Way back in 2011, before The Tonight Dough, Ben & Jerry’s and Jimmy Fallon collaborated for Late Night Snack, which threw clusters of chocolate-covered potato chips into vanilla bean ice cream with swirls of salted caramel. It was a great flavor that I regrettably only scooped once until it disappeared in 2015.
In 2020, appearing right around the annual 4/20 festivities, Ben & Jerry’s has a new collaboration with another TV giant, streaming content king Netflix, that also also features potato chips.
Chip Happens, inspired by the baking competition show Nailed It, combines “a cold mess of chocolate ice cream with fudge chips & crunchy potato chip swirls.”
The chocolate ice cream isn’t listed on the container as anything unique or new for B&J’s, but it looks lighter in color than what I’m used to in classics like Phish Food.
The initial flavor also tastes slightly different. It’s milkier and lighter with an almost malty undertone. It has a lightness to it that reminds me of vintage malt cups, but in the best possible way. Is this an altered base, or has the salty swirl seeped so much into the chocolate that it modifies it by accident? Either way, it works well as a base for this flavor.
The fudge chips are nothing to write home about, just a smaller, more palatable version of B&J’s oft-used fudge flakes. Even though they’re unremarkable in flavor, I appreciate their smaller size, which leads to a softer texture. Not like actual fudge or ganache, but meltier and darker than the milk chocolate-leaning base.
Where this pint shines, and no doubt had to shine to be anything close to a stand out scoop, is the potato chip swirl. It’s thick, crunchy, and salty in a way that I can’t really wrap my head around.
The only times chips, pretzels, or cereals have been successful in ice cream is when they’re coated in chocolate or a thick glaze, and as far as I can tell, this is pure chip. It tastes like someone took a handful of Lay’s and tossed them right on top of the ice cream, maintaining all of the texture and fried potato flavor like they came straight from the bag.
I’ll admit I wasn’t too excited when I found this limited release Netflix flavor at Target before the first one, Netflix & Chill’d. It’s chocolate chocolate chip ice cream with some potato chips. How good could it be?! Turns out a lot better than I thought, and oddly addictive.
If this also had a caramel swirl, it would’ve ranked among my favorite Ben & Jerry’s of all time. But even without it, if you’re a fan of sweet and salty or not-too-sweet chocolate indulgences, this one’s for you. A simple textural treat that I will be happily buying again.
Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: One Pint
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 390 calories, 24 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 31 grams of total sugars, 6 grams of protein.