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Meet the men behind the Ben & Jerry's flavors - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Meet the men behind the Ben & Jerry's flavors

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - "Part of our job is to cut this in half and potentially in quarters to make sure the new piece is distributed through the ice cream so hopefully you get a chunk in every spoonful," says Ben & Jerry's food scientist Chris Rivard.

He's the man behind that Samurai-looking sword.

"Mad scientist, mad chef. yah know, it's a combination of the two," he says.

The "mad" chef he's talking about is Eric Fredette.

Reporter: "This seems like the best job ever!

Fredette: "If you like to play with food, it's a good gig!"

A gig the Vermont native has had for 18 years now. Once they analyze the distribution of chunks and swirls, then they taste.

I got a crash course in the science behind ice cream tasting.

"Right now we're checking to make sure the chunk tastes the way we want it to and how it was developed," says Rivard.

"So it should have a crunch, it should finish with a brown sugary butter kind of note," says Fredette.

Fredette describes the notes like a sommelier describes fine wine.

"It's great to see something that you worked on the shelf, it's fun. You can go over and say, that one's mine, that one's mine, that one's mine," he says.

Fredette says, he has helped launch about 200 different Ben & Jerry's products.

"Chocolate Therapy out now in pints, seven layers bar in shops like coconut and all that good stuff that's in the seven layer bar it's in that ice cream, the four cores that are out now," he says.

Rivard is just getting started in the ice cream biz.

"I actually did product development for a weight loss company here in Vermont," he says. "Opposite ends of the spectrum."

With a food science degree from UVM, these days, he's using his skills to make sure your favorite flavors stay that way.

"So this piece is actually designed for ice cream so that it does get a little soft over time, but for the most part we want it to stay crunchy and have a nice eat to it," he says.

Eating ice cream at work isn't the only perk of this job. His freezer at home is full of the sweet stuff!

"The whole top is just Ben and Jerry's and the bottom is like beer. Our friends come over and they're like, this is the best house ever!" he says.

If you're wondering how you can eat all that ice cream and stay in shape, there's a gym on site at the Ben & Jerry's office in South Burlington for the employees.

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