Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ben & Jerry's Cannoli Ice Cream

First off, we all hope you had excellent Christmases or whatever you celebrate, outstanding new years eve parties, and we truly hope none of you made any stupid new years resolutions involving losing weight or not eating junk food. We had a solid 2 weeks of holiday merriment, christmas mix, stocking candy, and copious amounts of egg nog. It ruled.

After a little break, we're back at it, with another Ben & Jerry's limited batch: Cannoli ice cream.

most boring name ever!

I'll be honest- I'm not the biggest fan of cannolis. I don't get the hype behind them. 

They're basically like egg rolls filled with cream, and the cream is never that good. Every time I've had one, I always think that I somehow just had a bad one the last time I tried, and this time it'll be different- this time the cream will finally be butter creme or frosting, and I'll wolf them down like the glorious sugar tubes they should be. 

But they're usually not that good. The creme is just bland, oddly cheesy goo, and I'm always left saying "why do people even bother with these things?" SO, even though I always try to go into a review positive, I wasn't psyched about this newest of Ben & Jerry's flavors.

What is it? Mascarpone ice cream with fudge covered cannoli pastry shell chunks and a mascarpone swirl. First off, I don't even know what mascarpone is. 

Ok, thanks wiki- apparently it's an italian cheese made with creme. And the creme in cannolis often has ricotta in it. SO, Ben & Jerry's went with a sweeter, more buttery version of the creme cheese-esque flavor that's in cannolis, and in my opinion, it paid off. This ice cream is way better than cannolis. 

It's super buttery. Like, oddly butter-creme/vanilla-with-something-else flavored. I can't really describe it better than that, but I will say this- it is delicious and unique. And it should be eaten slowly like the cup of frozen sugar butter it is. 

I haven't seen a mascarpone swirl yet, but I'm not sure I will, since the swirl is the same thing as the ice cream. But I have gotten a bunch of chunks of fudge covered pastry.

Sometimes these are soft and gooey like some cannolis can be. Sometimes they're crunchy like a cookie. And they can get big. 


All in all, this is a pretty good ice cream that's different enough than their other flavors that it's odd they are just doing a limited batch. It's super buttery and very rich ice cream with either crunchy or gooey fudge covered cannoli bits. The ice cream is good enough on its own, and the variation in textures makes it even better. It's got enough connected to cannolis to call it cannoli ice cream, but not so much that someone who couldn't care less about cannolis (like me) won't still enjoy it. If you like buttery treats and something different to indulge in other than leftover christmas cookies, give this a try. 

I give it a solid B. Nothing mind blowing, but a generally a very solid new addition to Ben & Jerry's line. 

While I have your attention Ben & Jerry, I'm pretty bummed out you didn't take my suggestion in last year's Schweddy Balls post to make that ice cream seasonal. I waited all year for it to happily surprise me on the shelf come December, and it never happened. 

Maybe you're going to switch off every year? Next year will be Schweddy, then Cannoli again? Ok, I'm down with that. Or you could just, you know, stop making all your new flavors limited releases...


  1. Great review.
    I don't get Cannoli's either. The last time I was in NYC, I even had my foodie-snob friend take me to some great bakery to "teach" me about good cannoli's.

    It's still just ricotta in a shell. And it's messy. Ricotta belongs in lasagna, not dipped in chocolate.

    1. Totally agree! Seems to be a food for fancy people who don't know what good food tastes like. The ice cream is worth trying though!

    2. I happened upon this blog while trying to find out where I can buy this ice cream. You guys do realize there are other cultures out there that may have different tastes in food right? Using ricotta for something other that lasagna is not for "fancy people who don't know what good food tastes like."

      I'm from a blue-collar Italian neighborhood in Philly. Everyone used to buy cannoli at the local bakery after Sunday mass. We also do a ricotta cookie at Christmas and a ricotta pie for Easter, sometimes with ham in it. Because ricotta itself is fairly bland, it lends itself to many types of recipes. It's cool if you don't like cannoli but it's kind of douchey to make everyone that does sound like a snotty asshat.

  2. Just so you know, B&J's normally releases about 5 new flavors as well as about 3 limited batches a year.

  3. If you follow through the Ben & Jerry's site, you will find a link that you can buy Schweddy Balls pints! Here it is:

  4. Blame offended suburbanites for our inability to taste Alec Baldwin's Schweddy Balls anymore.

    I agree that Ben & Jerry's usually christens their creations in a more creative way. I was half-expecting it to be called "Holy Cannoli," but that might tick some bishop off. B&J is just getting overly PC in the wrong direction.

    1. Jess, they did have a flavor called Holy Cannoli back in the late 90s but it was a whole different beast. It's more than likely why they decided against reusing that name not to confuse people.

    2. DAMN! Nick Rovo coming with some insane knowledge!

      Holy cannoli is a WAY better name. And I still say Schweddy Balls should just be called Chunky Egg Nog.

    3. Writing for On Second Scoop forces me to know these random things aha.

  5. I have this problem with cannolis. I think my problem is mostly that I've had one or two really great cannolis, and I buy from local (far from Italian) pastry shops who have no freaking clue what they're doing and end up with ricotta and soggy shell. They can be good! It's true!

    And the ice cream was pretty good! Definitely not my favorite B&Js, but solid. I really want some Willie Nelson's Peach Cobbler now... Mmmm.