Friday, June 27, 2014

READER REVIEW: Simon's Review of Ben & Jerry's Maple Tree Hugger

It is with ineffable joy that I write my first review for The Ice Cream Informant, and also for the very first Ben & Jerry ice cream that has ever entered my mouth. I had always been hesitant to try any of the Ben & Jerry ice creams as I find their packaging to be too childish for my liking; this perceived lack of quality, coupled with the fact that I can get the seemingly more exquisite Haagen-Dazs ice cream for the same price, did indeed leave me with no reason to give them a try. However, my local supermarket was doing a ‘3 for the price of 2’ promotion for Ben & Jerry ice creams, and so I decided to get off my high horse and see what awaits me, for better or for worse.

In all honesty, when I took the lid off the container, I did not find what I see impressive at all: a pint of dull-coloured, frozen cream accompanied by bits of yellowish, broken chunks. As I began to take my first bite, I started to rue my choice of not going for the other brands of ice cream which I am more accustomed to. The first bite was nothing out of the ordinary – caramelized sweetened cream and brownie nuggets fighting to be noticed; it was a combination I thought did no justice to the price I have paid. Disappointed, I stuffed a second mouthful of the dessert into my mouth in one swift movement, hoping that the ice cream could numb my tongue – and freeze my anger while at it! I don’t know if it was cognitive dissonance at work, but the second mouthful was much more bearable than the first. The chill of the cream brought with it a subtle hint of honey. I must be wrong because there is no honey in the ice cream, the brown sugar must be teasing me. With my hope reignited, I hurriedly proceeded to take a third mouthful of the ice cream. There it is again! The inexplicable sweetness was gleefully strumming the notes of happiness in my mouth once more; a crescendo that gradually intensifies the excitement of my taste buds and my lust for more of what’s melting in my mouth. Yet its final chord was always one pitch below the desired tone, never to be reached even after I have finished the whole pint of ice cream. That is the annoyance one would feel from a game of blackjack when the first card dealt was an ace, then followed by a two; or a story that slowly builds the interest of the reader, then abruptly ends while leaving him with no idea what the climax was. There is no doubt that Ben & Jerry Maple Tree Hugger is a nice ice cream, but it’s still missing something if it wants to coax Winnie the Pooh to toss his pot of honey away.

Where Simon Found It: Sheng Siong Supermarket (Commonwealth Drive, Singapore)
Simon's Grade: B


  1. I personally think B&J has gone downhill. The last few flavors I've tried have been just so so. The mix ins, which used to be the star, are now hit and miss. I've moved on to more craft brands to get my fix.

  2. Great review! Hope you write some more. :)


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