As I was strolling with my cart toward the checkout line at Burlington, Vermont's Healthy Living supermarket last night, confident I would not succumb to my constant ice cream cravings, I caught a display of white & orange pints out of the corner of my eye. I froze and immediately backtracked. I couldn't believe my eyes - there it sat, a bountiful flavor selection of the iconic Midwestern born ice cream brand that, until now, had been the stuff of legends told to me by a friend in Wisconsin. It was Jeni's ice cream.
With some difficult deliberation and consultation with my Sconnie pal via text, I chose the Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks. I triumphantly brought it to the checkout with my other items then made my way home, settling in to focus on the full Jeni's experience.
Bite 1 - impressive texture. No ice crystals or graininess. It was delightfully creamy without being so rich that eating the whole pint would leave me feeling sick. The peanut butter hit my taste buds first. Flavorful, but it didn't overwhelm the other notes. The salt complemented it beautifully and was a little more prominent in the aftertaste. Chocolate chunks were clearly of high quality, but did have a SLIGHTLY chalky texture at first by virtue of being frozen. Though I likely wouldn't even notice in another ice cream - it was only remotely apparent because it lay on a backdrop of perfection.
This was genuinely among the best ice creams I have ever eaten, if not THE best. Chocolate and peanut butter is one of my favorite combinations, but I usually prefer a chocolate base with peanut butter mix-ins and find the inverse to be too intensely peanut-buttery. Somehow Jeni's struck the perfect balance by making the peanut butter flavor humble and steadfast, yet not weak. Hell, I aspire to not only eat more of this ice cream, but to BE more like it.
After many spoonfuls of heaven, I did something unprecedented and usually unthinkable, and put the remaining half a pint back in the freezer. It was not because I didn't long for another spoonful of heaven, but because I felt full and did not want to waste a single bite that I would not savor completely.
Where Stephanie Found It: Vermont's Healthy Living Market
Stephanie's Grade: A