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Weird Ben & Jerry News

April 20, 2015

The Vermont-based maker of groovy frozen treats has been in the public eye a lot this month.

Salted Caramel Brownie Brown AleSalt is good, and caramel is good, so candy-makers invented salted caramel. Carmel is good, and brownies are good, so confectioners invented the salted caramel brownie. All of these things are ingredients in Ben & Jerry’s ice creams. Beer is also good, so the people at Ben & Jerry’s (along with New Belgium Brewery) have created a Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale. Yep, it’s a beer that tastes like Ben & Jerry’s chunky ice creams. Sales of the beer will benefit climate change research.

Ben and Jerry's Brrr-itoBurritos are good, and ice cream is good, so Ben & Jerry’s did the logical thing and combined the two into the Brrr-ito (get it?). Served at the company’s stores, it consists of a flattened waffle cone, filled with any flavor ice cream, topped with fudge and cookie crumbs, and then rolled up into a burrito. It was launched on April 20, which just so happens to be National Munchines Day.

Throughout the 20th century, Baskin Robbins, Carvel, and Dairy Queen all tried and failed to make grape ice cream. It was later discovered that its because grapes contain anthocyanin, a molecule that prevents the fruit from freezing. But in the year 1976, Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s had a crush on Becky Greenfield…Jerry’s sister. He told her that he’d create any ice cream flavor she wanted, and knowing the history of grape ice cream, she suggested grape. Cohen experimented, and couldn’t get the ice cream to freeze until he added in grape skins, which put in so much anthocyanin that it actually became concentrated, allowing the ice cream to freeze. Cohen gave Becky Greenfield a scoop, and she shared it with her dog—upon which the dog immediately died. Neither knew grapes are toxic to dogs. Ben & Jerry’s became powerful enough to lobby the FDA to ban the sale or research of grape flavored ice cream because of possible dog toxicity. That’s why you never see any grape ice cream…except that many regional ice cream makers do make grape ice cream. The story above isn’t true at all. It was first posted a year ago on a humor website called Emtoast, and somehow it spread around the internet as truth just this past week.

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