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Posts Tagged ‘Ben & Jerry’s’

I have no idea what got into me with that sub-title but I will admit to having a slice of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream pie every night since Christmas Eve!  It is the best part of my day!!!  Anyway, I try to follow some loose sort of calendar of blog posts but I’m only marginally successful these days.  Today is Sunday and therefore that makes Ice Cream Sunday.  Gail, who all of my faithful readers know well, because she is my secret sourcerer for this blog sent me a tasty article about Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. 

One of the things I learned (and was a bit dismayed) was that they are now a subsidiary of Unilever. BUT apparently a wholly autonomous one – that must have been one hell of a negotiation process.  Secondly I learned that over the years many of the flavors just don’t make it on the shelf and therefore are retired.  Well actually it appears as if they are killed or euthanized because the article said there are individual grave stones for each of the no-longer-living-flavors.  Who knew?

Then there are the 13 Ice Cream Secrets from Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Gurus which I am about to impart to you:

I LOVE New York Special Fudge!

I LOVE New York Super Fudge Chunk!

1. THERE’S A REASON BEN & JERRY’S FLAVORS ARE SO RICH

It’s partly because co-founder Ben Cohen has anosmia, or almost no sense of smell. If he couldn’t taste a recipe, he just added more flavoring!

2. THE R&D DEPARTMENT IS ULTRA ELITE

Schimoler is one of just three food scientists on staff. The remaining four members of the team come from culinary backgrounds. (One of them has the title “primal ice cream therapist.”) Together they launch about five flavors each year.

3. A FLAVOR CAN TAKE MORE THAN A YEAR TO DEVELOP

The average development cycle of a basic pint is about 12 to 14 months, but there have been occasions where Schimoler nailed a flavor on the first try. “Other times,” she says, “you’re on iteration 10 and still wondering if it’s going to work.” Which is exactly what happened with Liz Lemon Greek Frozen Yogurt, one of the few products where the name came before the flavor. “They knew they wanted to do a Liz Lemon flavor but didn’t know what they wanted it to be. We looked at so many different lemon flavors.” At the other end of the spectrum, Schweddy Balls, inspired by Alec Baldwin’s SNL skit, got to market in a record four months.

4. MOST FLAVORS START WITH THE SAME BASE

A mix of milk, cream, liquid sugar, egg yolks, and water. But there are a couple of variations that have different fat and sugar levels. Choosing which to start with depends on what’s going to be added in. If a recipe calls for something high fat, like peanut butter, it starts with a lower fat base. “If you’re at too high a fat level, once you freeze it, you’re going to end up with concrete; it’s not going to come out of the machine,” Schimoler says. If they’re adding something sweet, like caramel, they use one with lower sugar.

5. EACH YEAR, THE TEAM MAKES A PILGRIMAGE TO A FORWARD-THINKING FOOD CITY

In order to stay ahead of the flavor curve, they’ll spend 12 hours a day tasting offerings from food venues of all types, hitting as many as 10 spots a day. The inspiration for Liz Lemon Greek Frozen Yogurt? A blueberry-lavender cocktail in San Francisco. This year, the team visited Portland, and Schimoler is forecasting a future full of caramel and burnt sugar. “We’re also seeing a lot of sour stuff,” she says. “You see that a lot in the cocktail world. Sour beers are coming back.”

6. BEN & JERRY’S RECEIVES ABOUT 13,000 FLAVOR SUGGESTIONS A YEAR FROM CUSTOMERS

Each R&D team member is given a month’s worth of feedback to review for new ideas or recurring themes. Some of the company’s most iconic flavors were born from these, including Cherry Garcia, which was suggested by two Deadheads from Portland, Maine. (In December 2013, after spending more than a decade at the top of the customer favorite list, the 27-year-old flavor was dethroned by Half Baked, which, surprisingly, was not suggested by Deadheads.)

7. NOT EVERY FLAVOR CAN BE FOUND IN YOUR LOCAL GROCERY STORE

Some are created exclusively for a single retailer. One of Schimoler’s favorites, Nutty Caramel Swirl, which she developed to taste like a Snickers bar, is only available at 7-Eleven. The very first flavor she worked on, Berry Voluntary, was made for Target. Walgreens sells a Truffle Trifecta, and Walmart hawks Cotton Candy.

8. THERE’S A FLAVOR GRAVEYARD

At the company’s factory in Waterbury, Vermont, discontinued flavors are laid to rest with a headstone. Among the rows of dearly departed flavors are many of Cohen’s creations, including Miz Jelena’s Sweet Potato Pie (Epitaph: “One potato, two potato, Sweet Potato Pie. No one would could appreciate it. So we had to let it die.”)

9. BEING A FLAVOR DEVELOPER HAS CERTAIN PERKS

Ben & Jerry’s has a take-home allowance of three pints—a day! Fortunately, the company’s corporate headquarters, in South Burlington, is equipped with a full gym. They also have a yoga instructor and an occasional massage therapist. (No wonder they also need a nap room.)

10. PUNNY FLAVOR NAMES DON’T ALWAYS WORK FOR INTERNATIONAL MARKETS

When Chunky Monkey first launched in Japan, there were questions about whether it contained monkey meat.

11. BACON WON’T HAPPEN

It’s among one of the most requested items, but we won’t see it because Ben & Jerry’s plants are kosher.

12. DON’T WORRY, NEITHER WILL KALE

The company has a long list of regular vendors for things like chocolates and caramel, but there’s an even longer list of snack peddlers hoping to sell their ingredients in a pint of ice cream, including one very persistent proponent of kale chips. Though a co-worker did a test batch, Schimoler says that, ultimately, “No one wants to sit down with a pint of Kale Ben & Jerry’s. So, Kale Guy, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry.”

13. BUFFALO WINGS, ON THE OTHER HAND? WELL, THEY JUST MIGHT

“Everyone is so tuned to think that ice cream is sweet, creamy, and cold. But it doesn’t have to be,” Schimoler says. “Creamy and cold can be savory too.”

Article appeared on mentalfloss.com

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And they call it weed.

We used to call it Mary Jane and they call it dope.

We used to call it reefer and they call it smoke.

We used to call it Maui Wowie and they call it Superman.

We used to call it Blue Heaven and they call it Blue Dream.

We used to call it Jamaican Gold and they call it spliff.

We used to call it Texas Tea and they call it herb.

We used to call it Ganga and they call it hemp.

We used to call it a joint and they call it a dubby.

We used to call it loco weed and they call it orange cough.

And generation after generation has, does and will call it grass!

marijuana,mary jane, weed, grass, pot, cannabis

What do you call it?

Soooo, tonight as we got ready to go to the movies and as an enhancement to the viewing of The King’s Speech, we thought just a couple of drags and it would be like the old days…. I mean WHO didn’t go to see 2001 Space Odyssey stoned out of their minds or as we liked to think – totally into our minds.  Well as you know (or may not) grass just isn’t what it used to be!

Those were the days… when sitting around someone’s living room passing a joint around, first one, then another, and drinking a little, munching a lot, talking a lot and maintaining a serene high was a pleasant way to spend an evening.  Nowadays, if you tried to do that, in less than  30 minutes you’d be in the ER hallucinating to the point where you might even end up in Bellevue.  This new “stuff ” is really strong; if I ever got stoned on something this strong years ago I ‘d be sure it had been laced with PCP.

Two good drags later and in no time we were in the no-time- time-warp.  First there was a request from Joel for a scarf and/or a hat – like I didn’t tell him it was friggin freezin here before he left San Diego!  He wants a hat with ear flaps but maybe a scarf will do.  Now when he says scarf, he is conjuring up something long, soft and capable of wrapping around your neck and knotting.  My husband being from a whole other generation (or generations!), his scarves are shorter, woolier and meant to be worn inside a coat laying over the lapels of a jacket;  you can see where the gap is going….

Soon every scarf and hat were laid out on the piano like a habadashery banquet.  Ear muffs couldn’t be located, I think they’re at the Shore.  What about gloves?  Well it is the coldest night of the year.  Just about the time when all the necessary accessories had been accumulated, Peter leaning casually against the door frame states. “I don’t think it’s practical to go to the movies anymore, I mean it’s not in the cards”.  WHAT are you saying? The time warp widens and uncontrollable laughter ensues.  I mean he already bought the ticket, for God’s sake and now he just didn’t think he could make it up the street and into the theater and certainly not sit there for any great length of time.  So much for The King’ s Speech!!!

Believe it or not, I still made dinner although there are parts of it that seemed to cook themselves, lol.  Needless to say, everything tasted soooo good and we ate everything on the plate, quell surpriz!!  And of course this most definitely seemed like a dessert night;  but alas not a cookie in the house!  Ah ha, lucky us, this is New York City and whatever you want whenever you want it, you can get it.   Mmmmm good…ice cream sundaes feel like the thing to have.  After much deliberation, Joel and I decide on coffee ice cream sundaes with fudge sauce, wet walnuts and whipped cream and make it light on the cream since we know it’s not whipped but rather aerosoled! Actually we didn’t have a lot of choices since the only close ice cream place is pricey and it was too cold to go up a block or two to Ben & Jerry’s , so it was to be the coffee shop for our dessert. Joel returned with the ice cream sundaes and just what do you do when you’re still high and before you is a mass of ice cream, nuts, whipped cream and a cherry?  You melt peanut butter and pour it on top and then you are in heaven and if you’re lucky like we are tonight, TCM is showing I Love You Alice B. Toklas.


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