2011 Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl

On Tuesday, my sister, brother, mom, and cousins played hookie from work and school to attend the 2011 Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl. The Scooper Bowl is a really awesome fundraiser that the Jimmy Fund holds each year in Boston at City Hall Plaza. Basically, for $8 you get a spoon and get to eat all of the ice cream your stomach can contain!

My camera died about 5 minutes after we got off the train at Government Center so the pictures that follow are a combo of my camera pics, pics from my cell phone, and some my cousin Carlee took (thanks Carlee!).

After a 70 minute drive plus about an hour on the T, we arrived at City Plaza. With blue skies and excessive heat, ice cream was the perfect way to cool off.

Each ice cream vendor had their own tent with a “menu board” showing the flavors they offered. After making sure we all had spoons and explaining the rules of our competition (keep your cups, whoever has the most at the end of the day is the winner, and if you don’t finish all the ice cream in the cup you must throw it away), we dug in.

This year, I was determined to beat my sister Tori who out ate me by one cup at last year’s Scooper Bowl.

We started at Baskin Robbins, where I grabbed cups of S’More the Merrier (left) and Golden Oreo Gold Rush (right).

The S’More ice cream was really interesting…it really did taste similar to a s’more. I have no idea how the made the marshmallow swirl part of the ice cream but it really tasted like a marshmallow you’d cook on a bonfire, not just a swirl of Fluff! It also made the graham cracker and chocolate studded  ice cream lighter and fluffier. I wasn’t a big fan of the Oreo Gold Rush flavor…the Oreo pieces were huge and the actual ice cream had a weird, fake lemony flavor to it.

I was really excited to see Ciao Bella at the Scooper Bowl again this year. Last year they served a Blood Orange sorbetto that was the  perfect palate cleanser between all the heavy, creamy ice cream flavors. Sadly, they didn’t have the blood orange flavor this year but did bring along four new flavors:

Apparently, S’Mores is this years “it” flavor! Because I only had two hands to grab cups for me and my 8-year old brother, I opted for the Mango Sorbet and the Key Lime Graham Gelato. The key lime was very citrus-y but it just didn’t taste right as a gelato and not a sorbet. The mango sorbet, however, was perfect. The right combo of sweet and a little tart and ridiculously smooth, not icy at all! It was probably my favorite flavor of the day:

How amazing does that look?

Next up was SoCo Creamery, an ice cream company out of Great Barrington, MA. SoCo serves up small-batch, all-natural ice cream that is absolutely delicious! I was really surprised by how creamy the ice cream actually was, and all of the mix-ins tasted fresh and still had some crispness to them.

All of my group tried the vanilla after my brother talked about how great it was, and everyone (chocolate lover or not) agreed that it was really good vanilla ice cream (something that, as a lover of vanilla ice cream, I really appreciate).  My sister absolutely loved the dirty chocolate, and commented that it tasted just like the gourmet brownie from Fat Witch Bakery that I brought back  for her from NYC. I definitely recommend you try out this company’s ice cream, which is carried at most Wholefoods. They have some really interesting and unique flavors–I can’ wait to try out their Chai Tea ice cream!

After stopping to rest our stomachs and take some pictures to tweet at the Jimmy Fund, we continued to sample all that the ScooperBowl had to offer.Next up was the Hood/Brigham’s booth where, judging by all the photographers, NESN cameras, and women wearing Sox jerseys, the ice cream ice cream was doled out by the Red Sox wives and girlfriends.

I grabbed cups of Hood’s BoSox Brownie and the Black Raspberry Sherbet, which I was kind of excited about since I love black raspberry ice cream. I’m not a huge chocolate or brownie fan, but the fact that the brownie was in vanilla ice cream drew me in….and it was actually pretty good! The brownie didn’t overwhelm the ice cream and there were small bits of chocolate that gave it a nice crunch.  The black raspberry sherbet was exceptionally good, good enough that I may never go back to black raspberry ice cream again. I haven’t seen the flavor in stores, but as soon as I do I’m picking up a pint (and I suggest you do too).

Clearly, my brother is a chocolate fan:

Ben & Jerry’s had three flavors to sample: Milk & Cookies, Bonnaroo Buzz, & Late Night Snack.

Sadly, I wasn’t too crazy about Ben & Jerry’s flavors this year. I grabbed cups of Late Night Snack & Bonnaroo Buzz, since I’ve had Milk & Cookies before. The vote was mixed on the Late Night Snack,  vanilla ice cream with chocolate covered potato chip clusters and a caramel. It just didn’t do anything for me; in fact after eating about half a cup, I almost conceded and threw it away without finishing. I expected Bonnaroo Buzz (coffee and malt ice creams with toffee chunks and a whiskey caramel swirl) to have a really nice coffee flavor, but all I could taste was the malt and whiskey from the caramel.

By this point both my cousin Katie & sister were about ready to admit defeat…..












But we still had two more booths to visit….Friendly’s and Edy’s. Nothing at the Friendly’s booth interested me (mint chocolate chip, Hunka Chunka PB Fudge, and Rocky Road) so I passed. At Edy’s, I was feeling, so I opted for Orange Sherbet, which I thought would be a nice, light option. It was decent but nothing to write home about and paled in comparison to Hood’s Black Raspberry Sherbet.

Last year, I downed 12 cups of ice cream and I really wanted to beat that total this year! I doubled back and grabbed two more cups of Mango Sorbet from Ciao Bella, and though I was stuffed,  tried to eat one more cup of SoCo’s Vanilla (it was that good) but only got half-way through. My grand total was 14 cups of ice cream, beating not only my last year’s total, but my sister’s total as well!

The overall-winner was my cousin Carlee, who downed 20 cups of ice cream in just over an hour:

After taking a break in the shade…..

We walked the Freedom Trail towards Faneuil Hall:

Where we posed with Sam Adams and grabbed some (non-dairy) food from Quincy Market before heading home:

The Scooper Bowl is one of my absolute favorite events of the year, and a great way to try some tasty new ice cream flavors, while supporting a great cause!


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