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Exploring Ben and Jerry’s ice cream

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The advent of lighter calorie ice cream has instilled in me an idea that eating an entire pint in one sitting is not the worst thing I could do on a Friday night… or Monday night, or Sunday morning. Brands like Halo Top, Breyer’s Delight and Enlightened are pioneers in the movement towards ice cream with fewer calories, less fat and sugar, with the “same” flavor (this part is debatable). The market’s proliferation has drawn my favorite two boys into the mix: Ben and Jerry. A few months ago Ben and Jerry’s released three “Moo-phoria” pints that jumped on the light ice cream bandwagon. Despite the fact I am a huge Half Baked, Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch and Tonight Dough fan, I decided to jump ship to sample their lower calorie pals (have to start getting ready for next year’s darty season, right?).

The three flavors are Chocolate P.B. Dough, Chocolate Milk and Cookies, and Caramel Cookie Fix. Since I am a lover of chocolate, and chocolate and low calorie don’t always go together, I was more than delighted to see that two of the flavors had chocolate in their names. These flavors are competing against some of the greats, so my expectations were high. Overall, I was satisfied with all the flavors, but there was one exceptional stand-out.

The first flavor I tried was Chocolate Milk and Cookies. I was most excited for this one so I quickly dug into the pint of chocolate and vanilla ice creams swirled with chunks of chocolate chip cookies. Despite the texture being a little icy (like many lighter ice creams), the flavor was delicious. Ben and Jerry did not skimp on the mix-ins. Each bite came with a generous glob of cookie, despite it having the fewest calories of all the flavors (140 per serving). This flavor reminded me of coming home from elementary school and dunking a Costco chocolate chip cookie into a glass of milk.

After a few bites of the milk and cookies, I moved onto Caramel Cookie Fix. I was most apprehensive about this flavor because of my staunch devotion to chocolate. However, a few bites into the vanilla ice cream with caramel ribbons and shortbread cookie pieces, I was able to momentarily forget my biases. The ice cream was the smoothest of the three with ample chunks of shortbread cookie to mix up the texture. The caramel parts were delicious. Still, as the old saying goes, you can take the girl away from chocolate, but you can never take the chocolate out of the girl.

The last flavor made me most excited but also most apprehensive: Chocolate P.B. Dough. I was so excited for a full chocolate ice cream, but also nervous that it just wouldn’t live up to what I thought a chocolate ice cream with chunks of peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough should taste like. Just like the others, the ice cream itself was less creamy, but I was expecting that texture by the time I tried this one. That being said, the chocolate ice cream was delicious. Absolutely delicious. It is like vanilla cookie dough ice cream but with chocolate, so it is so much better. My boys B&J put plentiful and handsome cookie dough pieces in this pint, which made me completely forget I was eating a light ice cream. There were no flavor or texture compromises for the dough pieces. The peanut butter flavor was not as strong as I was expecting, but I think that made the ice cream better because there was no overpowering flavor. Overall, this was absolutely the best flavor, and I ended up eating the grand majority of this pint in too short of a time.

Whether you find yourself studying for finals or celebrating the end of the school year, Ben and Jerry are there to assist. The full fat, full calorie, full flavor pints still hold my heart, but these “Moo-phoria” flavors can hold their own, especially the Chocolate P.B. Dough. Moral of the story: doesn’t matter if it’s Halo Top or Phish Food, always say yes to the whole pint.

 

Contact Blake Sharp at blakesharp ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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