Right about now you’re saying, “Seriously Drew, another damn Ben & Jerry’s review? Do you ever give it a rest, man?” No, shut up. Ben & Jerry’s is usually awesome, so the more I review, the better it is for you, me, and everyone except my waistline and militant vegans. (Is that a thing?) Also, it helps me feel closer to Vermont ever since I stopped skiing back in high school. It’s either this or gay marriage, and I can’t live with another dude long term — who would keep me from wallowing in my own filth?
Today is a twofer because B&J’s seemingly can’t stop themselves from releasing new ice cream flavors, two of the latest being Chocolate Nougat Crunch and Rocky Road-ish. I always get a little skittish when the “-ish” suffix is used, because so often it’s used in the context of things like “soon-ish” or “pretty-ish” or “meat-ish.” But in this case I’m willing to take that chance, because I know you all are counting on me. -Ish.
The Chocolate Nougat Crunch promises sweet cream ice cream with wafer cookies covered in fudge and a chocolate nougat swirl. That uncomfortable feeling you have right now is your taste buds needing to change their underwear. It sounds delicious, but I’m even happier to report that it largely tastes that way too.
Sweet cream is a personal favorite of mine, and this flavor presents a very good version of it, not simply vanilla masquerading as sweet cream. The chocolate nougat swirl is rich and forms a nice contrast with the sweet cream. The part about wafer cookies is slightly misleading, in that you might have been expecting actual large(-ish) cookies floating around inside the carton, but will instead get various small chunks. I’m not complaining because they’re plentiful, taste good, and provide some nice texture contrast, but there’s not a strong wafer taste to them. Maybe it’s because I grew up on Nilla Wafers, but I have certain expectations for what a wafer tastes like, and these weren’t it. Not a big problem since they’re still tasty, but don’t buy the flavor for your wafer fix. [Insert Catholic Church joke here.]
Whereas Chocolate Nougat Crunch is a new flavor, Rocky Road-ish is a limited batch, which in theory means they only created so much of it and they’re not making more. Not sure what the big difference is — if a new flavor doesn’t catch on, won’t it essentially have been a limited batch too? — but if you want to try some, better do it soon. And trust me: you DO want to try some. The description on the back describes it as “kinda like Rocky Road, but different,” and that’s definitely true. It might be more accurate to call it Reverse Rocky Road, since instead of being chocolate ice cream with marshmallows and almonds in it, it’s toasted marshmallow ice cream with marshmallow swirl and fudge-covered almonds.
Given that, I was downright surprised by how much I liked it — I thought I’d really miss the strong chocolate presence, but the toasted marshmallow flavor ends up being really, really good without tasting precisely like marshmallow. I know that sounds confusing, but it’s more vaguely evocative of a marshmallow rather than tasting exactly like one. I’m not complaining, though, because it’s very rich and the fudge-covered almonds are plentiful. I can’t say the swirl was particularly noticeable, which kind of makes sense since it’s the same flavor as the ice cream, but then why even bother including the swirl? It’s like a Michael Bay movie poster advertising tons of explosions and zero plot. I mean… yes, but we kind of knew that already.
If you were waiting for the day Ben & Jerry’s would completely and utterly fail me, it may yet come to pass, but certainly not today. No, today I got to review two good to very good flavors, the better of which is unfortunately only available for a limited time. The standard caveats apply — this is far from health food, scoop out a predetermined measure or you’re just going to eat the entire pint like you did the night that jerk/bitch broke your heart — but otherwise, have at it. Can’t go wrong with either of them.
(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – Rocky Road-ish – 250 calories, 110 calories from fat, 12 grams of total fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 24 grams of sugars, 4 grams of protein. Chocolate Nougat Crunch — 250 calories, 120 calories from fat, 13 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 25 grams of sugars, 4 grams of protein.)
Other Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Nougat Crunch reviews:
On Second Scoop
Item: Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Nougat Crunch and Limited Batch Rocky Road-ish
Price: $4.59 each
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Giant
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Chocolate Nougat Crunch)
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Rocky Road-ish)
Pros: Another damn Ben & Jerry’s review. Feeling closer to Vermont. Sweet cream that tastes like sweet cream. Reverse Rocky Road. Good texture both, with plentiful wafer chunks/almonds, respectively. Going two for two.
Cons: Militant vegans. The “-ish” suffix like 99% of the time. Not the prettiest photographs. Doesn’t taste like Nilla Wafers. Michael Bay movies. Temptation to eat until you’re scraping the bottom of the carton is strong.