Thursday, November 10, 2011

Can you resist the "schweddy balls"?

With the end of the semester in clear sight, I have been spending many nights with papers and books spread over my desk. It’s an arduous cycle for sure, so one night I decided it was time to make it a little sweeter… and bhat better way to do that then with ice cream! As I perused the ice cream cooler in City Market my eyes fell upon a pint of Ben & Jerry’s turned on its side on the bottom shelf: “Schweddy Balls” it read.
Yup. That’s right. I ate schweddy balls and it was delicious.

The name itself can intrigue just about anyone with a sense of humor, but what intrigued me more is the fact that there has been so much controversy surrounding this ice cream flavor. I wanted to know more.
First I went to the source: Ben & Jerry’s website. The name is in reference to a popular Saturday Night Live skit featuring a parody of NPR with actors/actresses Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon and Alec Baldwin. The conversation topic of this fictional radio broadcast is about the holiday season and the different foods or “Season’s Eatings” that surround this time. Pete Schweddy, played by Alec Baldwin, explains his love for his seasonal balls in saying, “No one can resist my schweddy balls.”

Because of its humor and punny-ness (get it?!) the flavor designers at Ben & Jerry’s decided to make a flavor of ice cream based on the SNL skit. The result: Vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum flavor, chocolate covered mini rum balls and malted milk balls mixed in. My verdict: delicious, however the crunchiness of the malted milk balls was a little off putting because generally I don’t chew ice cream. But overall I thought it was quite good.

Other venues are enjoying the humorous ice cream flavor too. For example, The Talk dedicated an episode to the flavor and shared many laughs as the different hostesses made lots of sexual comments.

Some people find the new flavor insulting and are trying to get it banned from being sold in stores. In a TIME news piece, a member of a Christian group states, “The vulgar new flavor has turned something as innocent as ice cream into something repulsive.” The article goes further in saying, “The group dubs Ben & Jerry’s repeat offenders; referencing a previous special edition release of Hubby Hubby, the flavor intended to pay tribute to gay marriage.”

Personally, I think it’s just a joke in the form of ice cream. As far as fearing for the innocence of children, I would say that this kind of stuff goes right over their heads anyway. Middle school kids will chuckle a bit and anyone older than that will get a few laughs too. So what if it’s vulgar?! If you don’t like it, then don’t buy it. The rest of us will happily sit at home with a spoon and a pint of delicious Schweddy Balls. Yum.

Other interesting articles:
Entertainment Weekly: Ben & Jerry's Schweddy Balls not being sold in some stores: Have you had a taste yet?
TIME: Some Supermarkets Shunning Ben & Jerry’s ‘Schweddy Balls’