The Ghosts of Ice Cream Past

Sweet Potato Pie

One of my all-time favorite resources for odd bits of information is Mental Floss (www.MentalFloss.com) an “almost monthly” magazine co-founded about a dozen years ago by William E. Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur. Their goal of being both educational and entertaining is now met in the magazine, the website (with its many quizzes), and a series of books, games, T-shirts and mugs available in their online store. (Sample T-shirt: “Never trust an atom. They make up everything.”)

Not too long ago, they started publishing online “Water Cooler Ammo” four times a week. And that’s where I first heard about Ben and Jerry’s (Ice Cream) Flavor Graveyard, although the cemetery has been featured in a lot of articles over the years.

If you visit Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream in Vermont, you can take a factory tour, watch cows in the pasture, buy lots of silly stuff besides ice cream in the gift shop, AND visit the Flavor Graveyard.

According to Mental Floss, the reasons for a “flavor’s demise are various — some had too many flavors going on at once (Honey Apple Raisin Chocolate Cookie) . . . and others used ingredients that proved too expensive to supply. All of the ‘dearly de-pinted’ have” a gravestone with epitaph. Here are some examples:

  • Peanuts! Popcorn! : “Peanuts! Popcorn! Mix ’em in a pot! Plop ’em in your ice cream! Well, maybe not.”
  • White Russian:  “A concoction so to-die-for, we were forever in its debt. As the liqueur kicked the budget, we finally had to just say ‘Nyet.’”
  • Rainforest Crunch: With heavy heart and sigh, we bid Rainforest Crunch good-bye; that nutty brittle from exotic places, got sticky in between our braces.”
  • Sugar Plum: “It swirled in our heads; it danced in our dreams; it proved not to be though, the best of ice creams.”

Occasionally a flavor will come back to life. Holy Cannoli has been resurrected without the pistachios, and apparently the company has found a way to deal with the budget woes brought on by White Russian.

You can sign up for Mental Floss’ Water Cooler Ammo  at http://mentalfloss.com/watercooler and you can visit the Ben Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard virtually here: http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2010/04/ben-and-jerrys-flavor-graveyard-vermont-factory-tour. I don’t guarantee you will laugh out loud, but you will surely be amused.

 

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