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Apr 19, 2013

My Ben & Jerry's Adventure: Day Two

Day Two was a half-day where we headed over to check out the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury; about a 30-minute drive from Burlington. It's open to the public for tours, but we were going to get a bit of a behind-the-scenes look.

We went in a big yellow school bus; I hadn't been on one in years. It felt a little like a school field trip!

As short walk brought us to the entrance:

We were there a bit early, but later there were some people eating ice cream outside in the cold.

It was here that we ate a lot of ice cream including this:

What is it you ask? That is Mint Chocolate Cookie (one of my favorite flavors... How did they know?!) fresh off the conveyor, snatched just before it was to go inside the deep freezer. It's like rich, ice-cream soft serve! So easy to eat the whole thing but I managed to stop (I have a blog to run after all and other things to eat and review).

They wheeled them in on a cart with enough for everyone:

They also showed us how they use a machine to cut each carton into quarters for quality control:

The cross sections let them examine the distribution of mix-ins ("inclusions") to make sure it's relatively even, and also lets them easily compare with competing brands. It's also ideal for a tasting (tasting is also part of quality control!) and they cut quite a few pints for us to try:

Pistachio on the left and Americone Dream on the right. Competitors' ice cream in the back.
Afterwards, we got the typical tour you'd get if you visited the Ben & Jerry's factory. It's a fairly short tour but still entertaining and educational. We got to see the Ben & Jerry's factory floor (no pictures allowed though), and along with the tour, there's a sample of ice cream at the end.

Today's flavor was Broccoli Cheddar Chunk. Mmmmmmm... Tastes just like it does on a baked potato:


Okay, that was actually a leftover sign from April Fool's. The actual flavor of the day to sample was this:

It's called "Razzleberry" (vanilla ice cream with razzleberry swirls), which was actually pretty plain compared to all the flavors we had sampled earlier. Razzleberry is not an actual berry but actually the combination of blackberries and raspberries.

We ended our trip to the Ben & Jerry's factory by visiting the Flavor Graveyard, which pays homage to discontinued Ben & Jerry's flavors... with tombstones:

They used to be just boards, but people would steal them for souvenirs. Now they're bolted to the ground, but apparently some people still try:

Alas, poor Dastardly Mash!
Sadly, even the company founder's favorite flavor doesn't stick around if it doesn't sell, which is why Coconut Almond Fudge Chip can also be found to the Flavor Graveyard.

After the Flavor Graveyard, it was back on the bus and then back on a plane for most of us.

If you want to see more pictures, check out the new Brand Eating Instagram page.

Disclosure: Ben & Jerry's paid for my travel expenses, food, and hotel during the visit. I also sampled lots of free ice cream, mostly on Day Two.


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1 comment :

  1. Nice professionalism in not finishing the mint chocolate cookie sample. I think I'd be able to do that too.. but if you're talking about half-baked or chunky monkey, that would be pretty difficult :)

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