Yes, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Is Now In Manila And We’re Overjoyed
Any self-proclaimed ice cream lover has to have tried Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at some point in their lives. Considered one of those truly super premium global ice cream brands, Ben & Jerry’s is fairly easy to find around the world, including most of Asia. But so far, its presence in Manila has been timid at best, with only a limited supply available at a few of Manila’s more upscale supermarkets. But we’re more than happy to report that Ben & Jerry’s is finally coming to Manila in a big way, as it is (or will soon be) available at your neighborhood supermarkets and convenience stores in the city. Finally!
I first discovered Ben & Jerry’s a few decades ago while living in the United States. I especially remember when they first came out with the brand Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough in the early 1990s. Yes, I was one of those kids with a secret love for cookie dough (before people knew that it was dangerous to eat unbaked!), and with that one ice cream flavor, Ben & Jerry’s really showed that any flavor idea, no matter how crazy, can possibly work.
While the Ben & Jerry’s we know today is a global brand wholly owned by Unilever, it had more modest beginnings in 1978 where two “hippies,” Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, opened their first ice cream shop in a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont. But from the very beginning, they injected their ice cream creations with their now legendary humor (their famous Cherry Garcia was named after the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia) and brand of social activism.
In 2000, Ben and Jerry sold the company to Unilever, but thankfully, the brand has retained much of its original quirkiness, and has continued to be a strong advocate for hot topic issues throughout the years. Ben & Jerry’s is committed to Fair Trade sourcing of ingredients, doesn’t use GMOs, is against the presence of rBGH or the recombinant bovine growth hormone in the dairy products it uses, and has also advocated in support of LGBT rights, racial justice, climate action, democracy, and refugees, among other issues.
While the Ben & Jerry’s story is certainly a “feel good” one, the true test comes in the tasting. Thankfully, I got a sneak peek (and taste) of four of its most popular flavors, reminding me why I fell in love with this brand years ago. To sum up the experience—it’s really all about the over-the-top creaminess and, for me, the generous chunks of flavorings mixed into the ice cream, whether it’s fudge brownies or cookie dough or cheesecake.
Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream is basically cheesecake in an ice cream tub with strawberries and a nice crumbly texture from the thick Graham cracker swirl.
Chocolate Fudge Brownie is for those chocolate lovers who love their chocolate ice cream with a double dose of fudge brownies mixed in. The brownies come from New York’s Greyston Bakery which provides jobs and training for the city’s low-income residents.
My original favorite, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, is simply vanilla ice cream with big gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough blended in—the bigger the chunks the better!
New York Super Fudge Chunk
New York Super Fudge Chunk is another chocolate ice cream lover’s dream, but this time made more decadent with the addition of white and dark fudge chunks, pecans, walnuts, and fudge-covered almonds.
Of course, these are just a small sampling of Ben & Jerry’s many ice cream flavors, which we’ll be happily rediscovering as summer approaches—one frozen pint at a time.
Photos by Berwin Coroza
Styling by Butchie Peña