Whatever Happened To Haagen-Dazs Black Walnut Ice Cream?

We're all devastated when our favorite ice cream flavors retire, so much so that the ice cream industry has capitalized on our sorrow. Ben & Jerry's even has its very own flavor graveyard at its Vermont headquarters, where you can physically visit your beloved retired flavors' tombstones. But it is the loss of one particular ice cream flavor that has aficionados and nut lovers alike mourning: Haagen-Dazs' discontinued Black Walnut

As for the ice cream's flavor notes, Home Perch describes the the ice cream as a "creamy vanilla with hints of earthy black walnuts," calling the taste "unusual." As for those looking for a replacement flavor for their darling Black Walnut, the outlet recommended fans try Haagen-Dazs' Butter Pecan or Vanilla Swiss Almond flavors. But why was Black Walnut discontinued in the first place? Eat This, Not That! stated that the flavor simply wasn't consumed enough.

Did the taste profile and cost of black walnuts contribute to the flavor's discontinuation?

Just what exactly is a black walnut and how does it differ from "regular" walnuts — and how might this difference have led to Haagen-Dazs' Black Walnut's demise? Serious Eats detailed in an article that the walnuts Americans enjoy today are called English walnuts, which have a long lineage and date back to Persian times. These nuts are more mild in flavor and the shells open more simply compared to their darker counterparts. On the contrary, black walnuts are harder to open with their thicker shells and "have a bolder, earthier flavor." The different types of walnuts are grown in distinct areas of the United States.

Perhaps, combined with the lack of customer engagement with the Black Walnut flavor, another reason it has been discontinued might be due to the hefty price of black walnuts. As black walnut harvesting company Hammons claimed in a press release, black walnuts were priced at about $14-$15 per pound in 2016.

A big oops: when flavors we identify with are discontinued

The discontinuation of Haagen-Dazs' Black Walnut ice cream has not only saddened the ice cream lovers, but disappointed public figures, as well. 

After the former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, called 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain "the flavor of the week" in October 2011, Cain clapped back. "I'm Haagen-Dazs Black Walnut, [which] lasts longer than a week," he jokingly retorted, per the Huffington Post. Of course, Cain's statement backfired upon learning that Black Walnut had been retired. 

But Cain soon made a statement about his whoopsie. "Well, I was very disappointed to find out that it's a limited edition and they don't make Haagen-Dazs the way they used to, so I'm heartbroken over that," he said (via ABC News). "I now have my people calling Haagen-Dazs, finding out why they don't make [it.]" Naturally, however, like any good politician, Cain spun the diss, stating, "The point that I was making is, my campaign represents substance, which is why it's not going to be a flavor of the week."

No matter what our reasoning for missing Haagen-Dazs Black Walnut ice cream, nut ice cream connoisseurs everywhere should unite to bring it back on the market. Until then, we mourn.