Review: Mission to Marzipan Ice Cream from Ben & Jerry’s

According to NASA, various animals have been getting blasted into outer space since 1948. Counting a monkey named Albert, several Russian dogs, and a litany of mice amongst their ranks, these intrepid explorers have never actually included a cow.

So excuse me if I was skeptical when approaching Ben & Jerry’s Mission to Marzipan. I’ve seen Mission to Mars and it didn’t include any portly bovine hippies, and it sure didn’t include the sweet, spicy notes of anise that make Marzipan the distinctive Italian dessert flavor it is.

I’m on record of proclaiming Ben & Jerry’s to be overrated, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t get in my normal shot about how annoying it is to pony up for Super Premium ice creams from a company which wants to “blah blah blah” me with propaganda about their activism. Seriously, that’s great Ben and Jerry, but the only thing I want my four buck pint of your ice cream to actively do is make me fatter and happier. Fortunately, I bought this at a discount grocery store that sells stuff past the “sell by” date, and with 1040 calories per pint and an amazing taste, this ice cream promises to definitely make me both fatter and happier. Good deal all around.

Depth and intensity of flavor is something that can be tricky for a food blogger to quantify, and despite the litany of adjectives in my arsenal, I cannot find one strong enough to convey the taste of Marzipan in this ice cream. The taste of the swirl – by far the best part of the mix – is both nutty and sweet, with the latter element hitting you after the initial burst of concentrated almond flavor. It reminds me of an authentic Biscotti in taste, and although the almond cookie chunks are a tad gritty, they provide the richness and satisfying chew an Italian version of Cookies and Cream. The cookies are actually incredibly reserved in almond flavor when compared to the swirl, and almost strike me more as an oatmeal cookie (something our friend Dubba observed). The ice cream itself has a creamy texture that’s both rich and smooth without being overly sweet, holding a respectable vanilla flavor that does well to allow the Marzipan Swirl to shine. I just wish there were some actual almonds in here. I’m finding myself wanting some crunch for contrast, and the over-the-top almond flavor would be great.

Now, when they talk about quality of ingredients, they must mean it. How do I know? Because the “sell by” date on my pint of ice cream ended in November of 2010 – a whole ten months ago. That the flavors could still be this strong and the textural integrity of the ice cream remains says a lot about just from where Ben & Jerry’s is starting from. And when it comes to Mission to Marzipan, that flavor, is, dare I say, out of this world.

GrubGrade 8.75/10  (Exceptional)

Nutrition: Ben & Jerry’s Mission to Marzipan

Pros: Learning more about the history of space travel. Sweet, concentrated flavor of almonds and anise. Creamy ice cream. Buying a Ben & Jerry's pint for a buck at a discount grocery outlet.

Cons: Busting out second-grade level puns for an ice cream review. Admitting I shop at a discount grocery store. Could use the addition of almond chunks for crunch. Getting fat off of hippy ice cream that's been out of date for 10 months.

Overall GrubGrade: 8.75 Exceptional

14 comments on “Review: Mission to Marzipan Ice Cream from Ben & Jerry’s

  1. Rodzilla says:

    I think you’re going to get more comments about eating 10month old ice cream than the flavor.

    HD is usually more expensive than B&J, so I don’t think you’re paying some sort of premium up-charge. Regardless, they can both be found on sale.

  2. Fah Fah Fah says:

    I always avoided this flavor and yr review is giving my second thoughts. I think this flavor might be discontinued or will be soon. It is the only flavor that is ALWAYS on sale at Giant supermarkets, even when there’s no 2/$6 sale going on for B&J’s ice cream.

    • laura says:

      i always avoided this flavor too…i think the fact that i had no idea what marzipan was or tasted like just totally turned me off from even trying this ice cream…but now I’m definitely going to pick some of this up next time i need an ice cream fix!

  3. Conan says:

    This is one ice cream I would turn down. I don’t say that often….

  4. Courtney says:

    Awww, I hope this flavor doesn’t get discontinued. I havent had the chance to try it yet. They don’t sell it in my area.

  5. Scruffy McRuff says:

    Add me to the b & j is overrated club.I have yet to try a flavor that totally rocked my sox or tasted any better than D/Breyers. Why all the hype,much like five guys, I just dnt get it? Ive had 2 store premium brands that tasted far superior actually. Ur review of this flavor sounds like it might finally make me a believer.

    • Dubba says:

      I’d be curious as to how many flavors you have actually tried, and did you spend too much for them? Call me a fanboy, but they and H-D both make excellent products (not everyone is a winner though!)

      and Adam…. I can’t believe you ate ice cream that old…. now I’m tempted to eat some B&J Turtle Soup that is wayyyyy past the expiration date.

  6. jali says:

    still tasting good so long after the sell by date is not a testament to “quality ingredients”; rather one to food additives and modern food production.

  7. wrongway says:

    Frankly, I am concerned by your readiness to eat food that is not ideal for human consumption. Such behavior is usually resigned to the elderly. In order for me to do that, I would have to know a lot more about ice cream and its shelf life. Also, I have never heard of stores that specialize in out of date merchandise. Ben & Jerry’s is my newfound love of the moment. Sorry that you can’t enjoy it as much as I do.

    • Adam says:

      Is that a joke? Also, you wouldn’t happen to be a frequent commenter just using a different name, would you?

      • lex says:

        Actually, it is not illegal to sell out of date food in the US and if you check the dates on the stuff you are buying, you will often find that stores miss dates. Also, dates are often not really an expiration date but a “sell by date.” Meaning, that you the customer still have time to consume it. Eggs are a good example of a product that has a much longer shelf life that the date on it, just check with the FDA.

  8. LORI says:

    My husband is an almond paste (aka marzipan) junky, and I look for anything marzipan-related. The quality of this sadly-discontinued ice cream is superb and true to the authentic essence of marzipan. It is supposed to be intensely almond, not necessarily sweet. I discovered this ice cream at my local discount grocer as well, and one bite told me that I had found the ultimate treat for my spouse, and I quickly bought all they had. If you don’t like marzipan, you won’t like this ice cream. If you don’t like this ice cream, it’s because you don’t like marzipan. ‘Nuff said. Meanwhile, I have mine in an undisclosed location under lock and key.

  9. Norbel says:

    Lucky You! I’m so jealous. I have searched the B&J website weekly to find it in my area, driving 30 miles to get one pint, and then with no luck for many many months. I tried to convince my local Kroger to carry it, offering to buy a case at a time. This is without a doubt my favorite ice cream flavor ever. I’m heading out of town next week, and found it being stocked in a store where we’re headed. Having been sent to the graveyard, I’m not sure if there’ll be any left. Sad that it was discontinued probably because many people just didn’t bother to try it, not knowing what it was. It’s a very sad thing for me. I absolutely LOVED it.

  10. Julie says:

    I think Mission to Marzipan has been retired for a LONG time now. I’m so jealous that you found some – I’d eat it years past the sell-by date.

  11. 8th grader says:

    I LOVE Mission to marzipan ice cream!!!! You cant discontinue it!!! Im doing a project on Ben and Jerry right now for my Facs class!!! Please dont discontinue it!!