In Praise Of Ben And Jerrys


Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is amazing. It’s in the rare spot of such thorough ubiquity that we take it for granted; it’s the sort of perfect that melts into our assumptions. It’s the ideal and we take it as natural. We shouldn’t. Ben and Jerry’s may be the best, most perfectly rounded and satisfying product in all of America and it deserves our constant praise.

Let’s break it down.

It’s ice cream. Great! A good start. Furthermore, it’s damn good ice cream. Even better. It’s a creative, socially conscious brand of which nothing bad can be said. They made money by paying above-value rates for Vermont’s struggling dairy farms while supporting locally loved media (30 Rock! The Colbert Report!) and social causes you care about (marriage equality! Global warming!)

Also: it’s amazing.

How good is Ben and Jerry’s? In Breaking Bad, (SPOILER!) when Jesse was captured by the Nazis and Todd offered him some Ben and Jerry’s as a kidnapped meth slave to Nazis, didn’t a small part of you go, “mm, Ben and Jerry’s?”

Yeah. That good.

Everyone loves Ben and Jerry’s. It’s the crowd pleaser. Everyone can agree on Cherry Garcia; what other flavor can you spread across generations? Vanilla? Come on. This is Vanilla-cherry with fudge chips and cherry pieces. Doesn’t that sound better to you?

It should. And if it does, it’s because Ben and Jerry’s revolutionized the flavor game. Without them Mint Chocolate Chip was the peak. Don’t get me wrong: good flavor. But that was the peak of innovation before they, introduced caramel or fudge-core pints, or complex flavors like “Chubby Hubby.”

If you’re keeping track, that’s vanilla malt ice cream swirled with fudge and peanut butter with fudge-covered and peanut-butter filled pretzel bites. And that’s a standard one.

I mean, who else comes close? Maybe a local favorite. And, okay, fair. That’s great! But if they were out, Ben and Jerry’s would be a fine compromise, right? And there it is. At stores. In suburbs and cities. In 24 hour stores and gas stations.

Wherever, whenever, it’s there. It’s the most innocuous perk of capitalism.

But that’s local, yo: that’s an international freezer-store brand facing off against all-natural homespun favorites and doing so well. But as far as the freezer isle goes?

It’s a fucking massacre.

Haagen Daz tries too hard- see the name- and does too little. It’s okay, it’s alright, and it has to hope idiots don’t see through the gimmicky name because that’s all they have.

And they’re the lucky ones.

Who else can compete? Edy’s? Nah. Breyers? Fuck their french-vanilla. French Vanilla is for well-meaning hippies who don’t love happiness. Ben and Jerry’s is for people who love ice cream.

And Hood? Hood? With those weak, papery chocolate and vanilla cups with the wooden spoon? Those were nostalgic, right? But nostalgia isn’t the first adjective you should have for ice cream. You probably remembered the taste of the wood-spoon more favorably than the

Fuck your pride and childhood: tell me what pint of ice-cream you’d give a time-traveller you wanted to impress?

I thought so.

This summer, take a pint, a cone, a frozen bar and toast the excellence that is Ben and Jerry’s. Let it inspire you. Fill your life with metaphorical simple perfection- sunshine and Ben and Jerry’s- and relish in the easy, natural and good.