Originally Ben & Jerry's Rocky Road-ish was part of my first head to head battle of the blog, The Rocky Road Royal Rumble. Paired against Blue Bell's Rocky Mountain Road, it was sent crawling back to it's corner bruised and bloody from the get-go. Blue Bell brought a total package of chocolate ice cream, chocolate covered nuts and a marvelous marshmallow swirl. Ben & Jerry's entry had been atrocious. The toasted marshmallow ice cream had a weird consistency and tasted peculiar. The toasted marshmallow swirl was the worst of any I had ran into and the fudge covered almonds were nearly non-existant. It was the worst Ben & Jerry's ice cream I'd ever had the misfortune of eating.
It wasn't until weeks later, when I had scooped out some more into a bowl that I'd discovered what exactly had unfolded in weeks prior. The fight had been fixed. All the fudge covered almonds, all the sweetness and creaminess of the ice cream, it had all settled at the bottom of the batch. I had been given the dreaded de-thawed and refrozen to near freezer burn rendition of Rocky-Roadish. I had never experienced a tainted pint of ice cream before this, but I'm glad I made the discovery so I could give this limited batch offering a fair fight before it was too late. I ensured that this next pint was freezer burn free.
Despite being a limited batch and made by Ben & Jerry's, I hadn't come into this one with very high expectations. Straying from the orthodox chocolate base is a bold strategy, but we'll see if it pays off. Described as "Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream with a Toasted Marshmallow Swirl & Fudge Covered Almonds" the lack of chocolate in this pint with the lid popped off is a bit worrisome.
As I sample my first spoon full of the toasted marshmallow ice cream, I don't know really what to think. It's mild and doesn't stray far from vanilla, much like Ben & Jerry's caramel ice cream base. Only slight suggestions of toasted marshmallow can be detected. It's not bad, I just don't think I'd be able to pinpoint that this was toasted marshmallow in a blind taste test. It's certainly a change of pace from the traditional chocolate base that usually makes up rocky road.
Unlike my previous pint where all the mix-ins had melted to the bottom, the fudge covered almonds in this flavor were abundant from the beginning. As I worked through layer after layer, I was always looking at least four or five. If you're looking to win me over and include nuts in your ice cream, you have a tough task ahead of you, but these get the job done. Crunchy and covered in milk chocolate, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed munching on these.
After enjoying the toasted marshmallow swirl in S'mores just a few weeks earlier, I was looking forward to indulging in one my favorite swirls for the second time. Unfortunately, because the base ice cream and the swirl share the same flavor, they just aren't very distinguishable from one another. Slightly sweeter than the base, only the sticky, gooey texture of a toasted marshmallow lets you know you've hit the swirl. It just doesn't have quite the same effect as it did when contrasted again milk chocolate ice cream. All in all, Rocky Road-ish is just mediocre-ish.
Where I Found It: Whole Foods Market