Retired Ben & Jerry's Flavors That Deserve A Comeback

Since launching in 1978, Ben & Jerry's has churned out dozens of different iconic ice cream offerings with new additions debuting each year. And now there is even a Food Network reality series, "Ben & Jerry's: Clash of the Cones," which brings together skilled ice cream makers in a competition to create the company's next flavor.

While we all know and love supermarket favorites such as Chunky Monkey and Cherry Garcia, there are a number of releases that have ended up in the great freezer in the sky. In fact, at the Ben & Jerry's flagship factory in Waterbury, Vermont, there is an entire graveyard (tombstones and all) devoted to the dearly departed flavors that are no longer with us. Though there are some fallen pints such as the ill-conceived Sugar Plum that should rightfully remain dead and buried, plenty of others are worthy of a resurrection. These are some of our favorite Ben & Jerry's flavors that genuinely deserve a comeback.

Wavy Gravy

Ben & Jerry's co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are millionaires many times over, according to Celebrity Net Worth, but they will always be hippies at heart. This surely explains why they signed off on ice cream odes to Jerry Garcia and fellow Vermonters Phish. It's no surprise that Hugh Nanton Romney Jr., better known as Wavy Gravy, was also tapped to lend his jovial, clown-nosed likeness to a pint. In fact, his name was so befitting of a Ben & Jerry's flavor, it didn't even need to be adapted into a pun. 

The ice cream successfully managed to encapsulate the personality of the Merry Prankster and Woodstock "Please Chief" (via PBS), incorporating the perfect balance of sweetness and nuttiness. It featured a caramel and Brazil nut base laced with a chocolate hazelnut swirl and cashews. And, of course, the label sported some tie-dye. Unfortunately, after a noble eight-year run, Wavy Gravy was abruptly canceled.

In a 2011 interview with Vanity Fair, Mr. Gravy himself accused Ben & Jerry's corporate overlords Unilever of scrapping his namesake flavor because the profits from the ice cream's sales went to charity. "I was dumped for not being cost-effective," he said. "Poor Ben and Jerry were mortified." So are we! Except for a brief reappearance in 2005, Wavy Gravy has remained on ice. But it is well past time this Ben & Jerry's classic flavor got another chance for a comeback.

Dastardly Mash

Blame Ben Cohen for the deep-sixing of this old-school flavor which was launched in 1979 and had an impressive 12-year run, though he clearly has some conflicted feelings about the affair. "Dastardly Mash was one of my children! And I killed it!" he told Esquire. His main quibble with the flavor was the mushiness of the raisins in the mix, which accompanied chocolate ice cream, pecans, almonds, and chocolate chips.

Ben & Jerry's figured the product would be improved by scaling back the number of scoops of shriveled grapes, but the decision backfired pretty spectacularly. "The people who didn't like the raisins still found them, and they weren't happy," said Cohen. "And the people who liked the raisins could no longer find enough of them. So it was the worst possible solution."

If you are nostalgic for Dastardly Mash and can't wait on Ben & Jerry's to start producing this flavor again, you can still follow this simple hack that will help you relive those glory days. Simply buy a pint of the similar, though fruit-less New York Super Fudge Chunk and add your own raisins.

Duff & D'oh-Nuts

If you couldn't guess the origins of this super-duper limited-edition ice cream by its name, you are obviously not a Simpsons fan and, quite frankly, are completely out of touch with basic pop culture knowledge. Step up your game! Duff & D'oh-Nuts featured a Homer-approved mashup of chocolate and cream stout ice creams with glazed chocolate donuts (via Grub Street). Mmmm, donuts.

But much like Globex Corporation head honcho and possible psychopath Frank Scorpio's sole appearance on the show, this was a one-time-only treat, scooped in conjunction with the premiere of "The Simpsons Movie" in 2007. That means only a handful of fans were lucky enough to try it. One such taster was Jeremy Albright, who told The Ann Arbor News, "It was everything I thought it would be. Beer and donuts ice cream? I don't know why nobody's thought of it before."

Though neither Ben and Jerry nor their namesake ice cream ever appeared on "The Simpsons," punny pints of Honey Bono and Candy Warhol from the similar-sounding Ken & Harry's have been sold at Eatie Gourmet's, a specialty food store featured on the show (one can assume the ice cream is far too fancy for the Kwik-E-Mart).

One Sweet Whirled

You don't have to be a fan of the Dave Matthews Band to appreciate this caramel and coffee ice cream combo, which comes complete with caramel swirls and coffee chunks. Inspired by a song from the sometimes polarizing Charlottesville music sensation, One Sweet Whirled debuted in 2002 and stuck around for two years. It then made a brief comeback in 2017 but quickly faded away again. Perhaps there was too much jam band overlap, as Junk Banter noted that the flavor tasted awfully similar to Phish Food, a Ben & Jerry's stalwart.

According to a petition brought about in order to bring back the ice cream, a portion of its proceeds went to the charity Save Our Environment. Isn't that all the more reason to give the pint another whirl?

And yes, if you seem to remember an additional Dave Matthews Band Ben & Jerry's flavor, you are not mistaken. Magic Brownies, which offered up a raspberry ice cream and sweet cream ice cream two-step along with brownie pieces, took a bow a decade ago, too.

Vermonty Python

Thankfully no Spam or Venezuelan beaver cheese ended up in this cleverly titled homage to what is arguably the greatest sketch comedy troupe of all time: Monty Python. That's not to say that Vermonty Python didn't offer a taste of the group's irreverent ethos, though. The out-of-the-box flavor combo successfully embodies the spirit of Pythons John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, and the late, great Graham Chapman and Terry Jones. In fact, it's made with coffee liquor, plus a chocolate cookie crumb swirl and some chocolate bovines, a nod to the unforgettably outrageous cow catapult scene from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Sadly, much like the original "Flying Circus" series, the flavor had an all too brief run with a mere two years in production and is now as dead as a pet store parrot. But you can never count out a return. Against all odds, Monty Python triumphantly reunited in 2014, after all (via IMDb). It's well past time for Vermonty Python to follow suit, isn't it?

Schweddy Balls

If you managed to upset the ultra-conservative group known as One Million Moms, then you may well conclude that you are doing something right. Such was the case when Ben & Jerry's introduced the world to its Schweddy Balls flavor for a brief holiday run in 2011. If you think that sounds vulgar, well, get your mind out of the gutter! The flavor is based on the classic 1998 "Saturday Night Live" sketch that features low-key NPR hosts Margaret Jo McMullen and Teri Rialto (played by Ana Gastyer and Molly Shannon) interviewing equally subdued Season's Eatings owner Pete Schweddy, played by Alec Baldwin. Per SNL Transcripts, the discussion turns to Mr. Schweddy's large, tender, glistening balls (as in popcorn balls, cheese balls, and rum balls). Hilarity ensues, at least as long as you're not one of those One Million Moms, who called on Ben & Jerry's to cease production of the flavor (via NPR).

For its interpretation of the holiday treat, Ben & Jerry's opted to go boozy, bringing together rum-spiked vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered rum and malt balls. In an interview with NPR at the time of the ice cream's release, Ben & Jerry's spokesperson Sean Greenwood said that the flavor was "absolutely crazy popular." And yet, Schweddy Balls has yet to be whipped out again. Here's hoping for a 10th-anniversary release.

Bovinity Divinity

This homage to the provider of one of ice cream's core ingredients may not have been a huge success at the time, but devotees still have a cow over its absence from the Ben & Jerry's lineup. Bovinity Divinity offered a dual-colored cocoa fusion, which combined milk chocolate ice cream and white chocolate cows with white chocolate ice cream and dark fudge cows. The flavor lasted three years so apparently some people dug it. But it was apparently not enough to prevent it from ascending to the spirit world. Its tombstone in the Ben & Jerry's graveyard reads, "Where do all the cows go when heaven gives the word? This flavor kicked the bucket when angels took the herd."

Perhaps Bovinity Divinity met its arguably untimely end due to the divisiveness over the inclusion of white chocolate, which we wholeheartedly believe doesn't deserve all the ire thrown its way. A good white chocolate experience is more than a sugar explosion, after all. If you currently want to get your white chocolate fix with a Ben & Jerry's pint, the ever-popular New York Super Fudge Chunk will do the trick.

Monkey Wrench

Over two decades have passed since Monkey Wrench made an all too brief appearance on store shelves and yet we still can't get it out of our heads. According to Ben & Jerry's, in 2000 the company debuted its 2Twisted line which brought together a pair of popular flavors in a single pint. While they struck gold with the fudgy, candy-bar-inspired Everything But The...  flavor, not to mention the now all-time classic Half Baked (which fuses Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Fudge Brownie), the majority of the mashups just didn't pan out. 

Monkey Wrench happened to be one of those misfires, despite the fact that it brought together two classic and certainly compatible Ben & Jerry's flavors: Peanut Butter Cup and Chunky Monkey. The Elvis Presley-esque pairing of peanut butter and banana (not to mention chocolate!) should have been a winner, but fans were apparently split on the combo. Perhaps it was simply a case of too much of a good thing, but we'd like to see it return and decide for ourselves.

Fresh Georgia Peach

Ben & Jerry's is known for packing a bevy of additions into its ice cream creations, but the company also has a somewhat less recognized history of keeping things simple. Case in point: the oldie but goodie Fresh Georgia Peach, a flavor that had a successful five-year run between 1986 to 1991. It take all that much to make, apart from plenty of fuzzy stone fruit and a sweet cream base. And that's all she wrote.

The flavor certainly lived up to its name. In the duo's 1987 recipe compendium "Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book," Cohen and Greenfield write about traveling down to Georgia's century-old Dickey Farms in order to inspect the freshly plucked peaches in person. 

But was that commitment to quality which likely led to the flavor's demise? On the Fresh Georgia Peach graveyard tombstone, the epitaph reads, "Fresh-picked peaches trucked from Georgia/Tasted great but couldn't last/'Cuz Georgia's quite a-ways away & trucks don't go that fast."


This homage to the December 23 anti-Christmas celebration made famous on a classic episode of "Seinfeld" packs a Frank Costanza-esque bite with the combination of brown sugar cinnamon ice cream and gingerbread cookies, plus a ginger-caramel swirl (the aluminum Festivus pole and traditional airing of grievances are not included). According to Ben & Jerry's "flavor guru" Rob Douglas, "We pondered long and hard about what a holiday ice cream flavor should be, and yadda, yadda, yadda, Festivus was born. This flavor kicks fruitcake's [a**]!"

The flavor for the rest of us first appeared during the 2000 holiday season and was so successful it returned the following year. After a three-year hiatus, the ice cream made a comeback, only with the far more boring moniker of Gingerbread Cookie. It was rebranded once again in 2009 with the equally blah title of Gingersnap.

In the spirit of the holiday, we'd like to take this time to air our grievance: Ben & Jerry's needs to fill the crushing void of Festivus ice cream in our lives, original name and all!

Cool Britannia

Long before "Clash of the Cones," Ben & Jerry's held a mid-'90s contest to pitch an ice cream flavor that would best exemplify the United Kingdom. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company received over 7500 cheeky entries including Queen Yum Mum, Ruby Chewsday, Choc Ness Monster, and finalists Jack the Ripple and Stiff Upper Flip. But the crown ended up being bestowed upon Cool Britannia, a popular reference at the time to the exploding Brit-pop scene (via The Phrase Finder). The trio of vanilla ice cream, strawberries, and fudge-covered shortbread packed into a Union Jack-emblazoned pint provided suitable snacking while listening to "Different Class" or "(What's the Story) Morning Glory?"

But just like Oasis, Cool Britannia wasn't destined to live forever. Some might say that the flavor never really quite became a supernova with the fan reaction more "whatever" than "don't go away." Little by little, Ben & Jerry's lost faith in its creation and ultimately ceased production on Cool Britannia in 1998. All we can say is thank you for the good times.