Friday, February 24, 2012

Ben & Jerry's: Peace, Love and Ice Cream

One of the many international franchises that are slowly creeping into the culinary world and culture of the “Slow Food” nation of Italy is the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Shop, an American (as usual) franchise who challenged Italy’s all natural and indigenous gelato industry.

The company actually had the guts to challenge the healthy and natural and locally made world-famous gelato (by the way, they said that there’s a big difference between gelato and ice cream. I’ll discuss that later on).

My take on this issue is: whatever! Who the hell cares!

I do think that Italian gelato is still better than ice cream in terms of quality in production, health and even the uncontested natural characteristic. But the thing is Ben & Jerry’s added creativity and introduced new flavours not conceived by artisans of gelato.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Ship is in Piazza del Duomo 6/R, Florence.

The company started in 1963 when two guys, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, found themselves suffering under the oppression of boredom during their P.E. class in a school in Long Island, New York. They soon found out that they both hated sports and they share the same passion for ice cream. They soon produced ice cream from fresh milk and added delicious chunks of sweets, cakes, and other delicacies, and the rest is history.

Their ice cream is good and delicious, creative, interesting and exciting. They also have baked euphoria (waffles), hippy hippy shakes, brownies and other cakes. You can also make your own sundae by choosing which ice cream you want and which chunks, candies and syrup to put on your sundae. The place is well done and very affable.

They claim that their products all came from naturally raised cows and naturally produced fresh milk.

Unfortunately the prices are quite expensive compared to the gelato shops. A regular cup costs 4 euros and a large one costs 6 euros. But I think those prices are reasonable for something as good as a cup of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

One negative feedback is the limited number of flavours available. Here in Florence, I think they only have 16 flavours to choose from, unlike Festival del Gelato, they have more than 30 flavours.

But then, who really cares? It is something new, a simple curiosity wouldn’t kill. Why not try the most interesting (for now) ice cream in town?

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