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Anyone who read my recent op on Tetrafin will have come to the conclusion that, although I'm amazingly knowledgeable, I'm hardly an expert on fish food. But, in an ever-increasing thirst to discover the secrets of piscine nutrition, I am always willing do a little research and have been known to devour the slightest morsel of information on the subject.
With this in mind, today I will mostly be reviewing BEN & JERRY'S PHISH FOOD.
Part of the reason for this is that I was challenged by the delicious Yummy87 to write an op - the Bigyummyangel Challenge. The choices were: any ice-cream, advice on high blood pressure, or Babycham. The choice was obvious. But as I didn't come across any Babycham in Asda, I thought I'd scoff a tub of calorie-laden cold stuff and hopefully dramatically increase my blood pressure in the process (thereby giving me new subject matter for future ops).
Ben & Jerry are well known as quality ice-cream makers, with such cleverly entitled flavours such as: The Full Vermonty, Karamel Sutra and Cherry Garcia.
• But what's in a name? •
Phish Food comes in a bluey, purply tub with
pictures of little phish and the name of the product emblazoned across the front in a kind of wishy-washy writing. So, no excuses for not being able to spot it in the freezer and confusing it with a tub of Tubifex! Also on the tub is all the nutritional information you'll ever need to know. (All figures are per 100g) Calories 280 Fat 13g Saturated Fat 10g Cholesterol 35mg
Useful, eh? Well it would be if the product came in a 500g tub instead of a 500ml tub. Anybody know the formula for converting volume into weight? I have a sneaky feeling that it's quite possibly a tad on the fattening side. It's suitable for vegetarians, but not for vegans, (doesn't say anything about martians). It may also contain traces of nuts. The tub also has some storage instructions written on it - that'll be for those peeps who tend to think ice-cream should be stored in the airing cupboard.
• What's in the tub? •
It's ice-cream, chocolate ice-cream. Chocolate ice-cream which has caramel and marshmallow swirls...erm..swirling around in it. But while the caramallow swirls, swirl - small lumps of solid chocolate fudge - in the shape of fish (fish=phish, get it?) swim through the swirls.
It smells sweet and chocolatey, and very tempting - not a bit like most other fish foods. And it tastes...... Well, knock me over and say I fell. It tastes chocolatey.
It's very rich and creamy, and it has a chewy mouthfeel. The marshmallow's a bit weird though. I expected little fluffy balls (don't we all) but it's more like a gooey mess just mixed in any old way. I can't even distinguish the flavour of it from the chocolate, but to be fair, I'm jiggered if I can remember what marshmallow's supposed to taste like anyway. The caramel is a different kettle of phish though. It's nice and sticky, somewhat chewy, and teeth-cringingly sweet. Just like it should be. The little fishy phishes were a bit artificial tasting (I suppose they would be - for Cod's sake, they're not real!). They're supposed to be chocolate fudge but I kept thinking to myself, "where the fudge is the creamy fudge-like sensation?"
• The Verdict •
It's the combination of all the different flavours that makes this ice-cream what it is. When I say combination, I naturally mean chocolate with a just a vague hint of caramel. The idea seems to be to provide some much needed sweet balance to the rich chocolate flavour, but I'm afraid it didn't work like that for me. All I could really taste was chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Nothing wrong with that, I hear you say. Not if you are looking for chocolate ice-cream there's not. But I wasn't. Like a gullible fool, I was seduced (and not for the first time) by the promise of caramel, marshmallow and fudge flavours complimenting the basic choccy taste. It was all a bit of an anti-climax, I'm afraid. I like chocolate, but this was just too one-dimensional.
So, if you crave chocolate above all other foodstuffs, you could go for this. But if like me, you're looking for an ice-cream that is a little more complex, there are better examples out there. And at £2.91 for a 500ml tub in Asda, there are cheaper chocolate ice-creams out there too.
I wouldn't go as far as to say the title should have dropped an H, but it's not as good as it promises to be. (Unless you think chocolate is the be-all and end-all of ice-cream flavours.) I've given it 4 stars as it it IS nice, just not particularly to my taste.