Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry's

11 Ben & Jerry’s Flavors Inspired by Pop Culture

Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry's

For almost as long as Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield have been dreaming up intriguing ice cream flavor combinations from their home base in Burlington, Vermont, they’ve been forging unique collaborations with icons of pop culture. The world-renowned ice cream pioneers recently introduced their newest partner in flavor-making: Ron Burgundy.

In conjunction with San Diego’s classiest newscaster’s return to the big screen in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Ben & Jerry’s is releasing Scotchy Scotch Scotch, butterscotch ice cream with a butterscotch swirl. Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal. (In a press release announcing the new flavor, Burgundy noted that “I hope Ben and Jerry consider my other suggestions: malt liquor marshmallow, well liquor bourbon peanut butter, and cheap white wine sherbet.”)

Burgundy and Anchorman are, of course, not the only cultural figures (fictional or otherwise) to be paid tribute in frozen dairy dessert form. Here are 11 other delicious Ben & Jerry’s collaborations.


Today, rock-and-roll-themed flavors are a hallmark of the Ben & Jerry’s brand. But that wasn’t always the case. In fact, it wasn’t until nine years after the company’s founding that such a product debuted. In 1987, two “Deadheads” from Portland, Maine gave Ben and Jerry the idea to debut a flavor in honor of Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia. And Cherry Garcia—cherry ice cream with cherries and fudge flakes—was born. (It’s still one of the brand’s most popular flavors.)


In 1996, Ben & Jerry’s debuted a line of sorbets, which were made with pure spring water and organic fruits and flavorings. The pints were fat-free, lactose-free, and cholesterol-free—but they weren’t without a sense of humor. Leading the original sorbet lineup was Doonesberry, named for the popular Doonesbury comic strip.


Ben and Jerry paid tribute to fellow Vermonters Phish with what would become one of their most beloved and best-selling creations: Phish Food. Released in early 1997, a percentage of the product’s proceeds were donated toward the environmental restoration of Lake Champlain. The chocolate ice cream with gooey marshmallow, caramel swirls, and fish-shaped fudge pieces comes in a frozen yogurt variety, too.


It takes a serious set of, umm, gall to launch an ice cream with this moniker, based on a famous Saturday Night Live bit with Alec Baldwin. While fans of the sketch comedy show got a chuckle out of the name, advocacy group One Million Moms—and, by extension, grocery store owners—weren’t laughing when the flavor was introduced in 2011. Many chains refused to carry the scandalously named treat, making it hard to come by and, as such, short-lived. Baldwin joked about the controversy when he hosted SNL in September 2011, saying that those offended by the name could try the company’s newest flavor: “Go Fudge Yourself.” 


“I'm not afraid to say it. Dessert has a well-known liberal agenda,” television host Stephen Colbert noted in a statement to announce the release of his very own ice cream in February of 2007. “What I hope to do with this ice cream is bring some balance back to the freezer case.” The flavor—vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered pieces of waffle cone and bits of caramel—has been selling strongly ever since, with proceeds going to several education-based charities. 


Not to be outdone, fellow funnyman Jimmy Fallon released Late Night Snack in March 2011, a salty-sweet Fair Trade combo of vanilla ice cream, salted caramel swirl, and chocolate-covered potato chips. Yes, chocolate-covered potato chips. The collaboration came about in response to “Ladysmith Snack Mambazo,” an original song written and performed by Fallon and The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon


In conjunction with the series finale of 30 Rock, Fallon’s former co-star, Tina Fey (or at least her on-screen alter ego) received a sweet tribute: Liz Lemon Greek Frozen Yogurt, a sweet and sour lemon-flavored frozen yogurt with a blueberry lavender swirl. Part of the proceeds went to Jumpstart, an early education organization helping to instill a love of reading in kids in low-income neighborhoods, a cause of which Fey has been a longtime supporter.


More than two years after Seinfeld made its television bow, Ben & Jerry’s celebrated the series’ holiday for the rest of us with this brown sugar and cinnamon ice cream swirled with chunks of gingerbread cookie and ginger caramel. The flavor—which flavor developer Rob Douglas declared “kicks fruitcakes’ ass!”—was in freezers for one year only.


Ben and Jerry’s ode to Britain’s most famous comedy troupe—a coffee liqueur-flavored ice cream with chocolate chunks and chocolate cookie crumbs—made its debut in 2006 and silly-walked off shelves three years later.


In 2008, Elton John performed his first-ever concert in Vermont. So Ben & Jerry’s, naturally, commemorated the event with a limited-batch flavor: Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road, which the company described as “an outrageous symphony of decadent chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cookie dough, butter brickle, and white chocolate chunks.” Proceeds from the treat, which was made available in Vermont scoop shops for one week only, benefitted the Elton John AIDS Foundation.


Wavy Gravy—a caramel-cashew-Brazil nut concoction with roasted almonds and a chocolate hazelnut fudge swirl—spent a decade in grocery store freezers before it was discontinued in 2003. Named for the charismatic activist and entertainer who helped to organize Woodstock, proceeds from the pints went to Camp Winnarainbow, Gravy’s summer getaway for underprivileged kids. “I got dumped,” Gravy told Vanity Fair in 2011 of his flavor’s demise. “Poor Ben and Jerry were mortified. They were purchased by this big Dutch corporation called Unilever. And I was dumped for not being cost-effective. Mrs. Gravy said, ‘I knew you weren’t cost-effective all along.’”

All images courtesy of Ben & Jerry's.

Charles Dickens Museum Highlights the Author's Contributions to Science and Medicine

Charles Dickens is celebrated for his verbose prose and memorable opening lines, but lesser known are his contributions to science—particularly the field of medicine.

A new exhibition at London’s Charles Dickens Museum—titled "Charles Dickens: Man of Science"—is showcasing the English author’s scientific side. In several instances, the writer's detailed descriptions of medical conditions predated and sometimes even inspired the discovery of several diseases, The Guardian reports.

In his novel Dombey and Son, the character of Mrs. Skewton was paralyzed on her right side and unable to speak. Dickens was the first person to document this inexplicable condition, and a scientist later discovered that one side of the brain was largely responsible for speech production. "Fat boy" Joe, a character in The Pickwick Papers who snored loudly while sleeping, later lent his namesake to Pickwickian Syndrome, otherwise known as obesity hypoventilation syndrome.

A figurine of Fat Boy Joe
Courtesy of the Charles Dickens Museum

Dickens also wrote eloquently about the symptoms of tuberculosis and dyslexia, and some of his passages were used to teach diagnosis to students of medicine.

“Dickens is an unbelievably acute observer of human behaviors,” museum curator Frankie Kubicki told The Guardian. “He captures these behaviors so perfectly that his descriptions can be used to build relationships between symptoms and disease.”

Dickens was also chummy with some of the leading scientists of his day, including Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin, and chemist Jane Marcet, and the exhibition showcases some of the writer's correspondence with these notable figures. Beyond medicine, Dickens also contributed to the fields of chemistry, geology, and environmental science.

Less scientifically sound was the author’s affinity for mesmerism, a form of hypnotism introduced in the 1770s as a method of controlling “animal magnetism,” a magnetic fluid which proponents of the practice believed flowed through all people. Dickens studied the methods of mesmerism and was so convinced by his powers that he later wrote, “I have the perfect conviction that I could magnetize a frying-pan.” A playbill of Animal Magnetism, an 1857 production that Dickens starred in, is also part of the exhibit.

A play script from Animal Magnetism
Courtesy of the Charles Dickens Museum

Located at 48-49 Doughty Street in London, the exhibition will be on display until November 11, 2018.

[h/t The Guardian]

Beyond Wanderlust: 30 Words Every Traveler Should Know

For those who travel, wanderlust is a familiar feeling. It’s that nagging voice in your head that says, “Yes, you do need to book that flight,” even if your bank account says otherwise. Regardless of how many passport covers this word may adorn, it doesn’t begin to cover the spectrum of emotions and experiences that can be revealed through the act of travel. Here are 30 travel words from around the world to keep in your back pocket as you're exploring this summer.


From the Latin vagari, meaning “to wander,” this 16th-century word originally meant a wandering journey. Nowadays, "vagaries" refer to unpredictable or erratic situations, but that doesn’t mean the old sense of the word can’t be invoked from time to time.


An Old English word that refers to something that’s both strange and marvelous. It's a great way to sum up those seemingly indescribable moments spent in an unfamiliar land.


Who hasn’t felt a strong desire to be somewhere—anywhere—other than where you currently are? That’s fernweh, or “farsickness," and this German word has been described as a cousin of wanderlust, another German loan word.


A busy street in Hong Kong

Anyone who has traveled abroad will recognize this feeling. The French word refers to the sense of disorientation that often sets in when you step outside your comfort zone, such as when you leave your home country.


Another gift from the French, this word literally translates to “drift,” but thanks to some mid-20th century French philosophers, it can also refer to a spontaneous trip, completely free of plans, in which you let your surroundings guide you.


To peregrinate is to travel from place to place, especially on foot. Its Latin root, peregrinus (meaning “foreign”), is also where the peregrine falcon (literally “pilgrim falcon”) gets its name.


Similar to peregrinate, this word essentially means to travel over or through an area by foot. So instead of saying that you’ll be walking around London, you can say you’ll be perambulating the city’s streets—much more sophisticated.


The Grand Canyon

This English word could appropriately be used to describe the Grand Canyon or the Northern Lights. Something numinous is awe-inspiring and mysterious. It's difficult to understand from a rational perspective, which gives it a spiritual or unearthly quality.


The young and the restless will want to incorporate this word into their lexicon. The adjective refers to those who are constantly moving from place to place—in other words, a nomadic existence. It stems from the Greek word peripatein (“to walk up and down”), which was originally associated with Aristotle and the shaded walkways near his school (or, according to legend, his habit of pacing back and forth during lectures).


You’re alone in a forest. It’s peaceful. The sun is filtering through the trees and there’s a light breeze. That’s waldeinsamkeit. (Literally "forest solitude." And yes, Germans have all the best travel words.)


In a similar vein, this Japanese word means “forest bathing,” and it's considered a form of natural medicine and stress reliever. There are now forest bathing clubs around the world, but you can try it out for yourself on your next camping trip. Take deep breaths, close your eyes, and take in the smells and sounds of the forest. Simple.


In those moments when you just want to run away from your responsibilities, you may consider becoming a solivagant: a solo wanderer.


This Japanese phrase literally translates to “a meal eaten sideways,” which is an apt way to describe the awkwardness of speaking in a foreign language that you haven’t quite mastered, especially over dinner.


A woman at the airport

You just booked your flight. Your heart starts racing. You’re a little nervous about your journey, but mostly you just can’t wait to get going. The anticipation, anxiety, and excitement you get before a big trip is all rolled into one word—resfeber—and you can thank the Swedes for it.


Taken from the French flâner, meaning to stroll or saunter, this word describes someone who has no particular plans or place they need to be. They merely stroll around the city at a leisurely pace, taking in the sights and enjoying the day as it unfolds.


This could be construed as the traditional English equivalent of flâneur. Likely stemming from the Middle English verb gadden, meaning “to wander without a specific aim or purpose,” a gadabout is one who frequently travels from place to place for the sheer fun of it. In other words: a modern-day backpacker.


Sometimes, no matter how amazing your vacation may be, you just want to come home to your bed and cats. This Welsh word sums up the deep yearning for home that can strike without warning. As Gillian Thomas put it in an interview with the BBC, “Home sickness is too weak. You feel hiraeth, which is a longing of the soul to come home to be safe.”


The karst peaks of Guilin, China

This Japanese word can be taken to mean “graceful elegance” or “subtle mystery,” but it’s much more than that. It's when the beauty of the universe is felt most profoundly, awakening an emotional response that goes beyond words.


Translating to “threshold anxiety,” this German word sums up the fears that are present before you enter somewhere new—like a theater or an intimidating cafe—and by extension going anywhere unfamiliar. The fear of crossing a threshold is normal, even among the most adventurous of travelers—but it often leads to the most unforgettable experiences.


Have you ever seen something so beautiful it made you cry? That’s commuovere in action. The Italian word describes the feeling of being moved, touched, or stirred by something you witness or experience.


This Danish word refers to a warm feeling of contentedness and coziness, as well as the acknowledgement of that feeling. Although not explicitly related to this term, author Kurt Vonnegut summed up the idea behind this concept quite nicely when he said, “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"


Here's one for those who have a beach trip coming up. Taken from Kwangali, a language spoken in Namibia, hanyauku is the act of tiptoeing across hot sand.


A patch of wild strawberries

This Swedish word translates to something along the lines of “place of wild strawberries,” but its metaphorical meaning is something along the lines of a "happy place." Whether it’s a hidden overlook of the city or your favorite vacation spot that hasn’t been “discovered” yet, smultronställe refers to those semi-secret places you return to time and time again because they’re special and personal to you.


This Old English word describes what might happen when you visit a place like Pompeii or a ghost town. While reflecting on past civilizations, you realize that everything will eventually turn to dust. A cheery thought.


In some Spanish dialects, the word vacilando describes someone who travels with a vague destination in mind but has no real incentive to get there. In other words, the journey is more important than the destination. As John Steinbeck described it in his travelogue Travels With Charley: “It does not mean vacillating at all. If one is vacilando, he is going somewhere, but doesn't greatly care whether or not he gets there, although he has direction. My friend Jack Wagner has often, in Mexico, assumed this state of being. Let us say we wanted to walk in the streets of Mexico city but not at random. We would choose some article almost certain not to exist there and then diligently try to find it.”


Backpackers and budget travelers, this one is for you: The Hebrew word lehitkalev translates to “dog it” and means to deal with uncomfortable living or travel arrangements.


Sun shining in the woods

This beautiful Japanese word is a good one to save for a sunny day spent in the woods. Komorebi translates to “sunshine filtering through the leaves.” Does it get any lovelier than that?

28. RAMÉ

This Balinese word refers to something that is simultaneously chaotic and joyful. It isn’t specifically a travel word, but it does seem to fit the feelings that are often awakened by travel.


Translating to a “lucky find,” this French word can be applied to that cool cafe, flower-lined street, or quirky craft store that you stumbled upon by chance. Indeed, these are the moments that make travel worthwhile.


Just in case you needed another reason to plan that trip to Yosemite, here's one last word for nature lovers. The Sanskrit word ullassa refers to the feelings of pleasantness that come from observing natural beauty in all its glory.


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