Did you hear that? It’s the sound of thousand upon thousands of dairy-free Portlanders clattering their dessert spoons in anticipation of Ben & Jerry’s quartet of new non-dairy flavors. The Vermont ice cream announced the certified vegan offerings earlier this month, and pints of all four flavors are currently on their way to supermarkets and scoop shops nationwide.
For their non-dairy debut, Ben & Jerry’s chose two brand-new flavors—a decadent Coffee Caramel Fudge and Oreo-studded, peanut butter-swirled P.B. & Cookies—as well as two reinvented classics: Chocolate Fudge Brownie and, yes, the (gluten-free!) Chunky Monkey of your childhood.
These cow-free concoctions have been a long time coming—Ben & Jerry’s “flavor gurus” spent nine months working on the ice cream base alone. After experimenting with milks from coconut to cashew, the company finally picked almond milk for its neutral flavor profile, blending it with coconut oil for that creamy, fatty mouthfeel that makes traditional ice cream so darn good.
Why is this a big deal? Well, in addition to veganism’s fast-rising popularity, it’s worth remembering that “as many as 50 million [Americans] are lactose intolerant, including 90 percent of all Asian-Americans and 75 percent of all African-Americans, Mexican-Americans and Jews,” according to the New York Times. That’s right—a failure to provide non-dairy options is, in a sense, weirdly racist. Bummer!
Eager to dig in? Pints of all four flavors will roll out in retail stores any week now, and local scoop shops will be serving P.B. Cookies by March. (Heads up: the dairy-free pints cost $5.69, nearly a dollar more than traditional flavors, because of course they do.) And those flavor gurus claim to be hard at work developing even more vegan flavors—so if you've been craving Phish Food for a dairy-free decade, now's the time to get in touch!