Holy Moly! A Tale of Two Cannoli

September 10, 2015

If you’re a fan of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and those little Sicilian pastries (who isn’t?), then surely you’ve been left scratching your head. Why? Because over the years Ben & Jerry’s has taunted you with not one, but two short-lived flavors inspired by those little ricotta-filled treats.

Ben & Jerry's Holy Cannoli and Cannoli

The first was Holy Cannoli, released in 1997. It featured a creamy ricotta and pistachio ice cream with chocolate covered cannoli and roasted pistachios. Ask us and it was amazing, but somehow it bombed and was laid to rest one year later. To this day we’re not entirely sure why. Maybe it just wasn’t jiggy enough for pop culture at the time. All good though, because how else would we fill our Flavor Graveyard?

Fast forward fourteen years and we’re at it again with this whole cannoli thing. The year 2012 saw the release of Ben & Jerry’s Cannoli, a Limited Batch pint offering available in the U.S. for four months only. An ode to its holy predecessor, the Cannoli Limited Batch was actually a resurrection of a finalist from our spiritual journey back in the 90s.

To quote Ben & Jerry’s PR Extraordinaire, Liz Stewart:

Whenever we develop a new flavor, we start with a big, sky’s-the-limit idea and narrow it down from there. So, before Holy Cannoli was Holy Cannoli years ago, we had LOTS of different batches of what we thought a cannoli-flavored ice cream might taste like. Putting out a different cannoli ice cream flavor is our chance to show our fans just how much we love playing with our food: we love it so much that we don’t just stop at one final flavor!

While Cannoli fared better than its forefather (then again, four months doesn’t leave much time for failure), one highly scientific taste test did refer to it as reminiscent of cake batter. That actually doesn’t sound so bad. Then again, we already have that flavor covered.

Will a Ben & Jerry’s cannoli flavor ever return to complete the trilogy? Who knows? Regardless, you can rest assured knowing that when one flavor moves on, it makes room in the freezer case for the next super-secret flavor. And you know we have more than a few secrets up our sleeves.