Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream co-founder Ben Cohen has been very outspoken about his admiration for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. He’s even been musing about making a Sanders-inspired flavor since October. But as blatant as Cohen has been about his support of the candidate, he’s always felt his ice cream company shouldn’t be so overt about endorsing candidates (despite being plenty overt on other issues). In a recent statement, the ice cream maker even explained: “While we’re not afraid to lead with our values and speak out on important issues, and we’re emphatic supporters of voters’ rights and the democratic process, as a company, we don’t support corporations supporting political candidates.”
However, in true nod to US government bureaucracy, Cohen found a loophole, and his much discussed idea for an ice cream flavor called “Bernie’s Yearning” has come to fruition.
Cohen was able to finesse a bit of ethical circumvention by making and releasing these pints of Bernie’s Yearning himself under the brand name Ben’s Best. Yes, the packaging design and font all look unsurprisingly similar to any regular ol’ pint of Ben & Jerry’s, but the website for Bernie’s Yearning clearly states, “This site is owned by me, Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s. It is not associated with Ben and Jerry’s Homemade, Inc. or the Sanders for President Campaign. It reflects my views alone.” Ah, that legal mumbo jumbo goes down almost as sweet as a pint of non-Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream!
For those who haven’t been keeping up with the world of presidential candidate ice cream ideas, Bernie’s Yearnings definitely is a cool concept. As described on the container, “The entire top of this pint is covered with a thick disc of solid chocolate [that] represents the huge majority of economic gains that have gone to the top 1% since the end of the recession.” Ice cream lovers have to break through that disc to get to the plain mint ice cream below, which represents “the rest of us,” and then mix it all together so your ice cream can share in that chocolate wealth. I’d like to see Martin O’Malley’s views expressed that well in a dessert!
Apparently, only 40 pints were made and 25 of them were signed by Ben and donated to the Bernie Sanders campaign, which is now giving them away via a contest on the candidate’s website. If you have an ice cream yearning of your own, you can enter by forking over your email and address to the Sanders’ campaign.
And check out this video straight from Ben & Jerry’s about the making of Bernie’s Yearning: