Grubbin’ with the Boys: Ben and Jerry’s Edition

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Noah Conen, Director of Food Publications

2020 is easily the worst year of all time. Do not let historians tell you otherwise — 2020 seriously comes short compared to any other year ever. No question, done, end of story. To give you a reminder of what has happened so far, Kobe Bryant died, we came the closest to World War III since the Cuban missile crisis, Tom Brady left the Patriots, the Patriots now have a losing record, truth is now a concept that can be interpreted based on opinion, and worst of all, I hurt myself. Long story short, I tore my ACL because I suck at football. In order to make this year just a bit better, I have decided to write another food review. Usually I write my articles in good health, but as of right now, I cannot walk, sleep, or think, so just be thankful I was kind enough to do this for you guys. Just kidding, it is my pleasure to produce articles for all you diehard “Grubbin” fans. We all know that “Grubbin with The Boys” is the only thing in the Radnorite worth anyone’s time — how you like dem apples Ellie?

I was originally going to do fast food French fries, but that soon became impractical with the whole injury thing. Accordingly, my mom improvised and bought an assortment of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavors. I notified my friends of the change and prepared to ingest way too much of Vermont’s Finest. Originally, my friends were not happy with the switch from french fries to ice cream, and voiced their secession from the food Union by leaving the Grubbin’ group chat. I can’t seem to recall being notified that free ice cream was lame all of a sudden, so I knocked some sense into them by texting, “shut up, its free ice cream.” My Grubbin’ group chat is a strict one party authoritarian dictatorship, and anyone who dissents from me will be crushed with the might of my empire.

 

The Reviewers were:

Me (Noah Conen)

CJ Murphy

Will Gallagher

Gaven Williams

Connor O’Sullivan

Ben Hart

 

After sampling, we each gave each flavor a score out of ten to represent taste independently. I instructed everyone to write down a couple words about each flavor but as you will see, directions, like the truth, are a concept that can be interpreted based on opinion.

 

#7: Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz  (Coffee Ice Cream with Espresso Bean Fudge Chunks)

  Coffee ice cream is a sign of class, elegance, and maturity — only a fine lady or gentleman can appreciate the taste of coffee ice cream. It’s funny that I am the only one who liked this ice cream, because Borat in a speedo would be less awkward than me in any given social situation. As I happily scarfed down my ration of silky coffeeice cream, the other reactions around the table ranged from gagging to straight up staring in silence, apparently showing PTSD from past coffee disasters. Ben declared the desert “not sharp,” CJ simply used the word “terrible” to justify his grade of 0, Connor gave the puzzling contradiction, “not good, second bite good,” and Will, once again, used silence to voice his displeasure. Judging by how we all described the flavors, none of us should graduate to coffee yet. I am just built different.

 

Ratings out of 10:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average Rating: 2.90

 

#6: Cherry Garcia (Cherry Ice Cream with Cherries & Fudge Flakes)

If you ask anyone to name a Ben and Jerry’s flavor, they will say Cherry Garcia. If they say anything else, they are weird, and you should distance yourself from them. This signature flavor of Ben and Jerry’s, named for famous guitarist of the Grateful Dead Jerry Garcia, was a rather polarizing flavor among the testers. I happened to really like it, but it would appear no one else did. I love the cherry chunks with the chocolate bits, but when the next highest rating was from Gaven at a 4 out of 10, you know the group did not like it. Ben simply wrote that “it was donkey,” Connor took problem with the cherry chunks, Gaven said something (I’m not really sure what because it looks like Russian Cyrillic) and Will said nothing, just giving a score of 3/10. Sometimes silence hurts the most.

 

Ratings out of 10:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average Rating: 3.17

 

#5 (tie): Chunky Monkey (Banana Ice Cream with Fudge Chunks & Walnuts)

Chunky Monkey is the only other acceptable “go to” flavor and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Apparently Chunky Monkey is slang for an overweight person in America, but I have never been called a chunky monkey before even though I have been mistaken for a grape when I wear purple. The bizarre part of this creamy concoction is not its name (which I am ninety nine percent sure does not exist) but its taste. It definitely did taste like bananas, but had an aftertaste of chemicals as well — something I do not want to taste while binge watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver to remind myself how much this year sucks. Ben said that while it was average, the banana flavor was good, CJ dropped another iconic line with “weird contrast,” Connor labeled the pint as “good bananas and nuts,” and Will just called it “strong banana.”

 

Ratings out of 10:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average Rating: 4.6

 

#5 (tie): Mint Chocolate Cookie (Peppermint Ice Cream with Chocolate Sandwich Cookies)                                                                               

Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream in some form or another is an extremely popular flavor of frozen dairy. You can either hit a homerun and have a great scoop of mint euphoria or strike out with frozen Colgate toothpaste. The second option is what I thought this pint tasted like, and other reviewers noticed it too. It is not horrible and I would still eat it; but then again, when I want mint ice cream, I want mint ICE CREAM, not mint toothpaste. For example, if I ask Alexa to play the best guitarist to ever walk planet earth and she plays anyone other than the legend himself, Jimi Hendrix, I will not be mad, but it is not the JHE. Jimi Hendrix, the man who created a masterpiece with each strum of his guitar, deserves his own Ben and Jerry’s flavor  more than anyone else I can imagine. Moving back to the realm of ice cream, Ben gave it a 0 and unsurprisingly agreed with my toothpaste assessment, while Connor and CJ automatically discredited themselves and their opinions with their appraisal of the flavor. 

 

Ratings out of 10:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average Rating: 4.6

 

#4: Chubby Hubby (Vanilla Malt Ice Cream with Peanutty Fudge-Covered Pretzels with Fudge & Peanut Buttery Swirls)

Chubby Hubby appears to be named after fat dads who sit on their leather recliners in the living room while watching TV and eating ice cream. This might be the most uncharacteristic ice cream name Ben and Jerry’s has, since it does not involve a hippie band, pop culture reference, or left-wing politician. It was a surprisingly well received flavor among the group and gained particular praise for featuring an often-overlooked ice cream element — crunch. I really liked the smooth ice cream filled with landmines of peanut butter filled pretzels. The pretzels stayed surprisingly crunchy and the salt was a satisfying contrast to the overall sweetness. Ben was not as dazzled, saying it was “not impressive, like the Vikings offense,” which confused me because of the respective successes of Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson this year; perhaps it would have made more sense to call it the NFC East, because that division is certainly something unimpressive. CJ’s elaborate comment this time was, “nice pretzel contrast” and I think Gaven said something thoughtful, but as his handwriting looked like that of a serial killer, I guess we will never be sure. 

 

Ratings out of 10: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average Rating: 6.17

 

#3: Half Baked (Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Creams mixed with Gobs of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough & Fudge Brownies)

Ben and Jerry really mean it when they call this flavor half baked, because there is a deluge of cookie dough and brownies inside that satisfies my general desert cravings in a way like no other. Ben thought pretty highly of the ice cream as well, while CJ shocked me with his magnum opus of a comment, simply calling the pint “boring,” and giving it a shockingly low score. Connor liked the chocolate notes and reported that he was getting some “nice rocky road type beat,” and Will decided to stick it to the man and resist my authority by again not writing anything.

 

Ratings out of 10: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average Rating: 6.8

 

#2: Milk & Cookies (Vanilla Ice Cream with a Chocolate Cookie Swirl, Chocolate Chip & Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies)

This is a Stephen A. Smith level hot take, but I do not like Oreos. I have never cared for them, so when I saw that this was non-Oreo cookies cream ice cream, I was excited. Yeah, it is just plain old cookies and cream, but when is ice cream not good? It probably wouldn’t be my go to for an antisocial night of eating ice cream and thinking about what other kids are doing, but at the end of the day it’s ice cream so it’ll get the job done. Will appreciated the “great texture and cookie chunks,” while Gaven wrote with the handwriting of a kindergartener “good flaveer and texturer, kinda average.” Self-appointed cookies and cream guy Connor gave it a 9/10 citing the great flavor, CJ enlightened me with his one word review of “texture,” and Ben drew up Shakespeareian level English, exclaiming “dude taste great man, truly superb.” Personally, I did not care too much for it, but I did appreciate the solid cookie flavor.

 

Ratings out of 10:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average Rating: 8.17

 

#1: Netflix & Chilll’d (Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Sweet & Salty Pretzel Swirls & Fudge Brownies) 

What do The Anchorman, Barack Obama and Monty Python all have in common? The same thing that Bob Marley, Jimmy Fallon, and Stephen Colbert have in common with Phish, Saturday Night Live and Bernie Sanders. At some point, every distinguished name in this set had their very own flavor of ice cream made by Ben and Jerry’s — what a list! I think this flavor dwarfs all other name inspirations and funnily enough, the ice cream itself is actually delicious. The main flavor profile is definitely peanut butter, but a satisfying pretzel uppercut combines with a fudge brownie hook to make this a fantastic concoction. Ben declared it a banger, saying “this secured the bag” and Connor confused me again when he proclaimed “the chocolate gave nice context.” Does this ice cream live up to its name? Frankly, I don’t know — all I can say is that Vermont has suddenly become my most desired place to travel to. 

Ratings out of 10:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average Rating: 8.8

 

No surprise here, Netflix and Chill’d won; its lowest rating, a seven, boasts all around satisfaction. The flavor had the edge thanks to its great peanut butter flavor with other delicious factors, making it an all-around complete package. Now I am finally at peace to rewatch the Mandalorian for the 98th time; that finale man, it is up there with Pine Barrens and Ozymandias. 

 For the next edition of Grubbin With the Boys, I will not promise anything because I do not think I have ever actually done as promised in the previous article. At the moment, my already non-existent scheduling abilities are more incompetent than Cyberpunk 2077 on the Xbox One. For all you know, I could be eating steak frites in Paris or comparing space dust on the moon for the next review. Thanks for all the support and I hope you enjoyed the article! If you did not; you have no taste in fine literature, you reek of stupidity, I hate your guts and your opinion does not matter.