What a Cluster (previously Clusterfluff) had been on my radar for over a year, but I had yet to set eye on this phantom flavor. Then my luck changed. Not only had I run across Pumpkin Cheesecake, but I had also excavated this beauty that had been buried towards the back of the freezer. My excitement for pumpkin had superseded my enthusiasm for peanut butter at the time, but in hindsight, it should have been quite the contrary.
This is one of those odd offerings that isn't a limited batch, limited edition or even a store exclusive, but seems to outsmart those who seek it out. It's never among the regulars of any grocer's freezer, but seems to rip through like a tornado, leaving a trail of destruction, then disappearing just as quickly as it touched down. The artwork displayed on the outside of the carton confirm it's helter-skelter habits.
Like any seasoned ice cream chaser, my adrenaline is now steadily pumping and I'm ready to risk life and limb for the sake of science. With the majority of my tornado knowhow coming from the movie Twister, I've learned that when placed directly inside the funnel cloud, much like inside the eye of a hurricane, there's an eerie calm. I expected the same with What a Cluster to some extent. That was, until I peeled back the lid.
While watching Twister a concerning amount of times, Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt hadn't quite prepared me for what I had just gotten myself into. The charming city where peanut butter, caramel and marshmallow had once called home had been left in ruin, completely creamed by the wicked whirlwind once known as Clusterfluff. What a Cluster proclaims itself as "Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Caramel Cluster Pieces, Marshmallow Swirls & Peanut Buttery Swirls". The peanut butter base packs a powerful punch, but I survive the first wave. It's a bit overwhelming, but being a peanut butter believer I welcome it with open arms.
Tons of caramel cluster pieces come crashing through soon after. Tons. I bet there were over a hundred in this pint. The chewy, crunchy clump added a sweet, sugary characteristic to the semi-salty peanut butter base. The marshmallow and peanut buttery swirls siblings helped to support the cause by smashing anything still standing. The marshmallow added a nice fluffy texture while the peanut buttery swirl remained solid for the most part and provided additional saltiness.
The results? It completely ravaged my restraint. Much like it's short shelf life in grocer's freezers, this didn't last long in my possession. Now I must attempt to patch up the colossal 1,280 calories that just came crashing down upon my physique.
Where I Found It: Whole Foods Market