The Truth About Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Cemetery

What happens when you make a mistake? Why, you bury it and pretend it never happened, of course. But unlike some of us, Ben & Jerry's isn't too worried about keeping its mistakes in the dark, which could be why they came up with their very own Flavor Graveyard — a tongue-in-cheek space to mourn the passing of an ice cream flavor which might have been close to our hearts.

The Flavor Graveyard began as an online exercise for Ben & Jerry's discontinued ice creams. But because the flavors deserved better, the ice cream company decided to build a real resting place for the pints we left behind (Ben & Jerry's calls them dearly de-pinted), behind the Ben & Jerry's factory in Vermont. The Flavor Graveyard began as a plot with four headstones (Dastardly Mash, Economic Crunch, Ethan Almond, and Tuskegee Chunk), but it has grown to fit hundreds of flavors, each with their own gravestones, and an  epitaph befitting a Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor (via Insider). Flavors laid to rest include Peanuts! Popcorn! (2000-2000), a caramel ice cream with caramel popcorn, toffee-coated peanuts, and a caramel swirl which — judging from its swift entry and exit — didn't appear to please the ice cream gods.

Ben & Jerry's doesn't discontinue flavors without good reason

Some fans are still mourning the loss of Fossil Fuel (2005-2010), the sweet cream ice cream with chocolate cookie bits and fudge dinos, mixed into a fudge swirl. And when What a Cluster was laid to rest in 2015, the company gave it a proper funeral, and even created a video for posterity. All told, an estimated 300 flavors have crossed the ice cream bridge to the great freezer beyond.

It's important to know that flavors are always dis-cone-tinued for a reason. "Ben & Jerry's is known for outrageous, chunky, funky flavors," the company's flavor guru, Eric Fredette said in a press release. "But experimentation comes with risk, and not everybody likes our edgier ideas. Like everything else, ice cream flavors have a beginning and an end." In other cases, flavors aren't actually gone for good, they are merely de-pinted for a while — and if enough people petition for a resurrection, that flavor could actually come back.

But if your flavor is truly beyond the reach of Ben and Jerry's mortal, discerning flavor and marketing experts — the company has thoughtfully provided a section on their site which explains the Five Stages of Flavor Grief. That way, you're able to mourn — and say farewell — to what could have been the flavor of your dreams.