If my previous post didn’t have you running to the grocery store for a perfect pint, this one certainly will. Or better yet, head to your nearest Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop for a complimentary taste because today is Free Cone Day! Yay! Noon till 8 PM…Go.
Day 2 of the Ben & Jerry’s press trip was as eventful as the first. After visiting St. Albans Cooperative Creamery where hormone-free milk for the ice creams is exclusively sourced, we headed to the Waterbury plant for a behind-the-scenes look at how each pint is made, swirls, chunks, and all.
The tour began with a short movie about the history of Ben & Jerry’s. Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield met in 7th grade gym class, took a $5 dollar correspondence course to learn ice-cream making, and renovated an old gas station in Burlington for their first store in 1978! Following the film, we were led up a flight of stairs and onto a platform for an elevated view of the factory floor—no pictures were allowed, unfortunately.
The factory floor, which churns out 110 pints per minute and 160,000 pints per day, was a mesmerizing sight with its complex machinery moving a mile a minute.
Next, the tour took us into the Flavor Lab, where we taste-tested a flavor that has yet to hit the markets. The scoop of the day was “At the ChocoBanana”—banana cinnamon ice cream with brown sugar caramel swirls and milk chocolate chunks. Of all the creative creations I sampled on the trip, this one was my favorite!
While the tour ends there for most folks, we were treated to a few bonuses. First up, a taste of the “Peanut Butter Fudge” Core (Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ice Creams with Mini Peanut Butter Cups) fresh off the conveyor belt. Pre-frozen ice cream…a dream.
To burn off the calories from our indulgent afternoon and to experience a slice of Vermont life, we went snowshoeing! I was beyond stoked.
The hardest part of snowshoeing was getting my gear on. After that barrier was conquered, it was smooth sailing.
Our not-so-vigorous hike featured babbling brooks and wild mushrooms.
Ah, nature…so beautiful.
Following our snowshoeing adventure, we learned a bit about quality control by slicing up a whole bunch of pints.
The perfect Core boasts an even distribution of chunks and swirls, and a Core straight through the center. The pints produced here are constantly tested to make sure that only the best products end up in our freezer.
And then we proceeded to sample all four of the new Core flavors, because we’re wild like that.
“That’s my Jam,” Chocolate and Raspberry Ice Creams with Fudge Chips and a Raspberry Core, was totally my jam. I wished I could’ve shared it with my raspberry-loving Astronomer.
And finally, we visited the Flavor Graveyard.
Each year, Ben and Jerry’s lays the dozen or so flavors with the lowest sales to rest here. In its history, the company has eliminated over 200 flavors, including “Oh Pear,” “Tuskegee Chunk,” and “Holy Cannoli.”
Here’s Matt mourning the loss of his favorite flavor…it happens.
Now, go get yourself a free scoop!
Ben & Jerry’s Waterbury Plant
1281 Waterbury Stowe Road
Waterbury, VT 05676
One year ago: Weekend Brunch at Sunny Spot – Los Angeles (Venice)
Two years ago: Alinea – Chicago
Three years ago: Ludo Truck – Los Angeles
Four years ago: Ludo Bites 4.0 at Gram & Papa’s – Los Angeles (Downtown)
Five years ago: Fosselman’s Ice Cream Co. – Alhambra
Six years ago: Eating in District 4
Seven years ago: Capogiro – Philadelphia