Though Kiera and I ran last weekend’s Vermont City Marathon, that wasn’t the day’s main attraction. No, we came to Burlington to conquer the Vermonster, the 20-scoop sundae (plus toppings) I mentioned in my previous post.
A different group went up to Vermont in January, for a long weekend of skiing and snowboarding. It proved too cold one day to hit the slopes, so they toured various breweries and the Ben & Jerry’s factory. Upon arrival, the eight friends agreed to tackle a Vermonster after the tour, but when the time came, three of them wussed out.
“There are too many calories!” one said.
“I’m on a diet,” one said.
“I just can’t do it,” one said.
And just like that, the Vermonster dreams of the entire group were crushed. (See rule #1, below.)
Until, a month or two later, I mentioned wanting to run this race. Paul, one of those on the January trip, suggested that this could be the big moment. It would be warmer, he said, and we’d make sure people were up for the Vermonster before they even committed to the trip.
I’m glad I helped eat the Vermonster, though I wouldn’t do it again. But if you’re a Vermonster Virgin bent on earning the sundae’s commemorative bucket, here’s what you need to know.
1. You need at least six people. More is definitely better. We had nine, and it was still a struggle.
2. It helps to come with a ringer. I had previously seen one member of our group eat a double bacon cheeseburger, made club-sandwich-style with three full grilled cheese sandwiches in place of bread, plus a side of fries and a milkshake. It didn’t faze him. If you know someone like this, they should be on your Vermonster team.
3. B.Y.O.S. — Bring Your Own Spoons. The plastic ones they gave us barely dug into the ice cream until it got softer. And getting softer is bad, because then the ice cream is closer to being a soupy mess of flavors all mixed together.
4. Claim a table in the shade. Another important step to delay the soupy-mess stage.
5. Choose your flavors and toppings wisely. We thought the only “right” way to eat a Vermonster was to ask for one scoop of everything (see flavor wall below) and leave the toppings to the creative discretion of whichever 16-year-old happened to take our order. Our 16-year-old loaded our bucket with Gummi bears (blech!) and hot fudge, which solidified into gooey clumps and sank to the bottom. And when the banana, mint, coffee, chocolate, and raspberry ice creams all melted together, not even The Ringer would ingest the last of the mixture.
If you’re worried about how you will clean and transport your bucket once you’ve completed the challenge, rest assured: Ben & Jerry’s provides a spigot within stumbling distance of their outdoor seating for Vermonster-bucket cleaning.
And if you do end up drinking the Vermonster’s last remnants, your new bucket should work nicely as a vomit receptacle.