The Real Reason Grape Ice Cream Doesn't Exist

Fruit ice cream has been popular ever since ice cream was invented – in fact, one of the "big three" flavors you'll almost always find everywhere is strawberry, right up there alongside vanilla and chocolate (quite literally, in the case of Neapolitan ice cream). We've also got cherry, peach, raspberry, black raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, banana, mango, and pineapple/coconut ice creams. There are also slightly more bizarre fruit flavors like fig and even avocado (which is totally a fruit). One fruit flavor you're unlikely ever to see, though, either in the grocery store ice cream freezer or at your local gourmet scoopery, is grape.

We're talking about ice cream, not sorbets or ices and definitely not popsicles, since grape popsicles have been around since forever (even if Bud Light dissed the flavor by passing it over for its boozy version of this summertime treat). Nor are we counting grape derivatives, since otherwise rum raisin would fit the bill. Why, then, has grape ice cream never really been a thing? The internet has floated all kinds of rumors, but the truth is nearly as hard to come by as grape-flavored ice cream itself.

Grapes have too high a water content

One explanation that's often given for why grape ice cream is practically nonexistent is the boring but untrue theory that grapes don't freeze – duh, of course they do, how else could you make them taste like Sour Patch Kids? Another theory holds that grape ice cream is actually against the law since grapes are bad for dogs. In fact, there's even an urban legend that Ben Cohen (the front half of Ben & Jerry's) once made a batch of grape ice cream that killed Jerry's sister's dog, and swore off all further attempts, although this wouldn't really explain why Haagen-Dazs and Baskin-Robbins have also failed to jump on the grape-y train. But that pup-lar idea has an even more obvious flaw: chocolate is bad for dogs and you don't see any ban on that.

Sean Greenwood, who works in PR for Ben & Jerry's, spoke with Thrillist and debunked all of the above rumors, including the Ben-as-puppy-killer one. (Whew!) He said that grapes, being over 80 percent water, are prone to form icy chunks while frozen, and thus not easy to use as the base for a creamy product. This is also the reason you don't see too many melon-flavored ice creams – again, the fruit's just too watery.

Also nobody really wants grape ice cream

High water content thing isn't the only reason why nobody makes grape ice cream. Cherries have a similar water content, but cherries play nicely with other flavors like chocolate and vanilla. Also, cherry ice cream is a long-established flavor. As Greenwood told Thrillist, grapes are "not a very mainstream flavor for ice cream... Most people don't even associate grape with ice cream."

Nor should they, apparently. It seems that the real reason why grape should remain in the sorbet/popsicle zone is the fact that grape ice cream just wouldn't taste good. Airheads actually did make grape-flavored ice cream in an appetizing shade of tar-streaked beige, and a YouTube reviewer summed up its taste by saying "I feel gross just talking about it," before addressing the ice cream itself to say: "I will never eat you again and I will throw you away." Ben & Jerry's also once experimented with a grape-like flavor called Sugar Plum that Greenwood admits "was a fun idea, but not a great flavor" (via Thrillist).

There's just one thing that's kind of a pity about the lack of grape ice cream, and that's the fact that the flavor would lend itself well to all kinds of punny names. Just imagine an ice cream called "How Grape It Is," or perhaps "The Grapest of All Time," or even "Make America Grape Again." Oh well. Perhaps those names could be re-purposed for wines, instead – now that might be a grape idea!