Ben & Jerry's Unpopular PB&J Flavor Proved The Combo Is Best Left On Bread

When you fly, sometimes you get a little too close to the sun. But, as the saying goes, other times you soar. One look at Ben & Jerry's history of experimental flavors and it's no mystery why the brand is the Icarus of the ice cream world.

Half Baked and the musician-named Cherry Garcia are huge enduring successes. The unconventional psych-rock-band-inspired Phish Food has been on the market since the '90s, and last year it was a Top 10 best seller for the ice cream giant.

But some other flavors in the Ben & Jerry's oeuvre haven't enjoyed the same success — like, for instance, the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers-named "Fred & Ginger," which was created and discontinued within the same year. Sugar Plum, released for the holiday season in 1989, flopped even harder.

Today, we're talking about yet another less-than-beloved creation: Peanut Butter and Jelly. For two foods with such iconic sayings ("goes together like peanut butter and jelly" and "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream"), the Ben & Jerry's flavor didn't enjoy proportionate success. Far from it, actually.

A mysterious misadventure

The retired Peanut Butter and Jelly flavor featured peanut butter ice cream packed with bits of peanut butter and a strawberry jelly swirl. In theory, the idea was made for success, but in reality, it only ran for one year (1989-1990). The headstone in Ben & Jerry's Flavor Graveyard reads, "An iconic duo! / Yet somehow it managed / To flop in a cone, / So we stuck to the sammich."

So, what was so bad about it? The answer is: No one seems sure, exactly. Currently, very little additional information about the retired flavor exists. It seems to have faded like a brief albeit beautiful sunset. Ben & Jerry's itself regards Peanut Butter and Jelly as one of the 10 Weirdest Flavors in brand history. But back in 2013, the company revived the PB&J concept with a Target-exclusive flavor called "Peanut Butter Jam Session."

According to a write-up by food review outlet Brand Eating, Peanut Butter Jam Session was a mix of peanut butter ice cream, crunchy peanut butter, and raspberry jam — and it worked, at least for the reviewer. The review raved "[it] tastes exactly like a cold, dense, melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter and jam sandwich." The Impulsive Buy wrote a similarly positive analysis: "balance of nutty and sweet flavors has been executed with remarkable finesse."

Admittedly, times were different back then (for one, the pint only cost $2.50 on sale), but that didn't stop Ben & Jerry's from giving PB&J yet another shot with their A Swirled Of Difference flavor.