"Rich Buttery Ice Cream with Roasted Pecans"
Butter Pecan (scoop shop exclusive)
This is the flavor you parents were eating with their grandmothers back in the 70's, most likely invented by Howard Johnsons or Baskin Robbins in the earlier part of the 1900's during prohibition. In 1925 Howard Johnsons came up with a recipe that added butterfat to the ice cream to make it more flavorful. Or, it could've Baskin Robbins who opened in 1945 with "Old Fashioned Butter Pecan" as a nationwide permanent flavor.
Look elsewhere for "low-calorie" and "low-fat" frozen desserts, because Ben & Jerry's doesn't imitate. You won't find this ice cream sacrificing the flavorful, rich, and creamy texture that only very generous portions of butter and heavy cream can provide. The former is what servers as the foundation for this particular flavor, which is a scoop shop only acquisition.
When creating "Butter Pecan," they kept true to their philosophy. This flavor packs 20 grams of fat into an 86g serving. Yes, that's right, it's 23% fat. The highest fat density of any flavor, thoroughly eclipsing Chubby Hubby and then slightly edging past Peanut Butter Cup. The result? Taste buds are pulverized by a creamy wave of buttery flavor. It's decadent, without being too sweet. There are only 15 grams of sugar per serving. Compare that to "Chocolate Therapy," which packs 22 grams into a similar serving. While many butter pecan ice creams use vanilla flavoring, Ben & Jerry's does not: this one is allllll buttahhh.
You won't find a shortage of nuts within, as the base is thoroughly infused with pecans that are toasted on the surface while still retaining some crunch. Having to chew through the nuts makes this frozen dessert exponentially more filling and satisfying. You can really sink your teeth into the larger pieces. The roasted pecans are a pleasant change from the fudge, cake, toffee, or cookie mix-ins that are common in B&J flavors. Almost every bite increases your daily omega-3 intake. Not as much as a walnut pie but hey, let's not get greedy. Tiny pecan crumbs are strewn throughout: it's all in the details.
In "Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book," the founders share two tactics: First, "Salt is a key ingredient, not an optional taste-booster. The slightly salty taste is an essential flavor component of 'Butter Pecan.'" It's very subtle and you might miss it if not paying attention, but if you look for it, it will come through clearly.
Second, the pecans are as crisp as possible. There is strong emphasis on "sautéeing the pecans in butter only until lightly browned and nutty-crisp. Cooking must be stopped at just that point: the nuts can go (in a twinkling) from just-right to overcooked and soggy if the cook is not paying careful attention."
What seemed plain at first sight turned out to be quite sophisticated. B&J nailed perfectly what "Butter Pecan" should be. 9/10