Ben & Jerry’s celebrity ice creams: Which one is the best?

November 20, 2023 — by Derek Liang and Andy Zhu
Photo by Andy Zhu
We bought the celebrity ice cream flavors from Safeway during our newspaper deadline night on Sept. 28.
After picking out three different ice cream flavors dedicated to celebrities, we put them to the test.

The popular ice cream franchise Ben & Jerry’s is known for collaborating with celebrities to create unique “celebrity-inspired flavors.” The names of these flavors are usually puns relating to the celebrities they are inspired by, and the ice creams themselves are said to offer interesting combinations of flavors that sometimes relate to what a celebrity is known for.

For example, in the past, Ben & Jerry’s has produced “Bohemian Raspberry” inspired by Queen, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” for Elton John, “Late Night Snack” for Jimmy Fallon, “Yes Pecan” for Barack Obama, “Imagined Whirled Peace” for John Lennon and many more. 

We took it upon ourselves to determine whether some of these flavors actually have anything special to them other than just celebrity clout. 

At Safeway, we found three different celebrity flavors to try: “Americone Dream” inspired by Stephen Colbert, “The Tonight Dough” for Jimmy Fallon and “Lights Caramel Action” for Ava Duvernay. 

We carefully examined, tasted and analyzed each flavor using precise techniques that would make master ice cream tester John Harrison proud — by inverting the spoon, covering all 9,000 taste buds, aerating it as well as tasting the cream and the sweeteners.

Mmm — unfortunately, it was not a ten.

Americone Dream: 3.75 out of 5 Falcons

Colbert’s Americone Dream features a vanilla ice cream base with fudge-covered waffle pieces. Additionally, drizzles of caramel sauce are swirled throughout the ice cream to give it a sweet, exhilarating taste that would be perfect for a hot day. 

The star of this flavor, without a doubt, is the waffle cones placed in the ice cream that give you a delightful crunch in every bite.

However, while the contrasting textures make the ice cream satisfying, the caramel becomes slightly overpowering after a few spoons. In our opinion, this makes it too sweet too quickly, bringing our rating down to 3.75 out of 5 Falcons.

The Tonight Dough: 3 out of 5 Falcons

Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Dough features caramel and chocolate ice cream paired with chocolate cookie swirls, gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough and peanut butter cookie dough scattered throughout. 

The initial taste of the ice cream in your mouth is that of a strong, rich-tasting chocolate. The combination of caramel and chocolate ice cream creates a sharp contrast between the flavors by introducing salty creaminess within the rich chocolate, and the gobs of cookie dough provide variety in texture.

While this flavor is fun, the chocolate is slightly too dense for our tastes and becomes overpowering compared to the other flavors in the ice cream. 

Also, although the contrast between the caramel and chocolate ice cream is a fun way to diversify this ice cream from normal flavors, we think that the pairing doesn’t work well and still creates a similar issue to the Americone Dream, where the resulting combination of flavors makes the ice cream too sweet. 

While the texture is also unique, the toppings in the ice cream (which already taste sweet by themselves) overwhelmed us and made our taste buds feel as if they were drenched with sugar, resulting in an even more overpowering taste of sweetness than the previous ice cream.

Lights! Caramel! Action!: 2 out of 5 Falcons

This ice cream flavor’s name is inspired by American filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who was responsible for “Selma” and “A Wrinkle In Time.” This flavor consists of a vanilla ice cream base paired with salted caramel swirls, graham cracker swirls and heaps of chocolate chip cookie dough.

The classic pairing of vanilla and caramel brings back memories of enjoying childhood sweets like the chinese White Rabbit candy. Additionally, the cookie dough provides a subtly crunchy texture contrast, but in our opinion, it’s not as satisfying as that of the Americone Dream. 

Unfortunately, the additional ingredients on top of the vanilla base don’t seem to add much flavor to the ice cream, leaving it tasting like a sweeter version of plain old vanilla ice cream.

Overall verdict

After trying these three celebrity ice cream flavors, we have to say that we were slightly disappointed. While there were multiple highlights to each of these ice creams, like their contrasting textures, all of them had very basic flavor combinations (chocolate and caramel is overdone) and tasted too sweet for us.

We also think that the taste of a celebrity feature ice cream should have more pop — each ice cream should have a unique flavor to fit the featured celebrity’s personality. In our opinion, these specific flavors do not represent their respective celebrities enough to be special and feel  more like repetitive attempts to mash generic ice cream flavors and toppings together for tons of celebrities.

Overall, we recommend that you give the Americone Dream a try if you like a crunchy and soft texture contrast; otherwise, save the seven dollars and fifty cents that every pint costs for other ice cream flavors you can enjoy.

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