The long-standing Ben & Jerry’s motto of “If it’s not fun, why do it?” also applies to the art, science, and, ahem, spectacle of combining new ingredients to send taste buds spinning. Our commitment to flavour innovation isn’t without risk. But turning out oddball flavours isn’t embarrassing, it’s the proof that we’re not afraid to stick our spoons out there. Here’s a taste of the 10 most unusual flavours we once served up across the pond:
10. Peanuts! Popcorn!
Back when you couldn't get a pint of Ben & Jerry's in the theater, we brought the theater to the pint. A blockbuster in vision, the Peanuts! Popcorn! mixture of caramel ice cream with white fudge-covered caramel popcorn, toffee-coated peanuts and a caramel swirl hit the cutting room floor after a year of national release.
9. Peanut Butter and Jelly
There are very few things in the kitchen as simple and satisfying as a good old PB&J. Recreating this sandwich combo into ice cream form, however, was neither simple nor satisfying. This flavour lasted just one year before it flopped.
8. Boston Cream Pie
Our first case of an ice cream that dreamed it was another dessert. We value big ambitions here at Ben & Jerry’s, so when a flavour profile says we should combine actual yellow cake pieces and pastry cream with Boston Cream Pie Ice Cream all in one pint, who are we to say no?
7. Wavy Gravy
Really, any flavour inspired by a politically active clown ought to be weird. Part of a flavour era inspired by actual nuts, Wavy Gravy delivered an odd but evocative combo of cashew Brazil nut ice cream with a chocolate hazelnut fudge swirl and roasted almonds for 8 long years.
6. Chubby Hubby
When two office pranksters convinced a Ben & Jerry’s-obsessed co-worker that this flavour existed, they allayed their guilt by whipping up an actual batch of Chubby Hubby. When they sent us a letter sharing their story, we clearly had to make their prank a delicious reality. The combination of vanilla malt ice cream with peanutty fudge-covered pretzels with fudge and peanut buttery swirls was so good it immediately became a fan-favorite. Proving that fact is stranger than fiction… or wait is it the other way around?
5. Urban Jumble
Some of us hear total chaos in the city. Others hear a symphony. Where does Urban Jumble’s bizarre amalgamation of Coconut Almond Fudge Chip and New York Super Fudge Chunk fall between these two polar opposites? Hard to say, since this mixed up flavour lasted just one year.
4. Oh Pear
Some fruits just aren’t meant to be the star of a flavour, and adding in a hint of almond and light fudge swirl took this one over the top. After less than a year it went, ahem, pear-shaped.
3. Dastardly Mash
It’s safe to say the Ben in Ben & Jerry’s has some good ideas, and Dastardly Mash was one of them. The demise of this 12-year-old flavor is still a topic of debate between our two founders, and is the subject of plenty of comment across the Internet. Another flavour featuring multiple nuts, it was, and seems to be still, the only one featuring raisins too.
2. Miz Jelena’s Sweet Potato Pie
Another case of dessert identity crisis, Miz Jelena’s Sweet Potato Pie was our attempt to recreate a treasured southern side dish as a delectable pint. But we may have reached a little too far, and this ginger ice cream with a fudge swirl didn’t stick.
1. Schweddy Balls
In the U.S. the show Saturday Night Life has been part of a staple American diet for generations. From the mid 90's, the comical character Pete Schweddy (played by Alec Baldwin) became a cult favourite across the pond and more recently was fodder beyond belief for a Christmas flavour that went hot off the shelves. Was it the vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum, loaded with fudge-covered rum and malt balls? Or a classic skit that played out every possible below-the-belt double entendre? It’s probably just that, as Pete said, “No one can resist my Schweddy balls.”