The Impulsive Buy

REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert

As a young lad, I used to think the term “lactose intolerant” was really “lack toast and tolerant,” and I was fascinated whenever I met someone with the condition.

In my mind these people lacked sufficient amounts of toast and were extremely understanding. Not having friends who were lactose intolerant, I never heard the phrase much other than a few times growing up, so my illusion was shattered when I figured out what the term really meant in high school.

They say you don’t really know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes, then have your faces surgically switched like in the Travolta/Cage classic Face/Off, drop their kids off at school, work their job, come home, tell your new family about your day over dinner, and sleep with their spouse. Unfortunately I’ve never done this because I don’t have the patience to talk about my day with strangers, but I have, at select points in life, went a few days without having dairy. And it stunk!

I mean, could you imagine not having Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? Well, now you don’t have to. Nor should you. It’s not a fun scenario to imagine.

Ben & Jerry’s answered non-dairy prayers everywhere with their new line of Non-Dairy Frozen Desserts, which are made with almond milk. Now lactose intolerant peeps everywhere can be friends with two of the coolest dudes around!

But how does it compare to regular Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? Pretty darn good. There are many noticeable differences but given the aim of the product is for non-dairy folk to be able to partake, they’re easily looked over.

The flavors are most modeled after already existing flavors, like this one, Chocolate Fudge Brownie. I noticed right upon opening the pint there is no distinct smell to the ice cream. The moment you dig your spoon in you’ll find the consistency is very different from the dairy version. The dessert is crumbly when you bite into it. It’s not nearly as creamy as the dairy version; it’s actually kind of dry.

The chocolate flavor is not nearly as sweet as the dairy kind. It’s more of a bitter flavor, kind of like a light dark chocolate. Although not as good as the ice cream, it’s something you would be happy eating if you couldn’t have the dairy version.

I don’t know for sure if the brownies are made with almond milk, too, but if I had to guess I would say they were. They are packed with flavor like the dairy version but they are much drier. Usually Ben & Jerry’s brownies have some moistness to them but these brownies have the feel of next day brownies, when you leave the brownies out for a bit and they dry out. Still really tasty, just a tad dry.

The brownies actually come from Greyston’s, a bakery in New York, which aims to provide jobs for low-income residents, so you can feel extra good about eating them.

Overall, the non-dairy frozen dessert isn’t as good as the ice cream version but it’s still really tasty and would please lactose intolerant folks and ice cream snobs alike. The worst part is the price, which ran me $5.49 for the pint. Yikes! A bit excessive, but if you’ve never experienced Ben & Jerry’s because you’re lactose intolerant, it’s worth the plunge.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 200 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Wegmans
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Good flavors for not being real ice cream. Face-switching surgery. Non-dairy folks having prayers answered.
Cons: Ice cream and brownies are a tad dry. Lacking sufficient toast. Having your illusions shattered.