A comprehensive review of Diana’s latest addition.

From the moment it was announced at the introductory dining presentation at NSOP, fellow Bwog Staff Writer Maren and I knew we needed to try the F’real milkshake machine at Diana. To me, F’real is a blast from the past—my hometown Wawa (rise up Philadelphian Barnumbia students!) had one in my elementary school years, so I was eager to partake in this nostalgic activity during such a different chapter of my life. 

To begin this review, I’d like to start with an overview of the efficiency of the machine itself. I’d warn readers to only attempt to use it if they feel emotionally stable enough to be yelled at by the Diana dining staff. This is not at any fault of theirs—they have a lot going on in there—but the machine itself is just a tad problematic and not exactly easy to use, causing a bit of a scene in the midst of the Sonos chaos. We were also purchasing and blending an absurd number of milkshakes, so take that with a grain of salt.

We, along with the help of two of our friends, decided to sample eight of the flavors: mango (non-dairy), acai (non-dairy), strawberry banana (non-dairy), Snickers, fudge, peanut butter cup, mint chip, and chocolate. At $5.49 each, we were essentially making an investment in Barnard Dining. We wanted to cover both the non-dairy and dairy flavors in order to give our most overreaching review.

In terms of the non-dairy flavors, we were confused. At first taste, almost none of the fruit flavors actually tasted like fruit. With each spoonful, our opinions changed—it never tasted the same twice. Generally, the mango and acai flavors tasted like sisters, but not in a cute way. Neither one tasted like the target fruit—the mango was far too sour and the acai provided a hint of grape-flavored cold medicine. In my opinion, the strawberry banana came out as the clear winner of the non-dairy flavors. Was it enjoyable? Not really. But it tasted much more authentically of fruit and had the least weird aftertaste. It was slightly bitter, but I preferred that over the mango-acai sister duo of icy medicine.

The dairy flavors were the stars of the show, of course. Of the five flavors (Snickers, fudge, peanut butter cup, mint chip, and chocolate), fudge, mint chip, and chocolate came out as the top three contenders. Both the Snickers and peanut butter cup flavors were underwhelming—the peanut butter cup flavor was really just peanut butter, not so much cup. Without chocolate, it can’t really be called a peanut butter cup, can it? The Snickers flavor was just quite frankly boring. In the words of one of our reviewers, “it tried to be a blizzard but failed miserably.” The fudge, mint chip, and chocolate flavors all blended well and had a nice consistency, though the chocolate shake was the thickest of all three (we blended all flavors on the “thick” setting). The fudge could have used more fudge, the mint chip was on the artificial side, and the chocolate could have been richer. Overall, though, these three were all absolutely edible and could satisfy the need for a sweet treat at any hour of the day.

So, yay or nay on the F’real, you ask? Within reason, I say yay. As long as you’re not expecting a five-star malt from Barnard Dining, I think you’re safe to indulge in this dessert and feel adequately satisfied. However, if you have an extra meal swipe and the energy to take a walk to JJ’s for a sweet treat, I’d recommend that over this $6 attempt at a milkshake. Altogether, I’d give Diana’s F’real milkshakes a 6/10.

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