After a month of voting and flavor experimentation, Ben & Jerry's announced the name and provided samples of the San Francisco-inspired flavor today to about a hundred sweet tooths and extremely cute kids.
Announcing: San Fran-tastic, a caramel ice cream complemented with S.F.-based TCHO chocolate factory and Kika's Treats, with pieces of gooey marshmallow, crunchy graham cracker, and milk chocolate.
Today's flavor unveiling marked the second installment of Ben & Jerry's City Churned campaign, where the Vermont company allows residents of five U.S. cities the opportunity to choose and name an ice cream flavor, through online voting, social media, and surveying the trends and customs of the city's residents.
For the past month, voters chose between two options in eight categories, such as marshmallow or pretzels, and coffee or cinnamon. Although the flavors were not necessarily representative of the City by the Bay -- even though it is pretty hard to imagine a sourdough ice cream flavor -- the winners still say a lot about San Franciscans.
S.F.-based companies TCHO and Kika's Treats were the most popular choices among voters, overwhelmingly crushing opponents peppermint and cookies respectively. TCHO received the most votes at a whopping 10,000 clicks.
San Fran-tastic has the very delicate, subtle taste of spicy caramel, enhanced with large chunks of TCHO milk chocolate. Upon combining three scoop-sized samples at the Friday afternoon event, the limited edition concoction had a great balance, offering enough sweet and crunch without overpowering the caramel.
Ben & Jerry's flavor guru, Eric Fredette, the mastermind behind the recipe for San Fran-tastic, says the recipe took him just four minutes to come up with. He describes San Fran-tastic as the kind of flavor anyone can enjoy, and one that really represents San Francisco's diverse people and taste.
Fredette says the local ingredients from TCHO and Kika's are what really make San Fran-tastic a "special, San Francisco flavor."
"You know you've got somebody if they put the spoon in the mouth and their eye just rolls. That's a sure sign you've got them," Fredette says about his observations at Friday's event.
Unfortunately for fans now craving this flavor, it was only available today. However, Fredette mentioned the company was speculating about making the City Churned flavors available for purchase, though he couldn't guarantee anything.
"We were thinking about expanding the program, we're not really sure what that looks like yet," Fredette says, "But, there's always a possibility."
Fredette also added it can be hard to mass produce an ice flavor when working with small companies like Kika's, considering the quantity of pints they export and the amount of ingredients they need to produce them. However, he says the company will consider the possibility at the end of their flavor tour.
The final installment of the San Francisco City Churned tour takes place Saturday, July 13, at Ocean Beach, for a beach cleanup and painting of the sea wall. The event begins at 9 a.m. at Stairwell 21, and is expected to run until noon. Snacks and Ben & Jerry's ice cream will be provided to all those who participate.
After tomorrow's beach cleanup, Ben & Jerry's City Churned campaign will move to New York, followed by Portland and Seattle. Washington D.C. was the first city of the tour, where voters created Capitol Chill!, a chocolate ice cream with Divine Chocolate cornflake clusters, marshmallows, caramel swirls and a Route 11 sweet potato chip.