When it comes to the snack game, few things are as fun and exciting as a good mashup. Two culinary titans colliding to create one new product tends to send the masses (at least those that frequent blogs like this) into a spiral of excitement — Peeps Oreo. Mountain Dew Doritos. Kellogg’s Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie cereal. And now, just in time for Valentine’s Day…a Chocolatey Love A-Fair.
The new pint from Ben & Jerry’s and Tony’s Chocolonely combines chocolate ice cream with salted caramel swirls, caramel chunks, and sea salt fudge chunks. In keeping with Tony’s mission statement to end modern slavery in cocoa farming, this new flavor uses fair trade cocoa that’s traceable via Tony’s open chain. Delicious AND good for the workers? Hell yeah.
This pint isn’t exactly what I expected, but it is really good. The chocolate ice cream is incredible. I’m a fan of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate base, but this has an extra depth and richness from the amount of saltiness floating within the mix-ins. It truly tastes and feels like a salted chocolate base with a brilliant, bittersweet flavor that tempers perfectly. A similar sensation happens with Glampfire Trail Mix from the pretzel swirl — the base itself isn’t different, but what’s in it changes the dynamic. This may be the best chocolate base I’ve had from B&J. For a grocery shelf available product, it is elite.
The salted caramel swirl isn’t as prominent here as in some of my other favorites, like Phish Food, but it pops up a couple of times in pleasant little globs. I have a feeling a lot of the caramel seeped into the base, which I can’t be too mad about because it has such a dynamic depth that the sticky sweet caramel is just a nice little bonus when I find it, as opposed to being necessary for satisfaction.
What threw me off initially were the mix-ins. When I read “caramel chunks” and “sea salt fudge chunks,” I think squishy, or at the very least soft and somewhat ganache-adjacent, but that’s not the case here. The sea salt fudge chunks are much closer to the classic B&J fudge flakes, but they have a legitimate salty pop that cuts through the base brilliantly. I tend to think B&J “fudge chunks” (basically big chocolate chips) always taste better in shapes like the fish in Phish Food than when they’re flakes, and that same rule applies here. They’re firm and snappy but still have a melt-in-your-mouth quality once chewed.
The caramel chunks are even more unique. They’re crunchy and crackly, like the outside of caramel corn meets Buncha Crunch, with a gently sweet buttery flavor. I expected something like a smaller version of a caramel that comes wrapped in plastic from the grocery store that gets melted down for caramel apples, but it’s its own thing entirely, and it works.
Chocolatey Love A-Fair doesn’t reinvent the wheel by any means, but it delivers a legitimately delicious sweet and salty scooping experience that should please fans of both Ben & Jerry’s indulgent pints and Tony’s high quality cocoa expertise.
DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample from Ben & Jerry’s. Doing so did not influence my review.
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: One Pint
Purchased at: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup, 136g) 360 calories, 21 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 35 grams of total sugars, and 6 grams of protein.