Filed Under:

The Graveyard Of Shelved Ice Cream Flavors

Play associated audio

The first installment in Dead Stop, Morning Edition's summer road trip series about interesting gravesites in America.

When the Ben and Jerry's ice cream company kills a flavor, it's treated with respect — including a burial in the company's "Flavor Graveyard."

"I think we've got the best, and the not-best, up here," Sean Greenwood, Ben and Jerry's Grand Poobah of Publicity, says from the cemetery in Waterbury, Vt.

"Flavors like Wild Maine Blueberry. It's been decades since we made this flavor, but we used to have the trucks back up here with truckloads of blueberries," he says, "and everyone would pitch in and unload the blueberries, and make it while the blueberries were fresh."

In what may be a nod to the current zombie fad, Ben and Jerry's also offers customers a chance to make the case for resurrecting a favorite flavor.

But that doesn't mean every flavor should be brought back. In particular, Greenwood cites "the dreaded Sugar Plum" ice cream, a mix of plum and caramel that he says should remain six feet under.

Customers and employees alike feel pangs of sadness when their favorite flavors either fail to catch on or can't recover from hard times. For instance, a particular ingredient might become too costly, or a kitchen process might be too complicated to continue.

"You feel bad when the good ones just don't make it anymore," Greenwood says.

A prime example is Rainforest Crunch, Greenwood says. He recites an elegiac poem dedicated to the flavor:

"With aching heart and heavy sigh, we bid Rainforest Crunch goodbye; that nutty brittle from exotic places got sticky in between our braces. 1989-1996. It was a really, really good flavor."

Like most cemeteries, the Flavor Graveyard attracts its share of mourners and other visitors.

"It's not uncommon," Greenwood says. "You walk up to the graveyard here, and there'll be fans that are up here putting flowers next to a headstone, or down on one knee, kind of paying their respects."

To nominate your favorite gravesite, write a comment below, or use the hashtag #nprdeadstop on Twitter or Instagram.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

A Modern 'Roots' For An American Society Still 'Based On The Color Line'

The remake of the seminal TV miniseries begins on the History channel Monday night. Co-producer LeVar Burton says he recognized an opportunity to retell the story "to and for a new generation."
NPR

'Sweetbitter' Is A Savory Saga Of Restaurant Life And Love

Oysters, cocaine, fine wine, love triangles: Stephanie Danler's debut novel Sweetbitter follows a year in the life of a young woman working at a top-tier Manhattan restaurant.
NPR

'Bikers For Trump' At Rolling Thunder Rally Endorse Donald Trump

Chris Cox, the head of Bikers for Trump, talks with David Greene about his decision to endorse the Republican Party's presumptive nominee. Trump spoke during Memorial Day motorcycle rally events.
NPR

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, She Channeled Her Ups And Downs Into Texts

NPR's Scott Simon talks with Natalie Sun about her project, textingwithcancer.com. The website won a Webby award, and documents her pessimism and optimism while undergoing chemotherapy.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.