Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc,Everybody knows the outlandish combination of chunks and swirls that put Ben & Jerry’s on the map over 30 years ago but few people correctly guess the first flavor the two real guys ever churned out. Mint with chocolate cookies? Cherry Garcia? Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough? The answer may surprise you.Co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield knew there needed to be a creamy, delicious ice cream that could stand on its own before adding any chunks and swirls. Since 1978 the duo stirred up every imaginable flavor combination ‘ many that had never been tried before. Still, Greenfield and Cohen are quick to point out that the first flavor an ice cream maker must perfect is the one without any chunks or swirls whatsoever. That’s why their first flavor was: Vanilla.‘While Ben & Jerry’s is synonymous with funky and chunky concoctions like Phishfood, Chunky Monkey and Chubby Hubby, the company has been heralded for its Vanilla ice cream in national independent taste tests year after year,’ said Leo Acquino, Director of the Flavor Guru team. ‘Usually testers cite our flavor, texture and creaminess;’ added Acquino, ‘it’s that homemade quality that we’re most proud of.’Customers agree too. Vanilla is the best-selling flavor in Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops nationwide. As the holiday season approaches, and you need the tastiest vanilla beside that pie you’ve perfected, there are even more reasons for choosing Ben & Jerry’s vanilla than simply for its award-winning taste. Ben & Jerry’s believes that it’s what’s inside that counts. That means never missing out on an extra scoop! Ben & Jerry’s pint is still a pint (a full sixteen fluid ounces) versus the downsized 14 ounces of other competitors. While it is the ‘giving season’ you shouldn’t be paying full price for less than a full pint of super premium ice cream.Furthering the company’s belief that it’s what’s inside that counts, Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla ice cream always starts with fresh and wholesome cream and milk from Vermont family farmers who promise not to use recombinant bovine growth hormone. In addition Ben & Jerry’s uses Fair Trade vanilla beans, paying developing world farmers a guaranteed fair price for their harvest. The result is a sweet deal all around. The effort combines great taste plus good business decisions which results in Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla not only being the company’s first flavor, but also being the world’s best vanilla.For more information on Ben & Jerry’s or to find your local Scoop Shop, visit www.benjerry.com(link is external). For up-to-date information on the company, coupons, images and more, become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/benjerry(link is external).About Ben & Jerry’sBen & Jerry’s produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and ice cream novelties, using high-quality ingredients including milk and cream from family farmers who do not treat their cows with the synthetic hormone rBGH. The company states its position on rBGH* on its labels. Ben and Jerry’s products are distributed nationwide and in selected foreign countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Contributions made via the employee led Ben & Jerry’s Foundation in 2009 totaled over $1.7 million. Additionally, the company makes significant product donations to community groups and nonprofits both in Vermont and across the nation. The purpose of Ben & Jerry’s philanthropy is to support the founding values of the company: economic and social justice, environmental restoration and peace through understanding, and to support our Vermont communities. For the full scoop on all Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop locations and fabulous flavors, visit www.benjerry.com(link is external).* The FDA has said no significant difference has been shown and no test can now distinguish between milk from rBGH treated cows and untreated cows. Not all the suppliers of our other ingredients can promise that the milk they use comes from untreated cows.
TraditionI’m a firm believer in tradition, particularly during the Holidays. For several years, I lived on the other side of the country, 2,000 miles away from my family. My Thanksgiving/Christmas tradition consisted of going for a long trail run in the morning, then eat a giant shrimp ring and drink martinis until the day faded to black.Traditions are important. But it’s also important that they evolve. We started a new Thanksgiving tradition this week that involved a massive family kickball tournament, unofficially sponsored by Yazoo Hefeweizen. My kids are 5—the perfect age to start developing wicked kickball skills. Their tiny little legs can’t get the ball over the bushes for a homerun, but they have a true passion for the sport. And talking trash, which is an often overlooked aspect of kickball.As for the beer—it was an out of left field choice at the beer store, but I’m convinced it was the perfect beer to get us through 12 hours of heavy eating and bloody kickball. Most people tend to opt for dark, malty beers during the Holidays (think imperial stouts, pumpkin porters and such), but you can only knock back one, maybe two of those rich beers before they start competing with the turkey and stuffing for space in your belly. And have you ever tried to steal third after downing an imperial bourbon stout?The Yazoo Hefe, on the other hand, is light and effervescent. It’s 5% ABV, tangy and a little bit fruity. It’s a marathon beer. You can pitch a full game of kickball with a bottle of this in your hand and still roll strikes. Then you can take that beer inside and sip it throughout a gravy-laden feast without missing a step. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a true Holiday Beer.Here’s to new traditions.And to the breweries out there, our family kickball team is currently looking for a title sponsor.