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Ben & Jerry's piles on the truffles to both fantastic and mediocre results

Photo: Kate Bernot
Photo: Kate Bernot

I’m not thinking about nutrition when I’m eating Ben & Jerry’s. I’m eating Ben & Jerry’s because my dog ran away, or my date sucked, or because it’s Tuesday. So while some might be interested in the ice cream maker’s new Moo-phoria line of “light ice cream,” I have turned my attention instead to the trio of recent additions to Ben & Jerry’s (300ish-calories per half-cup) Truffles line.

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Truffles, with their chocolate ganache core nestled within a mantle of more chocolate or caramel or cheesecake, are a natural choice for a brand synonymous with decadence. It already takes me in the neighborhood of 30 seconds to actually piece together what their pints’ flavors are—“The what is covered with what and then there’s a fudge ribbon?”—so let’s just throw already complicated confections into that mix, shall we? I wasn’t particularly sad about anything while tasting these new flavors, so I put on some Fiona Apple to set the mood.


Chocolate Shake It Truffles

(Chocolate malt milkshake ice cream with chocolate cookie-covered fudge truffles and marshmallow swirls)

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The whipped consistency of this ice cream is fantastic: The marshmallow is airy like jarred fluff, not those sad, hard nuggets in Rocky Road, and the malt milkshake base reminds me of a Wendy’s Frosty. It’s almost light—if you can believe it—in both flavor and texture, contrasted by the rich fudge truffles and crackle of the chocolate cookie shell. This isn’t your fudge-rich pint of Chocolate Fudge Brownie, but it’s the most enjoyable of the three flavors, and the only one I could enjoy more than two scoops of.

Grade: A-

Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake Truffles

(Caramel cheesecake ice cream with graham cracker-covered cheesecake truffles and chocolate cookie swirls)

From the first bite, I can’t get past how saccharine sweet the caramel ice cream is. I grasp for the Oreolike cookie swirl but it recedes against an onslaught of pure caramel sugar. When I bite a truffle, I get a flash of cheesecake tang—a necessary contrast to the caramel—but by bite three, I’m getting a stomachache. Graham cracker is totally imperceivable, and there’s not enough chocolate to richen the bite. My teeth kind of hurt.

Grade: C-

Chillin’ In The Roast

(Cold-brew coffee ice cream with chocolate cookie-covered coffee liqueur truffles and fudge swirls)

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Though I could not discern the manner in which the coffee was brewed to create this ice cream—telling me it’s cold-brew seems like a gimmick—it has a mellow espresso flavor that gets coffee-creamer-sweet after a few bites. Thankfully, the coffee liqueur truffles give a roasty pop when bitten, accompanied by a smooth texture like a peanut butter ball. The fudge swirls taste like Hershey’s syrup, not bringing much besides chocolate-sugar to the table. When I load up my spoon with the ice cream, swirl, and truffles, it’s a tasty bite, but without the espresso-y truffles, it’s just a Frappuccino on steroids.

Grade: B-

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Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

sleepydidact
Suckerfish

You know, when I want ice cream, it’s either Ben and Jerry’s when I want to overload my senses with sugar and mix ins. Or it’s Haagen-Dazs when I want to pretend that my self loathing is classy.