I can’t quite remember when I fell in love with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. I know at university I was definitely a Häagen-Dazs girl. When I worked in France I was all about Carte D’Or and plenty of Soleros. It must have been when I moved to Scotland. Perhaps it was because Ben & Jerry’s was the ice cream you could get in the cinema.
I remember I used to to think that the chocolately bits in Ben & Jerry’s were too big, and too, well, chocolately….oh how times have changed.
I do remember that at first my favourite flavour was Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Then I discovered Cookie Dough. And then the wonder that is Half-Baked – a perfect combination of my favourite two flavours. Before I met Barry I would usually eat it straight from the tub, with an oven glove to protect my hand from the cold, and it was rare that a tub would ever make it back to the freezer.
And then I met Barry, I started sharing and using a bowl. Times had changed indeed. I always liked going to the cinema because there were many more flavours than you would find in the supermarket. It was there my love of Mint Chocolate Chunk first began.
We got married in 2012 and our honeymoon, a road trip round the north east of America was almost entirely planned around food. A lot of our destinations had featured on the TV show Man v. Food. But one of them hadn’t.
We began our honeymoon in Boston, and then drove north through New Hampshire and into Vermont. The reason? Because that’s where the original Ben & Jerry’s factory is. We went there on the 5th July 2012 – and unfortunately for us, because the management at Ben & Jerry’s are such nice guys, the factory wasn’t actually producing that day – they had given most of the staff the day off to recover from their 4th July celebrations!
But we still got to go on the tour, and get a sample of ice cream (Strawberries & Cream if I remember rightly), and we even bought a souvenir ice cream scoop to bring home with us.
We had a look round the Flavour Graveyard where you can see the gravestones of all the flavours that are no longer produced, including Barry’s favourite – ‘Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz’.
We got ourselves an ice cream from the scoop shop of course – I think I only had two flavours which was remarkably restrained seeing as they sell every flavour they produce there!
Ben & Jerry’s wasn’t the only ice cream we had on our honeymoon though. In fact I think I had an ice cream or a milkshake every day pretty much. There is another that deserves a mention though – in Philadelphia we went to the Franklin Fountain (which had featured on Man v. Food) and we had these amazing sundaes.
The one on the left was Barry’s – it was called a Lightening Rod which had coffee ice cream, a shot of espresso and chocolate covered espresso beans among other things. The other one was mine – the Mount Vesuvius – chocolate ice cream, chocolate brownies, hot fudge sauce, malt powder and whipped cream. Absolute ice cream deliciousness!
My one gripe with Ben & Jerry’s is that my favourite flavours only ever seem to be limited editions. A couple of winters ago they brought out Minter Wonderland which I loved (the Cinnamon Buns one was Barry’s – too cinnamon-y for me) but they stop selling it in January.
Later came Empower-mint but that didn’t stay on the shelves for long either (along with Barry’s coffee flavour One Sweet World). There was a delicious Banana, caramel, cookie one called One Love that you don’t seem to be able to get any more either.
The only other downside is that it’s quite expensive too – but that’s why I only buy it when it’s on offer! I’ve experimented with the ‘Core’ flavours and I’ll occasionally try something different…but if all else fails there’s always good old Half-Baked you can rely on.
Are you a Ben & Jerry’s fan too? What’s your favourite flavour?