fact I wouldn’t even say the main flavor is peanuts. It’s a weird conglomeration of all the elements, and it’s good.

I still wish there were more caramel, and I wouldn’t complain if the rest of it were a little tamer, but this one is another winner. And it quite literally saved the day.
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