We tried Ben & Jerry's super-rare, UK-only Bob Marley ice cream
(Editor's Note: Because this ice cream is only available in the UK, we had our extremely British editor Jason Allen review it from his home in Hogwarts.)
Lucky Charms. Cheetos. Those soft drinks made out of high fructose corn syrup rather than boring old sugar. There are a ton of delicious US-based foods that are unavailable in the UK -- but finally, there’s something that old Johnny Stars & Stripes can’t get hold of. That’s right, Ben & Jerry’s have quite traitorously released their newest, Bob Marley-est creamery offering in the UK only. You can't even get it in Vermont. Ha-ha!
A little background
Ok, here's what's inside that marvelous-looking pint: banana ice cream, caramel swirls, crumbled cookie, and hunks of chocolate shaped into adorable little peace signs, all of which Bob Marley was famous for advocating. And since I live in the now-even-more merry ol’ England, I had a moral obligation to try the stuff. So precisely how envious should you be?
The ice cream
The ice cream itself tastes, at first, like standard vanilla. Which is confusing! But then moments later, when the numbing coldness loosens its grip on your tongue, you get a full, pleasant, and none-too-overpowering dose of banana-y, tropical sweetness. That’s the risk with banana. It’s a treble, not a bass note. Making it the foundation of your ice cream could backfire, but they seem to have done a fine job here.
The stuff that isn't ice cream
The cookie crumbs are there to represent sand, I guess? At least that’s the vibe I’m getting. I mean, it kinda looks like there’s sand in the ice cream. And that’s tropical? Right? But it tastes great, and actually adds a little pleasing texture, so it works.
The caramel is caramel, and if you’ve ever had a banana with caramel, then you know it’s also an absurdly good move.
Finally, the little chocolate peace signs give the whole thing an appropriately Woodstocky vibe, and are also worryingly perfect. I couldn’t find any that were broken, crushed, or malformed. Perhaps the people at B&J’s were worried about the devastatingly potent symbolism of a broken peace sign slowly drowning in ice cream. Also, they were tasty.
Honestly, I was looking hard for criticism here. But -- its novelty nature aside -- this is actually a really great ice cream. Everything’s well-balanced, tasty, and scarily moreish (Editor's Note: this is a British word meaning "a tasty food you want to eat more of"). If you are a United States citizen, then I strongly advise you to write to your congressman and demand that this stuff be sold over there.
Jason Allen writes for Thrillist, and desperately resisted the urge to make jokes about this ice cream joining Cherry Garcia and Half Baked in capturing the entire "munchies" market.