Today is the day you find out everything you ever wanted to know about your precious Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Mmm, yeah. B&J research and development team member Kirsten Schimoler is here to reveal 13 reasons why Ben and Jerry's slaughters the competition and your tastebuds in one fell, delicious swoop.

Today is the day you find out everything you ever wanted to know about your precious Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Mmm, yeah. B&J research and development team member Kirsten Schimoler is here to reveal 13 reasons why Ben and Jerry's slaughters the competition and your tastebuds in one fell, delicious swoop.

And no, Ben and Jerry's isn't paying us to write this post … although that would be so, so awesome for like, paying bills and stuff. We're just doing this out of sheer starvation and glee.

1. Ben and Jerry's flavors are so rich because Ben's nose is fucked up

Co-founder Ben Cohen has anosmia, aka no sense of smell. The only way he can taste his recipes is if he adds more flavor. And that is why other ice cream tastes like paste ejaculate.

2. The test kitchen staff is more elite than an Area 51 commander

There are just three food scientists on staff at the Ben and Jerry's research and development team, the aforementioned spiller of secrets Kirstin Schimoler being one of them. The remaining four members of the team come from culinary backgrounds. To future illustrate the extreme specialization of the staff, let this sink in: one of them has the title “primal ice cream therapist." Don't ask, we guess? Together, they launch about five flavors each year.

3. It takes years to develop a single flavor

The average development cycle of a basic flavor is about 12 to 14 months, but there have been occasions where Kirstin and company have perfected a flavor on the first try.

“Other times,” she says, “you’re on iteration 10 and still wondering if it’s going to work.” That's exactly what happpened with their Liz Lemon Greek Frozen Yogurt, one of the few products where the name came before the flavor.

“They knew they wanted to do a Liz Lemon flavor but didn’t know what they wanted it to be. We looked at so many different lemon flavors," said Kirstin. Jesus … How many lemon flavors are there?! Your guess is as good as ours: five.

At the other end of the spectrum, Schweddy Balls, inspired by Alec Baldwin’s SNL skit, got to market in a record four months. Probably because it's called Schweddy Balls, so who cares what it tastes like? You're eating Schweddy Balls.

4. Most flavors start with the same base … but there are a few variations that make some the unique, shining examples of fat and sugar they are

Like most ice cream, Ben and Jerry's frozen delicacies start with a mix of milk, cream, liquid sugar, egg yolks, and water. However, some flavors have different fat and sugar levels depending on the ingredients to be added.

If they're adding something diabetes-worthy like peanut butter, less fat is added. If they're adding something that'll decay your teeth as fast as it'll erase your memory of your ex, they'll add less sugar. Mmm, sweet emotional escape.

5. Every year, the R&D team visits a forward-thinking food city for flavor inspiration

In order to stay on top of flavor trends, they’ll spend 12 hours a day tasting food from all over a city, gorging at as many as 10 spots a day.

In fact, the muse for Liz Lemon Greek Frozen Yogurt  was a blueberry-lavender cocktail they tasted in San Francisco. This year, the team visited Portland, and sample a ton of sour beers, which led Kirstin to predict a lot of sour flavors for Ben and Jerry's in the not-too-distant future.

We're predicting Marijuana Mango Madness or Super High Dude Bro Chocolate when they come to Denver.

6. Every year, Ben and Jerry's gets about 13,000 flavor suggestions from customers who think they're cool

Because our country is full of novice ice cream aficionados and idea people, each R&D team member is given a month’s worth of customer suggestions to review for new flavors and recurring themes. 

… And they actually listen. Some of the company’s most iconic flavors were actually customer suggestions, including Cherry Garcia, which was suggested by two Deadheads from Portland, Maine. It was so popular that it spend 27 years at the top of the customer favorite list, until 2013 when it was dethroned by Half-Baked … something we're sure has nothing to do with the proliferation of legal weed

7. Some flavors are so rare, you can only get them at a single retailer

One of Kirstin's favorites, Nutty Caramel Swirl, which she developed to taste like a Snickers bar, is only available at 7-Eleven. The very first flavor she worked on, Berry Voluntary, was made for Target and Target only.  Walgreens bogarts a Truffle Trifecta, and Walmart hawks Cotton Candy, because of course it does.

8. There's a flavor graveyard for flavors that die before their time

If a flavor doesn't do well, it's given a proper burial at the company’s factory in Waterbury, Vermont. Discontinued flavors are laid to rest with a headstone nestled among rows of dearly departed flavors.

Some of the dead include Miz Jelena’s Sweet Potato Pie (Epitaph: “One potato, two potato, Sweet Potato Pie. No one would could appreciate it. So we had to let it die.”)

9. Ben and Jerry's flavor developers get really insane benefits

Ben & Jerry’s has a take-home allowance of three pints … per day. That's not enough. 

Good thing the company’s corporate headquarters, in South Burlington, is equipped with a full gym, yoga instructor and occasional massage therapist who tries their darndest to massage the fat off the employees.

Oh, and there's a nap room. These people are actually supposed to enjoy their jobs or something.

10.  Flavor names containing puns do horribly abroad

When Chunky Monkey first launched in Japan, there were questions about whether it contained monkey meat, which wouldn't be too far off from what McDonald's uses in their pink slime.

11. Stop asking them for bacon.

It's not gonna happen. It’s among one of the most requested items, but we won’t see it because Ben & Jerry’s plants are angelically kosher.

12. And kale. Stop it with the kale begging.

The company has one very persistent proponent of kale chips. Apparently, this person keeps writing in, adamant that kale would make the perfect creamy accompaniment, only to have their dreams slashed by a searing dose of reality: that flavor sucks. Though a co-worker did a test batch, Kirstin says that, ultimately, “No one wants to sit down with a pint of Kale Ben & Jerry’s. So, Kale Guy, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry.”


13. But buffalo wings … now that's something you might be able to put in your pie hole

As if buffalo wings weren't already wholly responsible for your love handles having their own area code, Ben and Jerry's is thinking of further increasing their potential to fatten you up by sticking them in ice cream.

“Everyone is so tuned to think that ice cream is sweet, creamy, and cold. But it doesn’t have to be,” Kirstin says. “Creamy and cold can be savory too.”

Great; maybe now they can make a flavor called "Cherry Gastrique Bypass!"