REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Salted Caramel Almond Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry’s Salted Caramel Almond Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry’s Salted Caramel Almond is an exclusive Safeway flavor (plus its sister stores) and, to be honest, it’s not a particularly exciting exclusive flavor.

While Walmart gets Cotton Candy, Confetti Cake, and another flavor that probably starts with the letter C, and Target gets Blonde Ambition, Berry Voluntary, and another flavor that probably starts with the letter B, Safeway stores get a safe flavor with a safe name, which I guess is appropriate for a chain called Safeway.

The safe flavor features safe vanilla bean ice cream with safe roasted almond slivers, safe fudge flakes, and a safe salted caramel swirl.

The vanilla bean ice cream is a solid base, it’s creamy, has a pleasant vanilla flavor, and there are vanilla bean specks. Although those could be tiny bits of the fudge flakes, which taste like the fudge flakes we all know and love from the dozen or so other flavors that have them.

As for the roasted almond slivers, they’re less like whole cross-sections of the nut and more like whole cross-section of the nut smashed into pieces by a hammer. Their flavor isn’t too noticeable while eating the ice cream, but very noticeable as they stick to the nooks and crannies of your molars after the rest of the ice cream has gone down your esophagus. The salted caramel swirl has a saltiness that’s stronger when I lick my lips while eating the ice cream than when the ice cream is in my mouth.

Ben & Jerry’s Salted Caramel Almond Ice Cream 2

There’s almost enough of each ingredient that you can get a bit of everything in every spoonful. With each scoop it’s a textural orchestra of gooey, creamy, snappy, and crunchy and a flavor orchestra of buttery, sweet, salty, and nutty. It’s like eating the top of a Nestle Drumstick beaten with a better ingredient stick.

It’s hard to go wrong with the combination of vanilla ice cream, chocolate, caramel, and nuts. It’s like combining rainbows, glitter, and a unicorn. With either of those combos, you know you’re going to have a good time. And while I had fun with Ben & Jerry’s Salted Caramel Almond Ice Cream, it wasn’t too exciting and tasted like something I’ve had before.

It was a safe fun, like hitting a piñata with a foam bat, without a blindfold, and doing it in the virtual world with VR goggles.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 290 calories, 150 calories from fat, 17 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 70 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: It’s like eating the top of a Nestle Drumstick that’s been beaten with a better ingredient stick. Safe flavor; it’s not weird or offensive. Lots of different flavors and textures.
Cons: Safe flavor; not as exciting as exclusive flavors at Walmart and Target. Almond slivers are almond bits. Fudge flakes seem to be in EVERYTHING.

REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch Candy Bar Pie Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch Candy Bar Pie Ice Cream

I’m not much of a crier. Aside from a few moments scattered throughout the TV series Lost and Tom Hanks losing Wilson to the ocean in Castaway, I pretty much have a heart of stone. But a little bit of that stone was chiseled away when I ate Ben & Jerry’s latest pint, Candy Bar Pie, and the tears came in waterfall fashion.

If you’re wondering why I was crying, it’s for two reasons. The first being the ice cream was just so damn perfect. Rich peanut butter ice cream loaded with nougat, chocolate flakes, and perhaps the greatest ice cream filler ever, pretzel swirls.

Yes, pretzel swirls are real, and they’re fantastic. More salty-sweet goodness than even the most experienced veteran could wrap their taste buds around. Those with lesser developed taste buds should only take small bites of the pretzel swirls at first, as it will be a lot for your buds to handle, and if you take too much too fast your head will most likely explode.

Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch Candy Bar Pie Ice Cream Top

The nougat is pretty much like a Swiss chocolate sauce, which is just chocolate syrup and marshmallow sauce mixed together. When it blends with the peanut butter ice cream it tastes almost like a fluffernutter sandwich. Then you throw the pretzel swirl into the mix and you get even more great taste combos. This ice cream is much like a Take 5 candy bar; it has everything you could want and it tastes even better than it sounds.

I’ve been indulging on Ben & Jerry’s for three-quarters of my life, and honestly, I’m torn between this and the original Chubby Hubby (the one that had chocolate covered peanut butter-filled pretzels, where the one today is just has chocolate covered pretzels) for my favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor. I ate three pints of Candy Bar Pie in one week. I just couldn’t get enough. I was in love! Maybe there is still hope for my heart of stone?

No, there isn’t hope, because my love will be leaving me eventually, departing from her pint form and going back exclusively to Scoop Shops. See, it’s a limited batch, which means it will one day leave grocery stores, and subsequently my hopes and dreams will leave me.

I know it is originally a Scoop Shop flavor but can’t they keep it in a pint in stores? Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops aren’t all that common. Take Rochester, where I grew up. There is one Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop in the city. It isn’t at some centrally located spot either, so chances are you have a decent drive to it. I haven’t been to every major city but the ones I’ve been to have the same deal. And what about the rural areas? There are no Scoop Shops in the rural Midwest, I can tell you that with confidence.

Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch Candy Bar Pie Ice Cream Closeup

There is usually good grocery store access in most places though. Whether it’s Wegmans, Piggly Wiggly, Hy-Vee, Publix or Stater Bros., it doesn’t matter. There’s usually something near you no matter your region. If Candy bar Pie stays in pints, it could potentially save people from a long drive to a Scoop Shop, and save people in rural areas who don’t have access to a Scoop Shop from losing access to the tasty treat altogether.

I mean, imagine if seasons of Lost and every good Tom Hanks movie were just taken off shelves a month after they were released. You’d be sad, angry, or most likely both when you went to go DVD shopping and the titles you wanted were gone forever. It wouldn’t just be a bummer… It would be a SUPER bummer. The worst kind!

Much awareness has been brought to ALS through these ice bucket challenges (which, let’s be honest, unless you’re the Wicked Witch of the West or the Human Torch, really isn’t much of a challenge), so I propose a Candy Bar Pie pint challenge.

The way it works is simple: You film yourself eating a full pint of Candy Bar Pie in one sitting, and then you challenge your friends to do the same thing. They have 24 hours to respond, and if they fail to do so they owe you 100 bucks. Once the oligarchic board of decision makers at Ben & Jerry’s sees how much everybody loves the flavor, they will sprout a collective conscience and make it a permanent pint. So get your pints, spoons and cameras ready, everyone. We’ve got work to do.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 300 calories, 160 calories from fat, 18 grams total fat, 8 grams saturated fat, 55 milligrams cholesterol, 210 milligrams sodium, 31 grams total carbohydrate, 1 gram dietary fiber, 22 grams sugar, and 5 grams protein.)

Item: Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch Candy Bar Pie Ice Cream
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Wegmans
Rating: 10 out of 10
Pros: One of the best tasting Ben & Jerry’s concoctions ever. Pretzel swirls will make you believe in unicorns again. Raising Candy Bar Pie awareness. Saving yourself a few minutes of driving.
Cons: Limited batch oh why God why!? Evil oligarchies having control of flavor decisions. Having a heart of stone. Wilson being lost to the ocean.

REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Jam Session Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Jam Session Ice Cream

Peanut butter and jelly is the quintessential childhood favorite – a sandwich loved by all.

I love it, you love it, Jay-Z loves it. There’s no denying it: the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is more popular than a Princess Leia slave cosplayer at a Star Wars convention. Despite the sandwich’s apparent fame and esteem, surprisingly few people are aware of its origins. How exactly did PB&J come to be?

Late one night, fruit preserve salesman Barnabas B. Goobersworth broke into the laboratory of George Washington Carver. When Goobersworth refused to leave, the situation escalated. What began as a chase around the laboratory developed into a full-fledged food fight, with Goobersworth slinging jelly and Carver tossing peanut butter. After the fiasco, the laboratory was a complete mess. Unfortunately, Carver had forgotten to purchase paper towels at the local Walmart. As a result, he was forced to clean up the peanut butter and jelly debris using a loaf of white bread. The rest is history.

Okay, maybe that never happened, but sometimes history needs to be spiced up a bit. Contrary to popular belief, Napoleon wasn’t that short, Marco Polo didn’t actually bring back pasta from China, and John F. Kennedy never called himself a jelly donut. Shocking, right?

In fact, it seems George Washington Carver wasn’t even the first man to create peanut butter. Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec patented a technique to manufacture peanut paste way back in 1884, only twenty years after Carver was born. Those dang Canucks beat us again!

In 1998, ice cream behemoth Ben & Jerry’s decided to produce a Peanut Butter and Jelly flavor. It lasted but a single year on the market and now resides in the Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard in Waterbury, Vermont.

Nevertheless, Ben & Jerry’s is giving a peanut butter and fruit spread ice cream another go. Peanut Butter Jam Session features peanut butter ice cream with raspberry and crunchy peanut butter swirls. I picked up a carton at Target, where the flavor is being sold exclusively.

Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Jam Session Ice Cream Top

In appearance, Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Jam Session is a creamy, white color tinged with the swirls of light brown peanut butter and red raspberry. The ice cream carries the heavy scent of peanuts, but any presence of raspberry remains undetectable to the nose.

The white ice cream base provides a creamy, nutty flavor and houses the peanut butter and raspberry swirls. The swirls exquisitely complement the ice cream, providing for a delicate balance of sweet and nutty flavors that serve to tantalize the taste buds. Neither flavor manages to overwhelm the other.

The raspberry swirl offers a modest fruity quality to offset the creamy nuttiness of the peanut butter ice cream. The light berry taste pleases the palate with its sweet and toothsome tartness while not crossing over to achingly saccharine.

Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Jam Session Ice Cream Cup

However, the true star of this ice cream is the “crunchy” peanut butter swirl. When I first tasted Peanut Butter Jam Session, I expected my taste buds to be hit with an all too familiar artificial peanut butter flavor — the kind frequently found in snacks such as Reese’s Cups and peanut butter Ritz Bits. Surprisingly, the peanut butter swirl presents a natural nutty taste without seeming too bold.

Texturally, the swirl is spot-on: the globs of crunchy peanut butter scattered throughout the ice cream introduce a slightly grainy consistency similar to chunky peanut butter. After consuming a bowl of Peanut Butter Jam Session, you will actually feel like you’ve recently eaten peanut butter.

In the past, I’ve experienced numerous Ben & Jerry’s varieties where the flavors contributed by the add-ins become drowned out by the richness of the ice cream base. Fortunately, the assortment of flavors housed inside a pint of Peanut Butter Jam Session can be experienced without hindrance, as no single flavor outdoes the others. The ice cream’s balance of nutty and sweet flavors has been executed with remarkable finesse, and I highly urge peanut butter fans to rush to their nearest Target to pick up a carton. I would happily purchase this flavor again.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 270 calories, 160 calories from fat, 18 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 19 grams of sugars, and 6 grams of protein.)

Other Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Jam Session reviews:
On Second Scoop

Item: Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Jam Session Ice Cream
Purchased Price: $3.84
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Flavor swirls complement each other well. Balanced nuttiness and sweetness. Princess Leia slave cosplayers.
Cons: Goobersworth. Food fights in laboratories.

NEWS: Ben & Jerry’s Releases New Flavors and Greek Frozen Yogurt

Ben & Jerry's truck

Update: Click here to read our Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt review

On Second Scoop recently discovered some of Ben & Jerry’s new flavors at his local grocery store.

The first flavor, Chocolate Therapy, isn’t new new, it debuted in 2005 as a limited batch and it’s been available at Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops for years, but it’s back in pint form. The concoction is made up of chocolate ice cream with chocolate cookies and swirls of chocolate pudding ice cream. The second flavor, Chocolate Nougat Crunch, is definitely new new and it consists of sweet cream ice cream with fudge covered wafer cookies and a chocolate nougat swirl.

Ben & Jerry’s also released a line of Greek Frozen Yogurt and Junk Food Guy reviewed the Strawberry Shortcake flavor, which is strawberry Greek frozen yogurt with shortbread pieces mixed in. In the review, he also mentions other flavors available at his local Giant store, like Raspberry Chocolate and Blueberry Graham Cracker.

According to this post on Houston on the Cheap, Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop are replacing their frozen yogurt with the new Greek frozen yogurt line. The flavors include Vanilla, Raspberry Fudge Chunk, Blackberry Vanilla Graham Cracker, and Banana Peanut Butter.

While the two ice cream flavors are nice, I’m excited about the Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt line, especially the Banana Peanut Butter flavor. Oh, if only Elvis was alive today, I’m sure he would also be excited about the Banana Peanut Butter flavor.

Image via flickr user lsiegert / CC BY 2.0

NEWS: I Hope Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch Rocky Road-ish Is Delicious-ish and Creamy-ish

Rocky Road on Round Knob

Update: Click here to read our Rocky Road-ish review

With flavors like Karamel Sutra and Schweddy Balls, I thought Ben & Jerry’s new Limited Batch Rocky Road-ish honored pornstar Rocki Roads, but it does not. Not only does it not honor Ms. Roads, it also doesn’t have any chocolate ice cream, hence the name Rocky Road-ish.

Instead of chocolate ice cream, which is standard for the rocky road flavor, the limited edition ice cream is made up of toasted marshmallow ice cream with a toasted marshmallow swirl and fudge covered almonds. With that much marshmallow I’m surprised the creative folk at Ben & Jerry’s, who love pop culture references, didn’t call this ice cream Stay Nutt Marshmallow Man.

On Second Scoop has a review of the new flavor.

A 1/2 cup serving has 250 calories, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 24 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

Image via flickr user dmott9 / CC BY ND 2.0