For years, vegans and the lactose intolerant were left out of the Ben & Jerry’s game. Now, their calls has been answered. While they aren’t available in grocery stores, dairy-free pints are being sold in Ben and Jerry’s stores. The flavors include Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Coffee Caramel Fudge, P.B. Cookies and a new rendition of the classic Chunky Monkey.
We eagerly dug in and rated each based on flavor and texture. Similarity to regular dairy ice cream was also taken into account but not a deciding factor.
Coincidentally, Ben and Jerry were in Boston this past week and were more than happy to answer questions about the product. *starstruck*
“It’s definitely not ice cream. It’s a whole new product, but we’re so excited to sell it,” Jerry said. (yeah… that Jerry.)
Ryan Midden, general manager of Ben & Jerry’s Boston commented, “It’s so exciting that we get to come out with such a fun product. Ten years ago, we would have never expected this. There’s literally a cow in our logo, but now we get to expand to such a wider audience.”
The Newbury Street store in Boston received over 30 calls the weekend the vegan flavors were announced.
“We literally had to train our employees on how to handle questions about the product,” Midden said. “We usually get almost no phone traffic, but our phones would not stop ringing. When we came out with the Greek Yogurt flavors, we broke our 12 month sales records, now we’re predicted to do the same in 6.”
The banana flavor immediately hits you before you can notice the icier texture, thanks to the abundance of bananas blended into the vanilla almond milk. Many vegans already make banana ice cream from blending frozen bananas, and this could be considered an upgraded version. The texture isn’t bad, if not just lighter than normal ice cream. The fudge chunks and walnuts add good crunch, and the ice cream is overall a solid alternative for those who don’t eat dairy.
Caramel Coffee Fudge
The coffee flavor was authentic in comparison to normal coffee ice cream, but some thought it was a little too sweet. The extra sweetness, one said, was probably due to the caramel swirl. However, the fudge chunks added enjoyable texture.
“I probably wouldn’t be able to tell that this was dairy free,” one taster said.
Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Overall, this had the best tasting mix-ins but the ice cream itself was most ill-received. While the chocolate flavor was strong, it had the most watery texture out of the four. For best results we kept it out to thaw longer than the other flavors, otherwise the iciness makes it hard to scoop. However, the brownie chunks tasted really authentic and were abundant throughout the pint.
PB + Cookies
This was it. The holy, vegan grail. This flavor blew all of us out the water and was quickly consumed. The peanut butter ice cream was combined flawlessly with the Oreo chunks (which, by the way, are totally vegan on their own) and made for a unique, delicious flavor. It was so good, no one brought up its vegan status because we simply forgot.