Yeah, this was gratuitous. I wanted some ice-cream.
Sometimes I wonder how you’d know if you have an eating disorder, when famously one of the main features of the most extreme cases is essentially denial about what’s going on. People with anorexia look at themselves in the mirror and seriously think they’re fat even as they starve to death. Or (for example) I’ve read of clear cases of bulimia where the sufferers would binge and then vomit every night, and would just decide this was normal behaviour until years later they were forced to confront their situation. I can’t think of other eating disorders of the top of my head.
I don’t think I have an eating disorder though. I think that at some point in my life I developed some default eating behaviours that are hard to keep in check sometimes. One of these is that when presented with an opportunity to eat, I will (by default) eat and continue to do so long past a reasonable stopping point. I used to say that I didn’t know what it was like to not be hungry: I almost always wanted to eat more food and just stopped sometimes out of convention. Nowadays, I feel that it’s more accurate to say I can’t really recognise when I’m full, unless I am ridiculously full. I’ll eat a whole large Pizza Hut or Domino’s pizza without stopping. I’ll feel like shit afterwards but I’ll do it! And that’s an improvement, in some ways: in third year of uni (which is the first time I gained serious weight as an adult) I could eat two. And did, sometimes. I’m not exactly proud of it.
So do I always eat a day’s worth of calories in each meal? Am I currently morbidly obese and waddling around South London? Well, no, because life’s not that simple. Without a clear fullness trigger, I tend to instinctively go for other contextual clues on when I should stop eating. It boils down to… I’ll generally eat all the food that’s in front of me, or that I have, and then stop. Hence: one pizza (two sometimes if I’ve bought them). If I buy one sausage roll from Greggs, I’m happy with one. If I’ve caved in and bought four, I’ll eat four. If I buy a whole tub of brownies, I’ll eat the whole tub. If I buy a tub of Ben & Jerry’s… I’ll eat a whole tub. But – true story – imagine a cardboard divider halfway down the tub. It would make me eat half a tub at a time. It’s like that.
Compounding this slightly is also that I generally have eyes larger than my stomach (as the saying goes). Probably because I have an awareness of how much I *can* eat, but not so much how much I *should* or *need to* eat. So it’s not hard for me to buy more food than I need, and then eat it all, and hence a vicious cycle. I’ve been working on this, and these, most of my adult life. And maybe some day it will get better and more natural. Here’s hoping.
This may have sounded overly dark and depressive, so… don’t worry! This is just the sort of thing I think of after eating a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s. Let’s move on to some rankings.
Taste: Ben & Jerry’s generally tastes pretty good. The ice-cream, anyway. Not as good as some competitors, but not bad. On the other hand, the actual brownies in this don’t seem to add much to the taste. Let’s give the overall thing 7/10
Texture: I feel like you know ice-cream texture. I’m not sure how much it really varies! The brownies in this are, well, chewy and hard (weirdly), which I guess is what happens when you freeze brownies in ice-cream? That’d basically be a massive fail on its own, but it adds interest into the ice-cream, so… kind of works? 6/10
Presentation: Again, came in a super branded container and I decided to avoid the branding. Other than that, it looks like chocolate ice-cream alright. It’s not presented in any fun way or anything. So, here’s the time to say INCLUDE A DIVIDER IN THE TUB COME ON SAVE ME FROM MYSELF. 1/5
Value: Ben & Jerry’s tubs in a supermarket are usually somewhere between £4 and £6, which is a big range, but why would you ever buy them unless they were on offer? And when on offer, they’re okay value. 6/10
Fudge Factor: Not a brownie, rules apply. -5/5
Not-Brownie Total: 15
Should I Buy And Eat This Not-Brownie?
Do what I do: if it’s on offer, and you can justify ice-cream to yourself (usually “It’s really hot” or “This has been a really tough day” or “I just ran ten kilometres”) then go for it.
I don’t even really like this variety of Ben & Jerry’s, not compared to…almost every other one.