Sunday, August 11, 2013

READER REVIEW: Kenneth's Review of Ben & Jerry's Volun-Tiramisu (Target Exclusive)

This is the second time I've noticed Ben & Jerry's slip some sort of voluntary notion into their ice cream titles. Before this, I rummaged my way through Berry Voluntary, only to be left with one of Ben & Jerry's weaker offerings. Despite a somewhat similar title, hope and curiosity do precede my unveiling of Volun-Tiramisu.

I don't ever recall having Volun-Tiramisu before. If I did, then it was likely many years ago and blocked out of my memory. Replicating famous desserts in another form can be tricky, especially if Berry Voluntary was any indication. Thankfully, Volun-Tiramisu has far less trouble satisfying my indulgences. My first few scraps consist of just the ice cream, which is smooth and especially creamy in flavor. Think of a very sweet frappuccino in ice cream form and you have the foundation here. I begin to think of the recently resurrected Coffee Coffee, BuzzBuzzBuzz!, featuring a similar base. The key difference here, however, is that we don't have mocha bites to enjoy, but rather "lady finger pieces."

The cocoa dusted coffee rum pieces show up many times throughout the pint, making sure your spoon will veer in various directions. I assume these are meant to be the tiramisu part of the ice cream, which they also seem to be miniatures of. With regards to flavor, they emit a lightly bitter and lightly sweet rum taste, cutting right through the velvety ice cream. Beyond that, there's a chewy, stiffened cake-like texture to each bit. If the pieces were sweeter and less, well, feathery, this might have made for a completely succulent experience. Since they dominate just about every bite, however, it's tough to truly savor every single scoop.

Thus far, the Target-exclusive Ben & Jerry's flavors have been fairly hit or miss. Volun-Tiramisu is, in and of itself, an exact representation of this. The ice cream is absolutely wonderful and, in my opinion, proof that the company should further utilize it. Take the mix-ins into account, however, and my recommendation becomes a bit less enthusiastic. Overall, this is a worthwhile batch simply for the base, even if I'd never buy it again while something likely Coffee Coffee, BuzzBuzzBuzz lives on.

Where Kenneth Found It: Target
Kenneth's Grade: B

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