Pot smokers, couch-dwelling sports fans, and menstruaters rejoice! Sweet and salty have been reduced to their lowest common denominators and magically recombined to form the freaky wonder that is Ben & Jerry’s Late Night Snack ice cream.
Hell, provided it’s available in your immediate area and you’re as curiosity-driven as I am, you’ve probably already tried the stuff. It has been a little while, and this ice cream is a smidge high profile, on account of the late night talk circuit involvement. I, for one, am willing to throw caution to the wind and try anything Stephen Colbert claims is tasty. I see this as one fun and easy way to fulfill my monthly patriotic acts quota. I’m now just one eagle cuddle away from being done for April!
Sorry to be late for 420 day, too, but I’m guessing most of the dedicated celebrants out there will understand. Any time can be munchies time. It’s all relative, and it’s all good.
I’ve been jogging my ass off to make up for all these ice cream reviews. Somehow Late Night Snack just feels more hip-widening than Ben & Jerry’s other offerings, even though it really isn’t any worse. Every pint they produce is already verging on a caloric supernova. If they tried adding any more, I’m pretty sure their products would explode, and then slowly begin absorbing everything else in the freezer aisle, from the neighboring Häagen-Dazs all the way to the Hungry Man entrees. Anyone brave enough to try a spoonful would instantly blow up like the Stay Puft marshmallow man. As is, it takes at least two pints of the stuff to attain that kind of comical weight gain. Not that I know.
Maybe, and I’m just throwing this hypothesis out there, the riotously calorie-rich issue at hand is the chocolate covered potato chip clusters. Similar to a rice crispy treat in texture, fresh deer poo in appearance, and a chocolate drenched kettle chip in flavor, they’re sprinkled liberally and fairly evenly throughout the ice cream like little treasure nuggets. I have a feeling South Park’s Chef would either highly approve of these salty balls or sue the company for stealing his lucrative vision.
The clusters are surrounded by a protective chocolatey armor roughly the texture and thickness of the outside of a Butterfinger bar, which sometimes manages to preserve a good crunch but more often than not fails, allowing the sogginess to creep in as the ice cream thaws. This is sad, because the crunchy clusters are far tastier than their squishier friends. I felt compelled to shovel the ice cream in faster and finish the pint in one sitting just to preserve the little balls of joy.
The base for this tour de force is vanilla ice cream, with a salty caramel swirl which I found to be kind of thin in places. I would happily eat these two elements on their own, but that flavor would probably be a store brand, gallon-size-only offering in this Xtreme day and age. If wanted to go that route, I might as well buy a Costco-sized drum of Neapolitan and softly lull my taste buds into an eternal frozen slumber. Ben & Jerry’s leads the pack, time and again, ratcheting the ice cream norm up about ten notches, I suspect through controlled exposure to sandalwood essence and the tunes of Iron and Wine, plus a pinch of good, old-fashioned stoner ingenuity. No spoon? No problem. You’ve got Fritos. They’re sturdy AND 100 percent more edible. BAM. A food revolution is born.
Initially, the flavor is a nice blend of chocolate, vanilla, and caramel with a salty edge. But the aftertaste? As long as you manage to scoop up a cluster or two, it’s pure potato chip. Somehow the two never clash or overlap. They just peacefully and deliciously co-exist. The world could learn a thing or two from this ice cream. Namely, that the key to harmony lies in coating everything in chocolate and then adding salt. Lots of salt. I apologize again to the lactose intolerant community. Attaining world peace is going to be a bit tougher for you guys.
The biggest problem arises when you stop eating this ice cream, because the sweet amalgam is no longer there to continuously balance out the potato chip essence, which lingers. Everything about this flavor practically begs for continual consumption. If you notice my giant pasty form lumbering through the streets of New York sometime soon, sporting a jaunty sailor’s cap and little else, well, you know who to call. What? Wait, no. The authorities. Call the authorities.
(Nutrition Facts – ½ cup – 270 calories, 140 calories from fat, 15 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 21 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 10% calcium, 0% vitamin C, and 0% iron.)
Item: Ben & Jerry’s Late Night Snack
Size: 1 Pint
Purchased at: Albertson’s
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Salted caramel. Eagle cuddling. Fresh, unthawed chocolate covered potato chip clusters. Ice cream by the drum, in theory. Stoner ingenuity. Jaunty sailor caps. Ben & Jerry’s not skimping on the clusters. Frito-based revolutions.
Cons: Deer crap ice cream. Caloric black holes. Soggy potato chip balls. The lingering, persistent aftertaste of soggy potato chip balls. Ice cream by the drum, in practice. Becoming the Stay Puft mascot. Caramel swirl thins out in places. Lactose intolerant community unable to participate in my vision of world peace.