While the last battle of the late-night talk-show hosts has finally fizzled out, a new, tastier competition came to a head late last week on Comedy Central:
The battle of the Ben & Jerry's late-night novelty ice cream flavors!
On Wednesday night Ben & Jerry's got airtime on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon , when Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield themselves made an appearance to present the host's namesake novelty flavor, Jimmy Fallon's Late Night Snack.
Not surprisingly, Stephen Colbert was enraged to hear that something good had happened to someone other than him -- particularly now that the gleam is off his B&J flavor, Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream.
After "choking down" a few bites of Fallon's flavor, Colbert challenged Fallon to a duel, calling in backup (Jon Stewart, who pouted over the absence of a Jon Stewart flavor) while Jimmy playacted being stood up by Leno.
From The Colbert Report:
After we stopped laughing, Gut Check hit up our nearest Ben & Jerry's, where we learned that Fallon's frozen delight was due to arrive in St. Louis on Friday at 1 p.m. sharp. Now, having procured equal amounts of Colbert's flavor (laced with chunks of chocolate-covered sugar cone) and Fallon's (ditto, only with chocolate-covered potato chips), armed ourself for battle, with scoop, bowl and spoon...
The Contenders Late Night Snack: Ben & Jerry's newest concoction follows the same formula as most of the company's other flavors: It starts with a classic, swirls some gooey stuff into it, along with chunks of something potentially unsuitable for consumption -- and we all live happily ever after, if a little guiltily.
In this case, the classic is vanilla ice cream, the goo is an intensely salty caramel and the chunks are nuggets of crumbled potato chips coated in chocolate.
The caramel is the perfect fusion of salty and sweet, especially set against its backdrop of ultra-rich vanilla ice cream. It's a bit of a sodium shock once you break through the chocolate and the potato-chip balls come into play. Not to say it's not good -- it is good! -- you just can't plow through it, and you need a break between bites.
Once you get past the notion that you're eating deep-fried carbohydrates, the potato-chip aspect is pretty damn delicious, each little lump giving way with a very satisfying crunch.
All in all, Late Night tastes like a flavor modeled after Fallon should: quirky, fun, carefree -- and just the teeniest bit out of the ordinary. AmeriCone Dream: Colbert's flavor, too, shares traits with its namesake. Like, it's, well...conservative. The base is plain vanilla, as opposed to Fallon's flavor base, which is vanilla flecked with vanilla bean and the caramel swirl is just...caramel swirl. The chocolate-covered chunks of sugar cone are tasty, but you certainly can't say there's anything counterintuitive about them -- this being ice cream, and them being cone.
To sum up: Eating AmeriCone Dream is essentially eating vanilla ice cream with a caramel swirl on a chocolate dipped sugar cone. Not that there's anything wrong with that, as a certain comedian -- who kinda had his own Ben & Jerry's flavor for a while there -- once said.
Considering this description basically shouts "been there, done that," the flavors work. While it inches up to the line of too-sweet, it doesn't cross it, and the ice cream makers found a way to get the texture of those sugar-cone pieces just right: chewy to the point of almost stale, but with just enough crunch.
The Verdict These flavors are strikingly similar. Looking at them, we almost expected them to taste identical, aside from the business with the potato chips. Vanilla, caramel, crunch. Vanilla, caramel, crunch. How different can that be?
Very different, it turns out. And though it comes as a bitof a shock -- to Gut Check, we mean -- we're coming down on the side of the vanilla.
AmeriCone Dream it is. Yes, it's plain, as in plain good.