By Ari Kim
On the Sunday night students returned from winter break, they noticed something amiss. In the corner where the containers containing the Jack & Jill ice creams and novelties once stood, the Urban Churn ice cream freezer sits instead.
According to the hc-all email sent by the Food Systems Working Group (FSWG), 95% of the 282 students who sampled the Urban Churn ice creams at the tasting last semester were in support of replacing the Jack & Jill offerings with Urban Churn. The switch would occur as soon as the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester. The feedback from the tasting event was generally positive. However, now that several weeks have passed since the Urban Churn takeover, students have had mixed reactions towards the ice cream.
The ice cream’s texture drew the most criticism. “It’s so icy–the ice cream is either rock solid or there are ice crystals throughout,” Kate Silber ‘20 observed. [Note: Silber is a member of the Clerk’s Editorial Board.] Many students have complained that scooping the ice cream is difficult and takes an abnormally long time due to the icy texture. After countless napkin notes were plastered onto the suggestion board, the Dining Center managers have made attempts to improve the ice cream’s texture. “I sent a napkin note, and the texture has gotten better, but overall it’s still not great,” Silber added.
The flavors that have appeared so far include vanilla, chocolate, apple cinnamon, mint chocolate chip, dairy-free banana, lavender honey vanilla, dairy-free strawberry sorbet, and maple waffle bacon. Lavender honey vanilla appears to be the favorite of many students. “The flavor is really good and its texture is the only one that is consistently creamy,” Griffin Fields ‘21 commented. Maple waffle bacon, however, was met with much disdain. “Bacon can be in desserts, just not in ice cream,” said Silber. Students are also able to suggest new ice cream flavors, but none of the requested flavors have appeared thus far.
Despite students’ concerns about the ice cream, most agree that the environmental benefits of switching to Urban Churn are worth the drawbacks. In the hc-all email, FSWG stated that Haverford students consume nearly 48,000 novelty ice cream products each year, and that getting rid of the Jack & Jill novelties will eliminate 70 pounds of styrofoam and 60 pounds of plastic wrapper waste yearly. “Even if people don’t enjoy the ice cream, it’s better that we are more sustainable,” said Fields.