Charlie is by no means a taphophile, but he does like ice cream and he certainly respects the dead. So as long as we were in Vermont, we visited the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cemetery. Ben & Jerry’s is that ice cream that has only recently come to Belo Horizonte, and its home is in Vermont.
Two childhood friends from New York, both with social consciences, founded the company in 1978. One of them, Ben Cohen, has severe anosmia, which is why the company always added chunks to their ice cream. He needed to test the texture in his mouth. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened their ice cream parlor in a renovated gas station in Burlington, the biggest city in Vermont. A year later they celebrated their first anniversary by holding a free cone day, which is now an international annual celebration at every Ben & Jerry’s store.
Their company grew, and the founders always maintained their senses of humor. For example, once on Earth Day when the U.S. Senate was going to vote to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling, Ben and Jerry initiated a protest by making a 410-kilo Baked Alaska, and put it in front of the U.S. Capitol building.
There was another time when they launched an advertising campaign to promote their products, which they said came from cloned cows. On April Fool’s Day they revealed that it was a hoax and done to raise awareness about the origins of the food we eat.
In 2015, their Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream was renamed “I dough, I dough” to celebrate the United States Supreme Court’s decision to support same-sex marriage.
The company has done a lot for charitable purposes and to raise awareness, and most Americans are particularly fond of the brand. They have made a Flavor Graveyard overlooking their factory, and that is what Charlie visited and paid his respects. When an ice cream flavor is retired because it is no longer selling well, or maybe it never sold well, a tombstone is erected to pay it homage. Each tombstone has an epitaph to honor the discontinued flavor, and once in a while a flavor resuscitates, which encourages rumors of ghosts in the cemetery. If you can’t get to Vermont, you can make a virtual tour of the cemetery through a Digital Flavor Graveyard tour on their site. As a Brazilian cat, Charlie particularly mourned the Rainforest Crunch flavor, discontinued because the crunchy part got stuck in people’s braces.
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shops in the USA sell a large ice cream sundae called a “Vermonster Bucket”. It contains 14,000 calories and 500 grams of fat. Its ingredients are 20 scoops of their ice cream, 4 bananas, 4 ladles of hot chocolate sauce, 5 chocolate chip cookies, 1 giant homemade chocolate brownie, 10 scoops of chopped walnuts, 2 scoops each of any 4 of toppings, and 5 scoops of whipped cream. Ben & Jerry’s holds an annual charity contest every year in which teams of four people compete to finish a Vermonster first. The winners get free ice cream for a year.
Both Ben and Jerry were born in 1951, and they sold their company to the Anglo-Dutch food giant Unilever in 2000. They do still participate in the company, as they do in civil rights. Both were arrested in 2016 while participating in a Democracy Awakening protest in Washington, D.C. They seem to be enjoying semi-retirement.
Betsy is the best english teacher I’ve ever had! Her classes are always an amazing experience. She guides our conversation with different and interesting topics each day, what allows us not only to improve the vocabulary but also learn/ discuss about other cultures and subjects. I know I’m going to be totally addicted to this blog!
É um prazer falar das aulas da Betsy. São empolgantes, temas variados e atuais, envolventes, bem preparados e com muito amor, com certeza. Acredito que seu blog será “helpful ” para todos aqueles que têm interesse em aprender a língua inglesa ou simplesmente intensificar seu conhecimento. Um abraço carinhoso e sucesso!
Betsy is a wonderful English teacher! Not only is she a native English speaker, but she is also “antenada” in what’s going on around the globe, enabling all kinds of subjects to be brought to light through very engaging and in-depth discussions, and providing a rich vocabulary, with words and expressions you don’t normally find in your usual English textbooks (and that are only ever mentioned on advanced English classes after years and years of going to the same English school). She is very open-minded and has a great sense of humor, making “convos” interesting and funny. And…Betsy loves cats – she is the best! Love, Carla & Amanda.
I really don’t know how long Betsy has been my teacher. I do know she is the best teacher I have ever had. She can join daily happenings with an admirable sense of humor that makes her classes quite unique. She is intelligent, smart, very confident and besides everything she became a close friend of us. It’s a privilege being her student.