Monday, April 12, 2010

The Ben & Jerry's Visit: Part 2b

Before I get to the taste testing, I'd like to point something out. I will admit to being a little disappointed with the tour. It's just that I'm a very literal person and if you tell me we are going on a factory tour, I literally think we're going to go into the factory. I understand that this would be an immensely foolish idea from legal, logistical, and safety standpoints, but I'm a curious fellow and I had hoped to get a little closer to the action.

Back to the story: After the standard tour, we went through a locked door and walked 15-20 feet to a conference room that was prepared for our next adventure.

Looks like they are ready for our arrival -- napkins, cups, and wooden spoons

Two smiling folks from Quality Assurance came in and gave us a run down of what they do.

This little machine can split a pint in two so that QA can make sure everything is ok.
(they can also split it again so there are four pieces)

Next up were two production guys from the floor. To keep things interesting, all production employees are cross trained at every station so they can switch roles and not get bored. We got some good info about how they have to carefully monitor the line to keep things in check. We heard about how ingredients can interact and expand and totally throw off the process of keeping overrun in check. The point was that when you make super premium ice cream, you try really hard to make sure it stays super.

This my friends is Americone Dream FRESH off the assembly line.
It may never have seen a freezer, but it's about to see my spoon.
Mmmmm, tasty stuff! Those super fresh cone bits are just floating in vanilla goodness.

This is Cookie Dough FRESH off the line and it is fantastic! We kept asking everyone what there favorite flavor was and they would answer "(yada yada) FRESH off the line" and now we know why. Since the ice cream isn't frozen, your tastebuds aren't as numbed when you start eating. This lets you really taste the flavor. People seemed to gravitate to the Americone Dream and it's ultra fresh cone pieces, but I actually think Cookie Dough is better off the line. The flavor just seeps into every bit of the ice cream. Basically, it's a perfect cookie dough milkshake.

Awhile ago someone said I really need to try coffee ice cream on the blog, well, here I am! And here's a big shocker, I don't like it. I will admit I was excited when I saw that Mud Pie uses the same cookie swirl found in Milk & Cookies, but it only took a few small bites to remind myself why I don't drink coffee.

I feel so worldly now that I've had Canadian Ben & Jerry's, but what exactly is this flavor? After confusing chateau and chapeau, I realized my French is really really rusty. With a little help, i figured out this is "trick of hat with caramel" but is better known as "hat trick caramel". Around these parts we call it Triple Caramel Chunk.

Hmmm, that's one confused cow! Apparently, he hurt himself trying to figure out what they would call Americone Dream in Canada. I believe they said they were going to have a contest to name this flavor.

They also threw out several other flavors like the awesome Milk & Cookies, a sample of Boston Cream Pie (still lacking enough fudge chunks), Peanut Brittle, Maple Blondie and Dulce Delish. (I didn't really get a good taste of the Dulce Delish, but I have one in my freezer, so I will get a thorough review of that up at some point). Oh, there was also a fudge brownie bar, but I wasn't sure how to pick it up without wearing it.

I'm sorry to say that our taste testing had to end at this point. They could have rolled out every flavor in front of me and I would have found a way to keep going. Now you may notice that there is still a good bit of ice cream on the table. It's too far gone to save BUT all hope is not lost. Ben & Jerry's actually collects all of this waste ice cream and sends it to a plant for composting! Napkins, wooden spoons, and ice cream are all diverted away from a landfill or incinerator and instead are composted. That's very cool (back in the day, they actually use to use the waste ice cream as pig slop!)


  1. Excellent stuff Dubba. I'm really glad to hear Ben & Jerry's does composting too.

  2. Dubba-
    Go get that Dulce Delish out of your freezer and review it NOW! I promise you will thank me... I liked it so much I actually bought a pint on the way home from the airport (I may have an addiction)

  3. @Ken: Thanks!

    @Gigi: Ha, you said you were fan! I'll see about getting Dulce Delish up before the weekend is over.


*** All comments are moderated ***
Expect a delay before they are posted