For the Ben & Jerry’s pun staff

At the suggestion (made by several people) that Ben & Jerry’s should market a Legitimate Grape flavor, Eric Halvorson posted this piece of photomanipulation on the Deviant Art site:

The image has been re-posted all over the place. Some viewers objected to the rape-joke pun (on Todd Akin and “legitimate rape”, see postings here and here), but many suggested captions.

Most of the captions play directly on Akin’s original statement:

If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

Variants with calories:

If it’s legitimate grape, then your body has a way of shutting all those calories down

If it’s legitimate grape, the body has a way of shutting those calories down.

If it’s legitimate grape, the female body has ways to try to shut down all those calories.

and with fat:

No worries about fat; it shuts that thing down!

It’s incredibly fattening, but don’t worry, your body has a way of fighting off the fat so it doesn’t actually affect your weight.

Best thing about New Ben N’ Jerry’s flavor, Todd Akin’s Legitimate Grape, you only get fat if you legitimately like it. [shifting the meaning of legitimate]

plus one (unpleasantly) echoing forcible rape:

I can’t wait to force people to try this flavor.

and a goofy one:

If it’s a Legitimate Grape then your brain has a way of preventing an ice cream headache.

The flavor would fit right into the Ben & Jerry’s naming practices (though they might shy away from it both because of its political content and because of the allusion to rape): in addition to rhyming names of flavors like Chubby Hubby and Chunky Monkey, the company is also fond of punning names:

Cherry Garcia [Jerry Garcia]

Karamel Sutra [Kama Sutra]

Imagine Whirled Peace [“Imagine World Peace” slogan]: caramel & sweet cream ice creams swirled with fudge peace signs & toffee cookie pieces

Phish Food [fish food]: chocolate ice cream with gooey marshmallow, caramel swirls & fudge fish

Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream [the American dream]: vanilla ice cream with fudge covered waffle cone pieces & a caramel swirl

Berry Berry Extraordinary sorbet [rhyming, plus allusion to “Beisbol/Baseball has been berry berry good to me” (famously said by fictitious sports reporter Chico Escuela, played by Garrett Morris, on Saturday Night Live; the statement in real life has been attributed to Sammy Sosa, Minnie Minoso, and Roberto Clemente)]

But grape ice cream? Here’s Dave Feldman on the Imponderables site on 11/5/06:

Why Can’t You Buy Grape Ice Cream?

One of my favorite mysteries from Why Do Pirates Love Parrots? is a great Imponderable submitted by Michael Johnson of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We’ve got grape candy, grape juice, grape jelly, and grape Popsicles. But where is the grape ice cream?

I contacted the folks at Haagen-Dazs, Ben & Jerry’s, Dreyer’s, Breyer’s, and got pretty much the same response as I did from Meredith Kurtzman, the gelato maker supreme at Otto, Mario Batali’s informal outpost in Greenwich Village. The problem is that devoid of their skins, grapes have little taste other than sweetness (that’s why grape juice is used as the main ingredient in many fruit drinks, so that the label can say: “100% fruit juice”) — it’s very sweet, but the flavor is neutral. But if you try to incorporate the skins, the texture is ruined. There’s a whole lot more to the explanation, which you can find in the book.

I was all ready to finish the chapter and move on, when it came to our attention that there IS such a thing as grape ice cream. And as far as we know, its birthplace is Tony’s Ice Cream in Gastonia, North Carolina. I had a long chat with the Thomas Edison of grape ice cream, Louis Coletta, the grandson of Tony’s founder, who reported that grape ice cream is most popular with kids and pregnant women.

Our intrepid reporters, Karen and Wilson Burdoff of Matthews, North Carolina, snapped photos of not just this important historical landmark, but the actual grape ice cream. You can find the photos here. 

A photo of the confection itself:

Maybe Tony’s could expand the name to Legitimate Grape, if they’re comfortable with that.

2 Responses to “For the Ben & Jerry’s pun staff”

  1. Betsy Herrington Says:

    One of my favorites: last year’s tribute to an old SNL Alec Baldwin NPR spoof: Schweddy Balls.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Ah, Schweddy Balls were available for a limited time only, and then (it seems) in only 30 of the stores that carry B&J’s. The confection: “vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum and … loaded with fudge covered rum balls and milk chocolate malt balls”.

      B&J’s has occasional limited-term specials like this. The list above was taken from what’s currently available.

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