Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Munchies - Ben & Jerry's Clusterfluff

So a year and a half ago I pitched The Scoop to the Fish & Spaghetti brain trust and received yawns.  The Scoop, as I pitched it, was a column devoted to ice cream.  Flash forward to 2011; the last three Monday Munchies have focused on ice cream.

In my public pitch back then, I commented that I had "9 pints in my freezer." Now I've got 17.  I could be the subject of a special Intervention/Hoarders crossover.

Anyway, this week we continue the trend of new Ben & Jerry's flavors by showcasing Clusterfluff.

Now when you read the description of Clusterfluff it almost sounds like too much.  It's Peanut Butter ice cream, caramel cluster pieces, marshmallow swirl and peanut buttery swirl.  That's right; a relatively unique ice cream flavor, clusters and two swirls.  That's a lot going on in a single bowl.

I guess we'll start with the ice cream itself; it tastes like Ben & Jerry's version of the peanut butter from Reece's peanut butter cups.  Y'know, how it's peanut butter, but not as harsh?  It's shy of sweet, but incredibly addictive.  One could easily eat an entire pint of this ice cream and not have to worry about getting sick to your stomach from the sweetness.

Anyone who's a fan of "peanut buttery" candy (Butterfinger, any variety of Reece's) is going to enjoy this flavor.  It's not your typcial "sweet" ice cream.  It's peanut buttery perfection.  I doubt George Washington Carver could come up with a better ice cream flavor and that man was like a genius when it came to peanuts.

The sweetness comes in the form of the caramel clusters.  They come in myriad of sizes and are well dispersed throughout the pint.  The cluster is a caramel coated oat concontion with a burst of sweetness at the core.  On their own the clusters would be sickeningly sweet, but in that ice cream, that brief explosion of sweet really pops perfectly.

Sadly the swirls are pretty much non-factors.  Whatever flavor contribution they offer is overwelmed by the ice cream, which would suck if the flavor of the ice cream was wack.  Fortunately it's not so their weak assistance is overlooked. They really don't add anything flavor wise or texture wise. It's a rare misstep by Ben & Jerry.

All in all, it's a good flavor, but it's probably going to be one that you either love or hate.  The peanut butter ice cream is stong and it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea.  But when you bite into those clusters there's a balance that's achieved that's really rather quite special. And really, Reece's have built an empire on faux peanut butter treats, so I think Clusterfluff will find it's audience. Plus Clusterfulff is fun to say.


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