[Disclaimer: I was not paid by Ben & Jerry's to produce this article. It is not a promotion. I think they make a fine product, but that opinion does not necessarily reflect the official position of SBS. I sometimes wish it WOULD reflect the position of SBS. I mean, imagine the possibilities...]
People that know me know that I have an unstable relationship with ice cream. I eat it. I talk to it. I sing to it. I let it babysit my children.
That’s why I love The Ice Cream Show. It takes you on the kind of ice cream journey that an ice cream lover like me has only dreamed about – the history, the wild preparation, the passion of the people making it... it’s a strong reminder of how important ice cream can and should be.
In the next episode, the host Isaac Lappert visits the most magical place on Earth - the original Ben & Jerry's factory in Vermont. As it happens, I've been to that factory. I also happen to think that Ben & Jerry's is the most essential ice cream for humanity, especially in these uncertain socio-political times.
(Before we go on, I am bound by the Sugar Free Code to make it clear that I am addicted to ice cream because sugar is an addictive poison that should be eradicated or at the very least, heavily taxed. Hopefully without affecting the availability of Ben & Jerry’s.)
Before these brothers came along, I was living in a monochromatic, single flavour nightmare of chocolate or vanilla or strawberry. The most adventurous additions you could expect were some nuts or chocolate chips so tiny that they would disappear as soon as they hit your hands.
(Yes, I used to eat ice cream with my hands. And no, I don’t like nuts. So you can see the difficulty of my situation.)
Well, Ben and Jerry looked at that ice cream landscape and said, “Let’s put some chunks in there.” And since then, I haven’t been able to eat ice cream straight. I need huge gobs of something in there or it makes for an incredibly boring experience. Even if I’m buying overpriced gelato, I have to combine at least two flavours to get a suitably complex experience.
Now, I’m sure there are single flavour ice creams that are worth the limited imagination required to enjoy them. In fact, I have on one or two occasions eaten coconut sorbet that brought me to my knees and made me weep. But those experiences are rare. (Not the weeping part - that happens all the time.)
But Ben & Jerry’s has been there for me in the good times…
And in the bad…
Flavour-wise, I have an absolute preference for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, which they invented. But I’m also a bit of a Brownie Hound (that was my nickname in high school), so Half Baked will often provide the perfect combination of everything I love most in this world. (I’m not alone - it was the most popular flavour of 2015.)
I also love Peanut Butter Cup, but I can only get it in America, because Ben and/or Jerry (I don’t know which is to blame) won’t bring it Down Under, despite my pleas…
But in the spirit of making a great thing even greater, I have put together a list of flavours that I believe – sorry, I KNOW - should be put into production immediately.
[Note: I have tried to restrict my cookie dough bias so that it doesn’t overwhelm and corrupt the list, but there are forces greater than me at work here. Much greater.]
Chocolate Fondant Lava Core
Chocolate cake flavoured ice cream with a fondant core.
The best cake ever invented is chocolate fondant. It’s got the cake part on the outside and then it’s got that gooey warm chocolate middle that you just want to curl up in for a choco-nap. So this is perfectly suited to Ben & Jerry’s Core line.
Also, with the Core line, there is never enough core. “More Core” that should be their motto. So I would make this thing mostly core.
Caramel ice cream with fudge covered peanut butter humps.
We’ve all wondered what’s in those camel humps. And now we know. Peanut butter.
I Won’t Take Dough for an Answer
Half chocolate ice cream, half chocolate chip cookie dough.
You start off with the chocolate, thinking you don’t need the dough, but then you realise that you do need the dough, and it’s right there for you.
Say Dough to Drugs
Vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough that can only be activated when the eater says the word “dough” out loud and spins around three times.
The technology for self-activating ice cream is out there. We only need to harness it. Also this cookie dough is laced with a mystery powder that makes you think you’re watching the very popular musical Hamilton.
Oh Dough! My Heart!
Vanilla ice cream with fudge covered, heart-shaped pretzels and mounds upon mounds of chocolate chip cookie dough.
Look, I don’t want anyone to have an actual heart attack. But any good ice cream will bring you to the precipice.
Dough Way Out
Salted caramel ice cream on top of triple chocolate brownie cookie dough.
Similar to the Core construct, this invites you to plow through chocolate ice cream to get to a chocolate cookie dough centre – that never ends. It just keeps replenishing until you lose consciousness.
Chocolate ice cream with fudge swirls, peanut butter cookie dough chunks and no nuts.
There has never been a time when I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find nuts in something. Just this once, I’d like to be surprised by the absence of nuts.
Peach ice cream with chocolate chunks shaped like prison.
I’m not really into fruit flavoured ice cream, but this just seems like a no-brainer. And it’s perfectly in line with their political flavour line, like Americone Dream or Strawberry Cheesecake.
I Dough-n’t Know How Fast I Was Going Officer
Peanut butter ice cream with oatmeal cookie dough.
We need more flavours that relate to every day life – getting pulled over for speeding, jaywalking, eating at a restaurant without paying… that kind of thing. I mean, we’ve all been there.
Follow Nick on Twitter, especially if you are Ben & Jerry's and want to get in touch about sending me ice cream.
Watch The Ice Cream Show Saturdays at 6:40pm on SBS VICELAND. Catch up on previous episodes at SBS On Demand: