Hi, everyone.Â Iâ€™m Drew, and youâ€™re reading The Impulsive Buy.Â Well, the holiday season is almost here, and if youâ€™re not an avid Delicious Dish listener like me, you may have missed this tidbit: frequent guest Pete Schweddy has sold his Seasonâ€™s Eatings bakery to ice cream chain Ben & Jerryâ€™s.Â This is good news for consumers nationwide who have long dreamed of enjoying those famous balls, but were prevented by distance from doing so.Â Thankfully B&Jâ€™s didn’t leave us hanging, developing a new flavor that Mr. Schweddy has repeatedly expressed a desire to dip his balls into.Â And now itâ€™s finally ready to be thrust upon the general public.
Even so, donâ€™t think it was easy.Â Schweddy Balls was released over a month ago, but it proved surprisingly hard to find.Â I had to visit a lot of places, some less savory than others; but finally my persistence paid off and I was able to get my hands on Schweddy Balls.Â Let’s give it a once-over, shall we?
The first thing that jumps out at you about Schweddy Balls is the color — very, very white, with just a few visible black spots that might concern you at first.Â No worries though, as closer inspection reveals them to be malt balls and fudge-covered rum balls.Â Yes, that’s right: B&J’s subscribes to the notion that if one ball is good, two are clearly better. The texture, as you’d expect, is quite different between the two varieties.Â The rum ones, though lent some firmness by the fudge, are still fairly soft and squishy.Â In contrast, the malt balls are quite hard and (be warned) make a loud noise when chewed.Â No lie, my wife was actively annoyed by how loudly I was crunching my balls next to her.
Noise aside, both kinds of balls are pleasing to the tongue, the fudge and rum melding into a nice richness and the malt balls being… well, basically just regular malt balls.Â They’re smaller than you mightâ€™ve expected, perhaps due to the cold.Â In addition, they’re spread quite liberally throughout the mixture, so if you were worried about there not being enough balls to go around, think again.
The other thing you’ll notice right away about Schweddy Balls is the smell — if you put your nose right up there, you can really detect the rum fragrance.Â Unfortunately, that also leads me to the biggest problem: the aroma is far stronger than the taste.Â Perhaps in fear of overwhelming their audience, B&J’s made the hint of rum much less than a hint.Â It’s barely detectable on its own, so you’re essentially just eating vanilla ice cream with balls in it.Â Plentiful balls, to be sure, but not so much so that you’ll have one in every bite.Â Probably half of your spoonfuls will just be vanilla ice cream; and while B&J’s know how to make a decent vanilla, it still couldâ€™ve benefited from a fudge swirl or something to keep things interesting.Â You have to feel bad for Pete Schweddy, with the entire weight of the dish resting on his balls.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t briefly mention the durability of Schweddy Balls.Â This may be a non-factor for most of you, but I purchased a carton on my lunch break, stored it in the work freezer, and then took a 40-minute car ride to a van rental place, a 10-minute wait, a 5-minute drive to a furniture store, 10 minutes of loading a table and chairs into the van, and a 5-minute drive to my house before it saw the inside of a freezer again.Â Yet when I opened the carton the next day, there were no signs it had melted even a little.Â Give them credit, those balls held up remarkably well.
I really wanted to give this flavor a higher score, because of both the salacious name and those panties-in-a-bunch parent groups protesting it being in stores while their kids are home viewing the original sketch on Hulu.Â But while I’d love to tell you there’s no beating these balls, that’s just not true — they can be beaten, and beaten soundly, by many of B&J’s other flavors.Â Weighted against average, everyday ice cream, this holds up pretty well.Â But we’ve come to expect a lot more from those gentlemen from Vermont, and unfortunately their Schweddy Balls just don’t quite measure up.Â It’s not terrible, but with the exception of the titular item, is just somewhat underwhelming.
(Nutrition Facts — 1/2 cup — 270 calories, 140 calories from fat, 15 grams of total fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 26 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)
Item: Ben & Jerry’s Schweddy Balls
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Wegman’s
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Obscure “The State” references FTW.Â The longer you search for Schweddy Balls, the more satisfying it is when you find it.Â Carton references the “racy double entendres” of the original skit.Â Plenty of balls to go around.Â Plaid logo = nice little touch.Â Rum/fudge balls are succulent and rich.Â I got paid money to make fifty ball jokes — deal with it.
Cons: Malt balls make loud, annoying sound when chewed.Â Kind of bland when you don’t get a ball in your mouth.Â Doesn’t 26 grams of sugar just mean they dumped an entire jar of sugar in the carton?Â Missed opportunity for “Waffle Coneheads” and “Chocolate Chip in a Box” cross-promotions.Â Rum scent more powerful than rum flavor.Â Ball jokes stopped being funny after the first three.