Sweet Review #21: Ben & Jerry’s Topped: Strawberry Swirled

How do you eat ice cream that you keep at home? Do you buy cones, which are less functional in one’s own house than in an ice cream parlor, but make you believe for a second that you’re having a good time out? Do you scoop ice cream into a bowl or ramekin and eat it with a tiny spoon? It has to be a tiny spoon. Any spoons that aren’t tiny and you might as well be eating ice cream out of an inedible metal cone.

Or, do you simply eat it out of the carton?

Ben and Jerry apparently realized that many people aren’t serving themselves ice cream in scoops, because no one who has their life together has an ice cream scoop (that concept was declared by my best friend, I claim no credit). And let’s be honest, the people who have their lives together are a niche market.

Those little dents are from my spoon tapping its way in.

So they created an ice cream that was meant to be eaten in the carton. Three of them, actually. The one that caught my eye first was “Strawberry Swirled.” Because as much of a chocolate lover I am, nothing gets me intrigued like something fruity.

Chocolate and fruit together though? Don’t get me started.

This carton’s base is sweet cream with swirls of strawberry and marshmallow, with chunks of shortbread mixed in and topped with white chocolate “spoonable topping” and white chocolate ampersand-shaped chunks. First off, this thing tastes like a strawberry milkshake. Not like the half-assed kind you get at diners after performing in a show that are just vanilla ice cream with a ton of strawberry syrup. More like a strawberry malt with actual strawberries tossed in for good measure and gratuitous whipped cream.

Now, there are a lot of components to look over, so let’s do it briefly bit by bit. The actual sweet cream ice cream doesn’t stand out too much, which is a good sign. It’s clearly just there to be a nice base for the swirls. I think B&J could have done vanilla just for a little more richness, but there’s always the chance that it could drown out the strawberry. And sweet cream doesn’t get enough credit, anyway.

There’s hardly any marshmallow swirl to speak of. Like you can see little specks of bright white, but it’s not marshmallow-heavy at all. The shortbread, also scant, shines through nicely, though. I think the marshmallow swirl might just be for texture, since it’s not a common ingredient of milkshakes nor of shortcakes.

Okay, now for the part you actually care about: the topping. It’s what makes this ice cream something you don’t put in a cone and probably don’t scoop into a bowl (unlike how I did above). The fact that it’s called “spoonable” makes me think that it would soften up significantly as the ice cream does, but it stays pretty solid. I was also a little impatient to actually let the carton temper, so there’s that. It’s just like you would expect, a white chocolate fudge shell. If you like white chocolate, you’ll like it. If not, why did you buy this ice cream? But then you can just pick off the topping and give it to me.

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