I made a hasty decision at my local lotto, cig and ice cream depot that has haunted me for over a week now. I got too cold while trying to select a pint from among the candy-loaded flavor-swirled disco of Ben & Jerry’s flavors and made a hasty choice: Red Velvet Cake.
It sounded okay from the description. Red velvet cake batter ice cream with red velvet cake pieces and cream cheese frosting swirl. Maybe a little too sweet (what B&J flavor isn’t?) and the wording could probably be more succinct, but hey, I was freezing and I like red velvet cake…or do I?
I hustled home, grabbed a spoon, turned on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and dug in, because that’s the only way to eat B & J’s. The first bite was confusing, the second bite was weird and by the third bite I was rudderless in a sea of vague flavors and self-doubt.
The sky is blue, the sun rises in the east and red velvet is a cocoa-based cake with an obscene amount of red food coloring (or beet juice – thanks wikipedia). Ben & Jerry’s was turning my world upside-down with their pale pink “red velvet cake batter ice cream” that tasted faintly of fruit with no chocolate to speak of. Ditto for the cake chunks, though the chewy texture and mystery taste were enough to keep me eating.
Was it weird/good or weird/bad? I called my roommate over to investigate. She tasted, contemplated, paused to say “What the fuck is this?” and kept eating. Half a pint later the verdict was still out on whether this was weird/good or weird/bad and we couldn’t decide whether it tasted like strawberry or if the so-called “red velvet cake batter” ice cream’s color was toying with our simple minds.
A quick glance at the ingredient list confirmed my suspicions: no strawberries or chocolate. “Vegetable and Fruit Juice Concentrates (Color)” seemed like the only reasonable way to explain the flavor but that is cold comfort. What does “Color” mean? What are these unnamed concentrates? Is that strawberry flavor really beet juice? Am I going insane?!
I’ve made everyone who has come by try it and they all agree that it’s totally weird before digging in for another bite. But nobody has been able to say for sure what it actually tastes like. Oddly enough, the internet doesn’t seem to share my confusion.
I want to know WTF this ice cream is supposed to taste like. And even more so, I want to know what those crazy Vermont hippies were smoking when they decided what red velvet tastes like. I think I’ll write them a letter. In the meantime, that new Chocolate Nougat Crunch flavor looks pretty yum.
Posted by Susannah