Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Munchies – Ben & Jerry’s Nutty Caramel Swirl

I’ll admit to having a collector’s mentality.  I like knowing that I’ve heard everything that a particular artist has released from demos to B-sides.  I like knowing that I’ve seen every episode of a television show, deleted scenes and all.  And I like knowing that I’ve tried every new Ben & Jerry’s flavor. 

Of course this means having to go to places like Target, Walgreens and Walmart.  Well, maybe not Walmart.  But even 7-11 has their own exclusive Ben & Jerry’s flavor.  Is Nutty Caramel Swirl worth tracking down? 

First off, can I just say that I’m tickled by the notion of 7-11 trying to class itself up?  They’ve gone from having hotdogs (at best a punch line and worst case scenario a last resort food option) to having pizza that’s made fresh.  While it’s not quite a culinary leap, it’s certainly a surprising turn of events. 

The problem with exclusive flavors is that, if they are off the beaten path, there’s a chance they might not be worth tracking down.  The risk/reward ration is greater than it is with regular new flavors.  Fortunately 7-11’s are nearly omnipresent. 

Nutty Caramel Swirl sounds interesting.  It’s nougat ice cream with peanuts, fudge flakes and a salty caramel swirl.  And actually if you look at those flavor components you see that it’s just a Snickers bar with the ratios mixed up.  How does the ice cream stand up? 

Well, if you go in expecting Snickers, you’ll be disappointed.  In fact if you go in expecting anything other than a spoonful of peanuts, you’ll be disappointed.  Like many people I’ve found the occasional Ben & Jerry’s flavor to be lacking in aggregate or mix-ins.  But Nutty Caramel Swirl is the first one that I felt had too much. 

There are too many peanuts in this flavor. 

Not only are peanuts guaranteed in every bite, they sometimes take up a third of the spoon.  They overpower everything else.  Nougat isn’t exactly the strongest flavor on the planet, but it doesn’t stand a chance next to the peanuts.  There’s the rare bite that has all four components in complimentary quantities, but for the most part, peanut felt about as prevalent the ice cream itself. 

Had I had to trek to find Nutty Caramel Swirl, I’d have been really disappointed.  But  I didn’t have to go out of my way and it’s not a bad flavor, it’s just seriously lacking balance. 

If you like peanuts and 7-11 along your regular route, you should probably try it out.  But if you’re just looking to try a new Ben & Jerry’s flavor, do yourself a favor and go to Target and pick up Rockin’ Blondies.  It’s superior in nearly every regard. 

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