Back in 1961 an enterprising young ice cream maker named Reuben Mattus invented an exotic Danish-sounding name, put a map of Scandinavia on the carton, and America's first commercial "super-premium ice-cream," Häagen-Dazs, was born. All but irresistible to anyone with a sweet tooth, the new treat was also loaded with butterfat. Enter two entrepreneurial hippies named Ben and Jerry with a gift for catchy product names, and you get the battle for the richest frozen dessert. Nowadays any number of premium flavors pack 300 calories and 20 grams of fat—or more—into a mere half cup of ice cream. (Breyer's or Turkey Hill, by contrast, may have half the calories and fat, or less.) Here's a list of the most fattening flavors (all nutrition information is for a half-cup serving). Dieters, beware.
1. Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter (360 calories, 24 grams of fat). Look out for nuts and chocolate: the most fattening flavors tend to be loaded with both.
2. Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby (330 calories, 20 grams of fat). Vanilla ice cream with fudge and peanut butter swirls, plus fudge covered peanut butter-filled pretzels. Any hubby who brings this into the house is asking for trouble.
3. Häagen-Dazs Butter Pecan (310 calories, 23 grams of fat). It's one of the most popular flavors, but the abundance of pecans also makes it one of the fattiest.
4. Sheer Bliss Pomegranate with chocolate chips (320 calories, 20 grams fat). Yes, pomegranate juice is good for you. But don't be fooled by the name: cream, milk and sugar are the first three ingredients in this decadent concoction.
5. Ben and Jerry's Vermonty Python (300 calories, 19 grams of fat). Coffee ice cream with chocolate cookie crumbs and fudge "cows." Moo.
6. Coldstone Cookie Batter (300 calories, 16 grams of fat). The cookie batter mix includes molasses and brown sugar as well as flour, adding calories along with richness. Note that the smallest "Like It" serving size is bigger than a half cup; it has 380 calories and 20 grams of fat. The "Love it" portion is a full cup.
Before you swear off ice cream, keep in mind that there are lighter alternatives. If you're worried about fitting into last summer's swimsuit, you don't have to give up on frozen treats entirely. Consider sorbet or frozen yogurt, or try the new "slow-churned" variety of ice cream: a half cup of Edy's (branded as Dreyer's west of the Rockies) Slow-Churned Chocolate Fudge Chunk has just 120 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.