A Bad Review Sparked The Invention Of Ben & Jerry's Fudgy NYC Flavor

For more than 35 years, New York Super Fudge Chunk has been gobbled on the streets of New York, even handed out for free outside the New York Historical Society to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its creation (via Jam Bands). Scoops of this chocolate ice cream are quintessentially Ben and Jerry's, notes Big Muddy Ice Cream, with chunky bites filled with pieces of white and dark fudge, chocolate-covered almonds, and bits of walnuts and pecans. A consistently top-ranked Ben & Jerry's flavor, per a company press release, the chocolatey ice cream wouldn't have come into existence if it weren't for some negative attention by a New York critic.

Co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were in the beginning stages of business expansion as they explored areas outside of their initial Vermont market, explains David's Ice Cream Reviews. The duo took to the streets of Manhattan, where food critic and New York Magazine writer Gael Greene got word that their buzz-worthy ice cream would be sold downtown in SoHo. She, too, joined the ranks, venturing to Dimitri's Café on Spring Street to taste some of these flavors.

A challenge accepted

"A butterfat madness has seized us," Greene wrote in her critique of the state of ice cream at the time. "Ice-cream folk heroes from Vermont and Massachusetts are braving Manhattan." Cohen and Greenfield were two such heroes, and even Greene herself noted that their ice cream was thought to be the best in the United States. Yet after sampling their flavors, she remarked, "The ice cream (15½ percent butterfat, 20 percent overrun) is pleasant enough, but not thrilling, and the chips and bits seem rather sparse." The duo took the comment as a challenge.

Cohen and Greenfield set out to pack as much flavor as possible into their next creation, cramming 40% more chunks than any other ice cream they had previously made into a flavor made with New York in mind (via Ben & Jerry's). "We figured if the flavor was euphoric in New York, it would be everywhere. It was, and it is," they state on their website. The ice cream was expensive to make, but it was worth it: the chocolate ice cream was announced in 1985 and has been a hit flavor ever since.