In what turned out to be a brilliant marketing strategy, Ben & Jerry's teased us earlier this week by tweeting out a heads up that they'd be unveiling new flavors the next day. And then the world was waiting with bated breath.
Come Monday, the ice cream company revealed its new "Core" line, which features six new flavors with centers of either fudge, caramel or raspberry jam. It might be a revolutionary concept, in theory, if you can guarantee that every bite has every flavor, avoiding a common complaint about swirled flavors that might only have fudge, for example, in some parts.
In reality? Read on to find out.
Hazed & Confused
Hazelnut and chocolate ice creams with fudge chips and a hazelnut chocolate swirl
One taster's first reaction was, "Ugh! The core is so thick and gloppy. It sticks to my mouth like a dog eating peanut butter."
Another agreed, but thought the flavor was spot-on. "As a self-described Nutella connoisseur, the core is delicious flavor-wise, but texture-wise it's way too hard, and so the ice cream is ultimately a failure."
Others weren't as harsh, but they were left wondering where the hazelnut flavor was.
"Where's the hazelnut?" one asked.
"I didn't taste any," another replied.
That's My Jam
Chocolate and raspberry ice creams with fudge chips and a raspberry core
"This is the best textured core," the first taster concluded. "But I have raspberry seeds left in my teeth."
"Yes, the best core," another agreed. "This is not light like jelly; it's a little heavier, like the filling of a cookie."
"I would just say a delightful surprise with the jelly," a third taster commented. "And it's not that gross fake strawberry flavor."
As for overall flavor, the consensus was that it wasn't fruity enough.
"A little heavy on the chocolate. I was hoping for a Cherry Garcia, but it's more chocolate than that," one summed up for the group.
Peanut Butter Fudge
Chocolate and peanut butter ice creams with mini peanut butter cups and a peanut butter fudge core
This flavor was the group's overall favorite.
"I was really excited for this flavor when I saw it come out. This is amazing," one gushed. "It tastes like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup - literally. It's gooey, and I love it."
Others had similar complaints to the Hazed and Confused, though, that the core was too thick and overpowered the flavor of the ice cream itself:
"The core is too firm," one concluded.
But, overall, most people just gave a satisfied, "Mmm," as soon as this flavor hit their taste buds.
Sweet cream ice cream with blonde brownies and a salted caramel core
Tasters were very divided on this flavor.
"It's way too salty," one said with a disgusted look.
"I think it's a good salt level," another countered, while a third complained that it "could be saltier."
Beyond the salt level, many agreed that the core caramel was spot-on but that the ice cream, itself, was bland.
"If the core wasn't there, it wouldn't have been as fun," one said.
Another agreed, saying, "I think it's good in the middle with the core, but I wish it was mixed together with the ice cream a little more. The flavor is pretty muted, to be honest."
Flavor is an extremely personal judgment, and these ice creams split tasters into two camps: the lovers and haters.
"These are gimmicky and not focused on quality," one complained.
"It's too much of a lard bomb in the middle of the ice cream," another agreed.
"It was tasty, but I had to go to great lengths to get a perfect bite on my tiny spoon," another pointed out. "It might work if you're scooping, but if you're eating out of the tub it's no good. I'd rather have a swirl than a core."
And, let's be honest, most people are hoarding pints to themselves with personal spoons.
A lot of tasters had extremely inconsistent bites, adding weight to the above argument. One would be full of hazelnut flavor, while the next would have hardly any hazelnut.
The other half, however, was crazy for the core.
"I think the core is a welcome addition because you don't need to add a topping or syrup to the top since you have it throughout. It sprinkles a little bit of joy into each pint versus putting it on the top," a lover concluded.
In the end, you that you should probably just try these flavors for yourself to see if you're a lover or a hater. Because no one knows your taste buds like you.