In my quest to take full advantage of my cheat days for my diet, I have been endeavoring to sample some ice cream goodness each Saturday. This time around, it’s Clusterfluff, the Ben and Jerry’s flavor that everybody’s been telling me I should try. It boasts “Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Caramel Cluster Pieces, Peanut Butter & Marshmallow Swirls.” That sounds fantastic, frankly. According to the label, it is comprised of nothing but win.
Now here’s the thing: while I am a big fan of peanut butter, I’ve never been a huge fan of peanut butter ice cream. I know that’s an odd distinction, but it’s sort of hard to argue with the peanut butter ice cream used here because, just like Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream tastes just like actual red velvet cake–this peanut butter ice cream is just straight-up peanut buttery. And not in that organic hey-that-doesn’t-taste-like-peanut-butter way, as fans of Peter Pan might attest to. No, it’s pretty much dead-on. You throw in some peanut butter and marshmallow swirls–which were frankly hard to isolate taste-wise against the full-on assault of the peanut butter–and we’re still all good. Now we hit the caramel cluster pieces and…
What the hell is that? That is not caramel. It’s a caramel-coated bit of void. A non-taste that sticks out like a sore thumb. Not a literal sore thumb because in a tub of ice cream that would be really disgusting, but…what the hell is that? Whatever it is, it’s robbing my mouth of all these awesome tastes. A quick examination of the ingredients list reveals the culprit: oats. Caramel-coated…oats.
Let me admit something to you. I am not a big fan of oats. I realize that I am one of six people on the planet who can admit they don’t like oatmeal. I think more people than that can’t stand it but drown it in sugar and syrup and other things to make it palatable just like I drown my salads in meat. If you are one of these people who feels like they can’t cope with the fact that oats taste like…well, oats…and you drown it in things to make you able to eat it then I have found the ice cream for you. Because they’ve drowned oats in caramel, peanut butter and marshmallows. Just for you.
And you know what? I can’t stand it. I mean…seriously, Ben and Jerry’s? Why not just coat lentils in caramel? Or better yet, at least say on the packaging what this ingredient is. It is not a caramel cluster. Because, call me crazy, a caramel cluster is, in my dictionary anyway, a cluster of caramel. You didn’t even call it one of those vague ingredient names like “caramel crunches” or “caramel crisps” or something that I could even let you get away with. No, you said “caramel cluster”…and it’s not. Sorry, but it’s just not.
Now before I get the hate mail, I realize I am in the minority on this, since so many of you dig the hell out of this flavor, it seems. But the combination just doesn’t work for me–and that’s me. I realize the company is constantly trying to make new flavors and get people’s attention (and get people to blog about them, naturally) but they seem to, more than they have in the past, just keep adding ingredients when they should just quit while they’re ahead. Peanut butter! Caramel! Marshmallows! Oats! See? One too many. Just like Cake Batter, which, no, I will never stop complaining about. Perfectly good ice cream, ruined by too many ingredients. And it’s just a damn shame.