Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra Core

Kcal 230 Fat 13g Fat (sats) 9g Carbs 24g (per 100ml)

There is little that is more divine than when chocolate melts in the mouth. What is not so divine, however, is when it melts before you have taken a bite. With the hot days we’ve been having this summer that can pose a problem. But there is always a solution – or in this case, an alternative: Chocolate ice cream.

When it comes to ice cream, I must confess that my heart belongs to vanilla, but living in a household with various tastes, it means our freezer is filled with all varieties. So discovering that the vanilla had vanished, my eyes fell upon a tub of Ben & Jerry’s.

Ben & Jerry’s are well known for their whacky combinations and creative names, and the Karamel Sultra Core lives up to that reputation. It does perhaps sound more like a steaming pudding with a gooey filling than something to pine for on a hot day, but none the less, it grabs your attention.

The packaging is also an attention grabber. The presentation of Ben & Jerry’s tubs stand out from other brands, with playful images, bold colours, and a product description that resembles a blurb on the back cover of a book. Ben & Jerry’s want you to ‘lose yourself in sensuously sweet caramel’ by taking a ‘swim in waves of caramel’. A slightly more informative denotation is a ‘caramel centre surrounded by chocolate and caramel ice creams with chocolaty chunks.

When you lift off the lid you’ll find what looks like a ying yang symbol with contrasting brown and cream colours swirling around a caramel core. My favourite of the three elements is the caramel ice cream, probably because it tastes so strongly of vanilla. The caramel favour does not start to appear until later, but it creeps up almost unnoticed.

Where you really get the caramel hit is in the core. It has a gorgeous sticky texture, but the concentration can make it a bit sickly. I can’t help think it would be more effective to have the caramel rippling through the two ice creams in a swirling pattern, rather than as a separate component. The core itself appears to get smaller and smaller the deeper you go, and it also veers off centre, in the same way someone’s handwriting begins to slope if not given lined paper.

Unfortunately the chocolate ice cream fails to impress. It lacks creaminess and does not melt in the mouth well. In fact, while the caramel ice cream melts away on one side, the chocolate ice cream remains as solid as a rock. One needs to chip away at it instead of scoop. Inspection of the ingredients makes the reasons for this quite clear. It contains no cocoa mass or coca butter, just cocoa powder. Therefore, despite being ice cream, it has quite a dry texture and lacks any sweetness.

Also disrupting the smooth texture is the chocolate chunks dispersed throughout. Imagine putting a block of chocolate in the freezer and then immediately trying to eat it upon taking it out. This is what the chunks are like. They are also pretty tasteless.

Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra Core is really like the opposing ying and yang. On the one side you have an indulgent caramel ice cream: smooth, sweet, and comforting. On the other you have a deceptive chocolate ice cream: hard, plain, and disappointing.

Presentation: 10
Aroma: 6.5
Taste: 6.5
Sustenance: 7
Texture: 6.5
Overall: 7.3