Wednesday, September 25, 2013

READER REVIEW: Arjun's Review of Ben & Jerry's Fair Trade Peanut Butter World (Target Exclusive)

Chocolate peanut butter is one of those sensory-appealing, sexy combinations that intrinsically make guys’ knees buckle and girls swoon. While I cannot attest to having my knees buckle or experiencing any swooning sensations from the thought of chocolate mixing with peanut butter in one bite of any dessert, I think Ben & Jerry’s might have unlocked that key for me. Milk chocolate ice cream with peanut buttery swirls and chocolate cookie swirls. Wow. I am writing this review 45 minutes after my last bite, and I’m lingering in a deluxe dream. Perhaps the title rings true: I have been transported to an idyllic peanut butter world. There was a moment when I was pulling back the lid that it hesitated in opening. After that, it was devouring time!

This version is the Fair Trade certified version, which is slightly different from its predecessor. I felt compelled to review this because the two reader reviews (Kenneth and Bob) and The Informant’s review were of the non-FTC version. The nutritional content is slightly different, topping out as one of the heavier options, as would be expected from the rich combination of chocolate and peanut butter. The unique aspect of this pint is that it does not contain bite—sized mix-ins that the company features in many of its flavors, like Phish, brownies, pretzels, fudge, etc. It relies entirely on the base with swirls, a winning amalgamation that makes every spoonful delicious. Feast your eyes on those two pictures containing the swirls (my current desktop pictures). Those spoonfuls taste as incredible as they look. This is an inexact comparison, but those glorious spoonfuls reminded me of a graham cracker pie crust.

A flavor can be ruined if swirls and mix-ins overwhelm the base, which is a possibility when the additions are stellar like chocolate cookies and peanut butter swirl. Fortunately, all components of this pint are harmonized in an enjoyable ratio once you work through the top layer.

Perhaps this can be attributed to my dueling desires to relish ice cream versus demolishing the gratifying treat, but I tend to work slowly at first with small bites. When I sense the pint loosening and base melting, I start scooping like I am digging. I mention this to warn against trying to consume too much at once. The flavor is heavy and dense, as it purports to be.

Haagen Dazs has a similar flavor, but it is more basic, probably owing to that company’s dedication to simplicity. Ben & Jerry internalizes this as their own by relying on a milk chocolate base instead of a purely chocolate one and using chocolate cookie swirls to round out the ambuscade of chocolate and peanut butter. If you want the known and true combination of chocolate and peanut butter, I recommend going for the Haagen Dazs pint (keep in mind their pints weigh in at 14 oz.). Both are dense and live up to the premium quality they espouse, but if you are in the mood for something slightly adventurous, find this at your local Target. It is too bad that other retailers cannot vend this flavor, but Target always has something delectable on tap in their freezer section.

This is a winner. Three hours later, I am still cherishing the sensational flavors. Ice cream is renown for its consolatory powers. If in need of consolation, this will do the trick and then some (I’m smarting from my Eagles getting it handed to them on national TV). I say it makes my top five for the Vermont outfit.

Where Arjun Found It: Target
Arjun's Grade: A

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