May 05, 2006
Ice cream makers Ben & Jerry's have apologized for causing offence by calling a new flavor "Black & Tan" -- the nickname of a notoriously violent British militia that operated during Ireland's war of independence.
The ice cream, available only in the United States, is based on an ale and stout drink of the same name.
"Any reference on our part to the British Army unit was absolutely unintentional and no ill-will was ever intended," said a Ben & Jerry's spokesman.
"Ben & Jerry's was built on the philosophies of peace and love," he added.
The Black and Tans, so-called because of their two-tone uniforms, were recruited in the early 1920s to bolster the ranks of the police force in Ireland as anti-British sentiment grew.
They quickly gained a reputation for brutality and mention of the militia still arouses strong feelings in Ireland.
"I can't believe that Ben & Jerry's would be so insensitive to call an ice cream such a name and to launch it as a celebration of Irishness ... it's an insult!" wrote one blogger on www.junkfoodblog.com.
Someone in Ireland got the vapors because a US ice cream manufacturer made an unintentional reference to some obscure group of British thugs. Holy crap, I can't believe that share some (distant)blood with these people.
Hat tip to the Real Beer Page blog.
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