Sunday, April 28, 2013

READER REVIEW: Winston's Review of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Peppermint Crunch

I’m not exactly the biggest mint enthusiast, and I normally write off most mint flavors, but The Ice Cream Informant’s positive review of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Peppermint Crunch roused my curiosity and convinced me that the flavor deserved at least some consideration. The label’s description reads Chocolate Ice Cream with Peppermint and Fudge Swirls and Mint Chocolate Cookie Balls, which, with a strictly chocolate base, actually didn’t sound overwhelmingly minty. Furthermore, the combination of baked solid goods and diverse swirls is usually a recipe for texture success with Ben and Jerry, so I decided to give it a shot.

Removing the lid exposed a shocking find: a drastically uneven Chocolate surface with a relatively large crevasse sitting against the rim of the carton. Could this be a refreeze? Could this have fallen out of some freezer, thawed on its side, and simply been placed back into cold storage? Luckily, no. The first bite proved absolutely blissful: Ben and Jerry’s classic chocolate base, with all its classic richness and creaminess infused with a remarkably enticing and pleasant mint swirl. The mint swirl brought a new twist to the chocolate base, without overwhelming the strong chocolate presence; both flavors complemented each other quite well. The mint is reminiscent of the filling of a peppermint patty, but does not overwhelm the palate with overtly strong, sinus-clearing mint; instead, it provides a relaxing, smooth afterthought to Ben and Jerry’s classic base.

The chocolate fudge swirl, while not new to the Ben and Jerry lineup, is surprisingly not a common component included in their desserts. I honestly cannot recall having it in recent memory, and I do not believe that it is found in any of their traditional flavors. The swirl is a smooth chocolate swirl that is distinctly capable of offering a thick, rich, sweet contrast to the milky chocolate base, which, you will likely agree, is a difficult task if you’ve ever had Ben and Jerry’s extraordinarily rich and commonly overpowering chocolate base. Combining the fudge swirl with the mint swirls, and the overall mint presence is further truncated, bringing further balance to the mint-chocolate marriage, and definitely enhancing the appeal of this pint.

The cookie balls are something we’ve never encountered in Ben and Jerry’s lineup. They are brittle, lightly minty, milk chocolate covered chocolate cookie balls, which offer a significant texture contrast to the soft base and swirls. One bite, and they easily fracture into two or more pieces. They are relatively dry, but not in a negative fashion; they closely resemble the cookie base in Girl Scout Cookies’ “Thin Mints”. My pint contained around 20-25 of these small cookie balls, essentially resulting in around one cookie ball for every two bites (or one per bite if you eat larger bites). Again, like the swirl, these balls didn’t overwhelm my senses with mint; instead, they delivered a subtle, soothing mint undertone, with a strong, firm texture presence that definitely catapulted this flavor into the all-star pint league.

I strongly recommend this pint to mint lovers and to those that enjoy the occasional mint desserts. I am not a mint fanatic and I absolutely loved this pint. While my experience with mint desserts is rather limited, most Ben and Jerry's chocolate lovers will probably appreciate this new twist on their classic base.

Where Winston Found It: Super Wal-Mart
Winston's Grade: B

1 comment:

  1. I found this to be a bit overwhelming for me, but this is probably because I'm more of a vanilla guy than a chocolate guy. It's got a lot of texture and is pretty rich. I can see how people would like it.


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