BRAINFOOD: We'd love that job

Ice cream taster - Arnold Carbone, Ben & Jerry's, Vermont

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

What do you do?

I work on flavour development. Four of us will go on a flavour tour to a city to investigate neighbourhood markets, stores and restaurants to search for trends in desserts - we'll eat up to 30 a day. I'll eat a lot of snacks and beverages too, to come up with a new flavour - we translated a caramel macchiato into a caramel-swirled ice cream. And you have to be courageous: roasted ant tacos were a challenge to eat. We then take that information back to the lab, create concept designs and rework them.

We usually launch eight flavours a year, but start off with 80. We've had disaster flavours like Chubby Hubby Peanut Butter Pretzel, which never worked.

How did you get the job?

I started here 15 years ago in retail management, then moved to R&D.

Does reality match the dream?

Yes. Some people think I've got the best job in the world, but their idea is of me sitting in a kitchen making up flavours all day. You have to be a strong project manager; it's the less glamorous side to the job.

Sometimes I have to eat a lot of ice cream, but you learn how to balance that one.

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