By: Akriti Shilpakar
There is an episode involving ice-cream from when I was 5 or 6 years old that I regret till date. Don’t ask me how I remember something from so early in life; human mind is a wonderful thing. My mom and I were walking down New Road and she decided to buy me ice-cream. When asked to choose a flavor I, for some reason, chose strawberry. Another customer in the shop opted for chocolate and I vividly remember how bloody good it looked. Sadly, I had already started on my disappointing strawberry ice-cream by then. The sheen on that scoop of dark brown chocolate haunts me till date. But I learned a significant life lesson that day — ice-cream is a serious business and every purchase has to be a wise decision. In comes Ben Nevis.
Due to past experiences, including but not limited to the one I just narrated, I don’t really enjoy experimenting with food and flavors, let alone brands. However, when I received a 12-pack box of Ben Nevis along with their latest product, Cassatta ice-cream cake last week, I was more than happy. Lockdown has been a challenge and free food is always a welcome respite. Anyways, here is my unbiased review of Ben Nevis ice-cream and the Cassatta cake.
Price: Rs. 100
Texture: One of the most essential qualities in any ice-cream is that it be creamy. Any ice-cream that leaves a coarseness in the tongue as if I just had a mouthful of powdered milk is a big no-no. I’ve had a few of those before, most recently being a few weeks into the lockdown, so I remember how bad it can be. Thankfully, Ben Nevis checks the texture box; every spoonful is smooth, soft and blissful on the palate.
Flavor: The 12-pack box I received had a mixed bag of Cookies & Cream, Praline and Cream, Coffee Almond Fudge Chocolate, Strawberry Cheesecake, Midnight Cookies, Vanilla Caramel Brownie, Cotton Candy, American Nuts, etc. Each flavor is rich and unique, and the balance of dairy and the main flavor is decent. I personally enjoy stronger flavors, so amongst them all, Coffee Almond Fudge Chocolate stood out for me. The combination of coffee and chocolate was brilliant, and the crunchy almond bits enhanced the concoction. As you can tell from my earlier anecdote, I hate strawberry ice-cream. Unfortunately, Ben Nevis failed to change my opinion. The Strawberry Cheesecake ice-cream was disappointing.
Cassatta Ice-cream Cake
Price: Rs. 175
Packaging: I have to devote some lines to the packaging of this product because it simply deserves it. When I sat down to write this review, I hadn’t had the cake yet. Since I am a lazy bum, I asked my mom to bring out the cake, and she kindly did so but forgot the cutleries. While I waited for a spoon and a plate, I opened the box only to find that the cake was already placed on a plastic plate/bowl and came with a wooden spoon. Simply genius! Also, one less dish to wash.
First glance: It’s a rainbow! It is colorful and absolutely pretty. Breaking away from the traditional ice-cream cake, this one simply has a thin slice of pound cake base, on top of which is placed the rainbow-effect ice-creams: orange, green and pink. Lining the edges of the semi-circle is roughly-crushed roasted cashew nuts. Full marks for presentation!
Taste test: It is unfair to compare the Rs. 175 Ice-cream cake with the real deal, but it is a bit lackluster. The frozen pound cake is disappointing and is there only for namesake. The ice-cream is the hero indeed and the flavor combination of orange, strawberry and what tasted like raw mango is beautiful. There are bits of candied cherries in the ice-cream which is a pleasant surprise. However, the “icing” on this cake is definitely the generous sprinkle of roasted cashews. The crunch added some body to the product and the nuts really brought out the flavors.
Overall verdict: I thoroughly enjoyed both products from Ben Nevis. The variety and quality they offer within the price tag is above average.
Would I buy their ice-creams? A 100% yes!
Would I buy the ice-cream cake? Only if I were absolutely desperate for ice-cream on cake and didn’t have any other option.
Note: You can now get Ben Nevis products delivered at your doorsteps through Khaanpin.com, Foodmandu.com, BhojDeal.com, Smart Doko.com, Thulo.com, Bhojmandu.com and Agroorganic.com in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Butwal and Chitwan.
Akriti Shilpakar loves to write, read and eat. She also occasionally jots down her thoughts on the blog The Chip in my Brain