Ya heard it here first kids! It's 2 in the morning and I think it's time for a late-night post AND maybe a snack. The newest addition to Ben & Jerry's lineup of outrageous ice cream is Late Night Snack, a collaboration by founders Ben Cohen, Jerry Greenfield, and of course, the new Mr. Late Night himself, Jimmy Fallon. This somewhat surprising partnership comes on the heels of Fallon's 2nd year anniversary with NBC, and being a major foodie, he jumped at the opportunity to pair with the masters of gluttony to create a new ice cream flavor.
What does a late night snack mean to you? For me, it's usually something salty followed by something sweet. Occasionally I mix the two and go with pretzels dipped in Nutella, or something of that nature. Ben & Jerry's Late Night Snack looks a little something like this:
Not helpful? Ok I'll break it down. It's vanilla bean ice cream with salted caramel swirl and fudge-covered potato chip clusters. !!! That's right! Before I get into this magical mixture, can I just point out how underrated salted caramel is?? It has to be one of my favorite things; I love the combination of salty and sweet and I have to say they really hit it out of the park with this one. Ben & Jerrys ice cream is always creamy, smooth and amazing, but how can you NOT love something that has all the elements of a perfect "late night snack" rolled up into one nice little pint? If you're not a huge chocolate lover (boooo), the pieces are not overwhelming, so they can easily be avoided, and the caramel….well that's mixed in pretty well so you're shit out of luck if you don't like caramel. But…who doesn't like caramel?
The Q&A portion of the press conference with Jimmy, Ben and Jerry was awesome. The inspiration for the flavor came from a skit on Late Night where Fallon and The Roots performed "Ladysmith Snack Mambazo", an original song about Ben & Jerrys ice cream. Click here to watch the video.
Fallon spoke about going through all the combinations of salty and sweet they could think of: pizza (ew), pretzels, popcorn, etc until they finally landed on potato chips. They loved the idea but couldn't figure out how they would add them in without getting soggy. Believe it or not, Fallon made the suggestion to make them into clusters and smother them in chocolate. Brilliance! Fallon's take on the finished product?
"You got the crisp, you got the sweet, you got the chocolate…uh it's perfect! That's it. What else do you need?!" The man has a point.
When asked about Stephen Colbert and his flavor, AmeriCone Dream, he jokingly (I think) said "Ice cream cones in ice cream? What a genius idea. He's a friggin' genius." Click here to see his reaction (yes, it's my first YouTube video!)
Another reason they wanted to partner with Fallon here was to help spread the word about Fair Trade USA, a non profit organization that helps farmers in third world countries grow a sustainable business through "fair" compensation and safe working conditions. Many of the ingredients in Late Night Snack are fair trade (you will see the logo on the front of the container), like the cocoa and the vanilla, but we asked about the chips and turns out those are not one of them. They are thick, kettle-cooked and delicious though. But I digress. Right now according to Ben, nearly 80% of the population in Europe is aware of fair trade and will look for the logo on products and ingredients, while in the US, that number is only at about 30%. Click here to read more on Fair Trade USA and how you can donate or click here to learn who their licensed partners are.
Let's end this post on an upbeat note. For two reasons. 1 – Fair Trade is a serious topic and 2 – my computer crashed earlier which is why this post is very late. I wanted it up Wednesday around 9 pm. It is now 2:02 AM on Thursday and I spent the past three hours on the phone with Dell tech support. Mohamed was very helpful. So now not only am I slightly delirious, I also need something to cheer me up. And I don't have any Late Night Snacks. See below.
1. He loves his new creation, but he also loves dipping Fig Newtons in plain vanilla ice cream
2. He was on Top Chef recently as a guest judge
3. His favorite flavors of Ben & Jerrys are Chubby Hubby (mine too – high five Jimbo) and Cherry Garcia
4. He likes dates (the fruit) so one of the ingredients/names in consideration for the new flavor was Date Night, until he remembered he was married.
5. The Ladysmith Snack Mambazo skit was his idea. He didn't get paid for it – he just wanted to show love for one of his favorite snacks. Aww..and that's how it began..
Click here for an exclusive video from Bader TV with interviews and soundbites from the press conference. And make sure to see yours truly around 1:04 in the purple shirt…ahem…front row…I'm a baller. Congrats to Jimmy and his second anniversary! And thanks for giving me yet another reason to gain weight!