Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ben & Jerry’s Week – That’s My Jam

I like when ice cream brands try something new.  I was a huge fan of the Haagen-Dazs’ Reserve line (particularly the Hawaiian Lehua Honey & Sweet Cream and the Brazilian Acai Berry Sorbet) and their Gelato like is pretty good too.  So when I heard that Ben & Jerry’s was doing the whole “Core” thing I was very intrigued. 

Of course when you’ve got a trusted brand and ice cream, expectations are going to be high.  So, does That’s My Jam live up to the hype and expectations?  I’ll be honest; That’s My Jam is one of the most perplexing flavors I’ve ever encountered. 

Right off the bat, it's a pretty interesting flavor.  The core is Raspberry Jam.  Jam, in an ice cream?  The two ice cream flavors are Chocolate and Raspberry and there are some fudge chips tossed in for texture. 

Ostensibly Ben & Jerry’s Core flavors are to be eaten directly out of the container.  That’s why the pint is split down the middle and has a core; outside of the container the whole gimmick loses all luster and makes little sense.  Perhaps encouraging people to eat directly from the pint is Ben & Jerry’s attempt to get Americans to wash fewer dishes.

As someone who prefers eating out of a bowl, it can be a challenge to make sure you’ve got some core on your spoon when you take a bite.  The problem with having a core is that the core tends not to play well with the other substances when in the bowl.  But that’s my problem, not the fault of the ice cream. 

That said, the problem with the ice cream is that the Raspberry ice cream, which has the fudge chips is way too slight a flavor.  It’s easily overwhelmed by the chocolate ice cream.  And the Raspberry Jam takes some getting used to.  It’s very weird to have the jam texture mixed in with ice cream.  If you eat That’s My Jam while it’s still firm, it’s a disappointing experience. 

However, if you allow things to melt a bit and mix together, the flavor increased dramatically.  The Raspberry and the Chocolate ice creams work well when blended together, the chocolate dulls and the raspberry actually gets stronger. 

I’m not one of those purists who feels that ice cream must be eaten while it’s firm.  There’s a time and a place for melt-y ice cream and that’s certainly the case with Ben & Jerry's That’s My Jam Core. 

(I would like to add that so far Ben & Jerry’s Core flavors feels like an excuse to burn off some chocolate surpluses.  That’s My Jam, Peanut Butter Fudge and Hazed & Confused all feature chocolate ice cream and fudge in some form or another.  It’s disappointing and mildly unimaginative.) 

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