This Halloween, I didn't find myself trick-or-treating down Franklin Street, nor chowing down on scrumptious candy with my friends like I do every other year. Instead, there I was, snuggled up in my Koala onesie and locked in my room doing homework. I soon realized that something was very wrong with this image. There was no way I was going to let the day where I have an actual excuse to eat sweet treats go to waste.

I wanted to revel in my sugar coma, with my bloated stomach blocking my view of my toes. With this in mind, I immediately called my friends: we were going to eat the Vermonster.

The Challenge

Madeleine Braksick

The Vermonster is a food challenge of sorts unique to Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. What's in it, you ask? Oh, just 20 scoops of ice cream, four sliced bananas, two cookies, two brownies, hot caramel, toppings, all finished off with a massive layer of whipped cream. It's a beautiful, sugary indulgence and a perfect escape for hard-studying college kids.

First, I did some research. The cost for one Vermonster at the Durham Ben & Jerry's was $38. Divided among our friends, it was a small fee, not to mention the volume of sugar that we would get out of it would most certainly be worth it.

I also attempted to calculate the amount of calories in the Vermonster. I stopped at the first layer of just ice cream, though, because I was shocked by the fact that 20 scoops alone would be north of 4,000 calories. Being a bit of a healt foods freak myself, I was eager to recruit more people to consume in order to protect myself from... well, myself.

I snatched up 10 of my friends out of our commons who were eager for a break, and we began our march to Ben & Jerry's. I had a hop in my step as I marched right through the door and proclaimed to the young man working there, "we're here for the Vermonster."

The Creation

cake, butter, cream, cheese
Madeleine Braksick

The first step for our friendly Ben & Jerry's employee was the 20 scoops of ice cream, the flavors of which we got to decide ourselves.

#SpoonTip: Don't get too many different flavors, because they mix quickly and it's not always good to have that many cooks in the taste-bud kitchen. My group chose mostly chocolate-based flavors, and I got more and more excited as I watched our new friend add scoop by scoop by scoop by scoop.

After he added the layers, it was time for a team meeting to plan out exactly how we'd take on the Vermonster. We decided to start a timer to see how quickly we could get the job done, as the fastest single person to complete the Vermonster did so in nine minutes.

The Destruction

cream, milk, butter
Meredith Davin

The time soon came to dive into the mountain of dairy deliciousness. Instantly, I was concerned; the first few spoonfuls weren't ideal. We hit the bananas and whipped cream, then the brownies, and had to dig quite deep until we got to the goods.

We soon struck gold: gooey cookies and brownies, chocolate syrup, and of course, Ben & Jerry's incredible ice cream. As we dug deeper and deeper into the bucket, our beautiful masterpiece soon turned into a brown, goopy pile of all of its contents combined. I can assure you, it didn't look pretty. We continued to devour it, despite its ugliness

I eagerly snapped photos as my teammates continued to devour the Vermonster. Thankfully, this also helped me save myself from eating the majority of the creation that my stomach was craving. As I was shooting, however, members of my group began to fade. The sugar comas were setting in, as exhausted and full college kids began to slump back into their seats, and it looked like the Vermonster might have won. 

Never to fear, the six-foot-and-taller, long, lanky, and hungry team members with seemingly endless stomachs encouraged us to keep on pushing, for the sake of the time record and not wanting to "take another loss" in our college experience. The sugar highs prevailed, the brain freezes persisted, but the college kids pushed onwards.

The Victory

milk, chocolate, coffee, cake
Madeleine Braksick

The stopwatch finally came to a halt at six minutes, .5 seconds. The tub was empty, our stomachs full, and our smiles wide. We had defeated the Vermonster. We were quickly whisked out by the Ben & Jerry's employees who were anxious to close up shop, missing out on our chance to make the wall of fame. Thankfully, it won't take too much arm twisting to step up to the challenge again.

Reflecting back on this caloric achievement, I truly have #noregrets. For future Vermonster conquerors, I'd recommend three things to bring: friends for entertainment, cameras for street cred, and lots of empty stomachs. It'll be an event to remember, no doubt!