Ice Cream Tasters: Two Dips Ice Cream Tasters

"Ordinary People in Search of Extraordinary Ice Cream"

FEATURED ICE CREAM REVIEW

Ben & Jerry's 'Late Night Snack'

"Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with a Salty Caramel Swirl and Fudge Covered Potato Chip Clusters"
KRIS - Total: 16 (out of 20)
As a kid, I used to put potato chips in my sandwiches. I also used to put them in my applesauce (don't ask) and I love, love, love dipping salty French fries in my fast food soft serve vanilla. So, when I read that the latest Ben and Jerry's featured flavor ice cream had potato chips, I was quick to "get there from here."

Why did Ben & Jerry's pick their latest celebrity, Jimmy Fallon for it's recent "Late Night Snack" release? Ben & Jerry's wrote, "When Jimmy Fallon & his late night crew sang an ode to snacking on Vermont's Finest we had to say thanks." The two teams partnered and came up with an ice cream both salty and sweet to appeal to every late night snacker! The vanilla bean based ice cream has salty caramel swirl and fudge covered potato chip clusters.

I anticipated the salty-sweet combo and delighted in the thought of our tasting the whole day! However, one should not down the container like downing the bag of chips at 12:30am. Ben & Jerry's did not skimp on the fat. Fifty percent of the recommended daily saturated fat value is in each half cup along with a heart-straining 20% cholesterol.

The packaging was tied into the "Late Night" theme with dark blue night skies and stars in the background. I have to say I struggled with reading the print on the container, as it was a dark type on a dark background. Jimmy Fallon was also dressed in dark colors, which made everything blend. I get where they were going, but there wasn't enough contrast to thoroughly enjoy the design.

Upon opening, the container was full to the top with ice cream and about four potato chip clusters were poking through, a good sign. The smell of the vanilla was toward the Madagascar-pungent side of vanilla; which foreshadowed a bold finish after each bite.

I'll cut to the chase; the potato chip cluster. I was surprised to bite into the fudge-covered chip ball to find the lightness that the cluster had. The texture wasn't dense like I thought it would be. Think of how airy a cheese puff is but substitute potato chip. Now put a very thin layer of fudge coating on top. The thin layer of fudge let the saltiness of the chip take the lead. Personally, I could have used a touch more fudge to balance. I thought the fudge got lost a bit among the other bold flavors. However, I know that the fudge served as a function more than anything; to coat the chips and keep them crunchy. I was so happy to discover that the potato chips were-in-fact crunchy! The coating worked! Big win for Ben & Jerry's! How many times have we tasted something and the "promised crunchy item" was soggy due to it's contact with the other ingredients in the container? Bravo, Ben & Jerry's!

I had let the ice cream sit out a bit, which helped the salty caramel swirl thaw and become gooey pools of gold. All told, the consistency was great; a potato chip cluster in every other bite, enough caramel to satisfy and every once in awhile, a nice pool of that caramel.

The caramel itself was indeed salty (in a good way), so definitely eat it with the sweet vanilla ice cream for balance. The juxtaposition was just what the doctor ordered. The consistency of the caramel was soft and gooey, not frozen between the ice cream; just how it was meant to be.

So, was this the trifecta of components? I had a hard time telling. When I tried to take the vanilla, caramel and cluster in one bite, I ended up eating away the ice cream and caramel first and chewing the cluster last. I couldn't really get a sense of the three together. The cluster was a touch big and unless you are blessed with being able to chew ice cream (I once was), you will be sentenced to a two-part treat. I loved every bit of the concept of salty and sweet intertwined, I just couldn't enjoy the three primary components together as intended. The ice cream is certainly a fun novelty.
FRED - Total: 10 (out of 20)
I'm not a huge fan of late night talk shows. I don't particularly have a problem with them, but I've never found most of them to be funny or interesting enough to keep my attention for longer than an episode or two. Carson? He was good. A classic. But, of course, he's not around anymore. Coco? I liked him more several years ago than I do now. Leno? Never really been a fan. Arsenio? Who can resist a good "Roo, roo, roo?" Well, after a few too many of them, I can.

And so it goes with my experiences with late night talk shows. Fun, but limited.

Now we have Ben and Jerry's "Late Night Snack" ice cream and I'm left wondering how vanilla ice cream will work with a "salty caramel swirl" and a mix of "fudge covered potato chip clusters." Is it a bad sign that I kept thinking and saying that the ice cream included a mix of "fudge covered peanuts?" Or is that just what I was hoping for? And who came up with fudge covered potato chip clusters anyhow? That's not exactly a flavor combination that quickly comes to mind.

Then again, I've eaten roast beef dipped in chocolate before. Surprisingly, it's delicious!
Jimmy Fallon, who was mostly known for his work on "Saturday Night Live" before taking on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," graces the container of "Late Night Snack." Presumably, his cameo is a result of Fallon's song about the famous duo's frozen treats and the flavor was actually debuted on Fallon's show by Ben and Jerry themselves.

After getting through all the initial reactions and facts, it was time to taste the ice cream.

As usual with Ben and Jerry's, the container was full to the top and there were already signs of the flavors to come: some of the fudge covered potato chip clusters and a bit of the salty caramel swirl were peeking through the top of the ice cream. There wasn't really a strong smell to the ice cream. It was a somewhat caramel smell, if anything.

The first taste of Ben and Jerry's "Late Night Snack" ice cream was pretty good. The thick swirl of caramel wanted to stay attached, just the way a good ice cream swirl should. Initially, I was enjoying the ice cream. It had a very yummy flavor with the vanilla ice cream and salty caramel swirl. I couldn't figure out what the deal was with the fudge covered potato chip clusters until -- BOOM! -- one of them finished off the sweet taste of the ice cream with a heavy dose of salty goodness. It was an interesting finish for sure.

I admit that I really enjoyed that first bite. It was a lot like eating a better version of fresh potato chips and I was hooked! Well, at least until I took the second bite, which delivered a pretty smooshy, definitely-not-crunchy, fudge covered potato chip cluster. You know that smooshiness I'm talking about. It's like when you're eating Whoppers and you're loving them and then you get the nasty one that has a texture more like a raisin. Not good.

It took me until the fourth bite to get crunchiness again. But then the saltiness was missing. More and more I tried and more and more I failed to find that big burst of salty crunchiness that the "Late Night Snack" ice cream first delivered. It made me wonder if the first bit was a complete anomaly.

In the end, it's just too hard to find that fantastic salty crunchy taste and Ben and Jerry's "Late Night Snack" ice cream ends up being a yummy vanilla ice cream with a caramel swirl and promising fudge bits that falls well short of what was promised. If the fudge covered potato chip clusters were an actual bag of chips, I'd throw them away before ever getting close to the bottom.

MINI ICE CREAM REVIEW

Turkey Hill 'Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough'

"Brown sugar and molasses flavored ice cream swirled with chewy cookie dough and dark chocolate chips."

KRIS - The base of Turkey Hill Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is brown sugar and molasses flavored ice cream. This is different from the normal vanilla base in cookie dough ice cream, so I was looking forward to tasting it. The fact that Turkey Hill boasted on the cover that it was the "Original Recipe" and that this was "Real Ice Cream" led me to think that it was "back to basics time" with Turkey Hill. We uncapped the container to find loads of choco chips and few cookie dough pieces. The ice cream didn't have any real smell and the consistency was not very creamy (probably due to only 25% saturated fat). The cookie dough itself was gritty in texture and flavorful. I just wished there were more chunks and for as many choco chips as there were, they didn't have much of a flavor at all! Bummer. The ice cream itself was pretty good and was by far the best part about the concoction.

FRED - Turkey Hill "Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough" is a pretty standard looking ice cream from the outside. The promise of "brown sugar and molasses flavored ice cream" in combination with chocolate chip cookie dough pieces sounded interesting, mostly because most other ice cream manufacturers just use a vanilla ice cream base. Unfortunately, that's about where the interesting part of this ice cream ended. When we opened the container, there was only one chocolate chip cookie dough piece to be seen. Turkey Hill's "Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough" looked more like a non-alien-green "Mint Chocolate Chip" ice cream. Thankfully, there was some redemption in that the ice cream tasted good enough. There was no aftertaste, but there also weren't many chocolate chip cookie dough pieces to be found. I felt like I was on an ice cream treasure hunt, but there was never any prize to be found. There were FAR more chips than cookie dough and this would have been a Cone Up review if it were opposite.