A Malt Whitman sundae?


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A New Jersey librarian’s lighthearted Facebook petition for a Ben & Jerry’s library-themed ice cream flavor might just come to fruition -- or should that be chocolate-swirl-ition? Launched in early June, the petition has picked up momentum as summer temperatures have risen -- there are currently more than 4,800 members in the group, and folks from as far away as Canada and England have volunteered flavor ideas.

Suggestions included Gooey Decimal System (dark chocolate alphabet letters with caramel swirls in hazelnut ice cream), Rocky Read (vanilla with chocolate-covered nuts, chocolate chunks and raisins) and Sh-sh-sh-Sherbet! (either lime or chocolate/vanilla).


But, like an autodidact left free to roam the stacks, later ideas have strayed from the original to embrace anything bookish, related to authors or reading or titles.

Like Bookworms, with Gummi Worms in the ice cream, a suggestion on the Facebook page. The Judy Blume coming-of-age homage Are You There God? It’s Me, Marshmallow, from the comments on Jezebel. Two from the New Yorker’s Book Bench: Writer’s Block (coffee with fudge chunks and nicotine stains) and Chick Lit (fat-free peach-mango swirl with pieces of Chicklets chewing gum).

Here in L.A. we have Scoops, an adventurous ice cream parlor that tries flavors like Black Currant Lychee, Brown Bread and Strawberry balsamic vinegar. Imagine what they might come up with for L.A.-oriented titles like White Oleander, Ask the Dust and I, Fatty.

Despite all the enthusiasm behind the idea, it might be best to leave ice creaming to the professionals. My favorite idea so far -- for Malt Whitman, a malt ice cream with chocolate alphabet letters and two caramel and fudge swirls -- came from Arnold Carbone, Ben & Jerry’s flavor guy.

-- Carolyn Kellogg