When Ben & Jerry's decided to pay pint-sized tribute to New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin and his spectacular rise in the NBA, they had a few options. Draw inspiration from the flavors of Northern California and his hometown of Palo Alto, perhaps. Or, because the flavor would be sold exclusively at the Ben & Jerry's ice-cream shop near Harvard University, Lin's alma mater, maybe give the school a nod with crimson-tinted velvet cake pieces in vanilla ice-cream.
As it turns out, the company chose vanilla frozen yogurt and lychee honey swirls for its limited edition “Taste of Lin-Sanity” flavor. Because Lin, you know, is Taiwanese-American. Emphasis, apparently, on the left side of that hyphen. At least there aren't any fortune cookies in there. Anymore.
As Boston.com reports, the first batch of “Taste the Lin-Sanity” did contain fortune cookie pieces, but there was some “initial backlash” and, significantly, the cookies became soggy in the frozen yogurt. The fortune cookies have since been replaced with fresh waffle cone pieces. The lychee swirls, however, were not changed. Some things don't change.
On Friday, the Boston Ben & Jerry's team offered a conditional apology on its Facebook page: “Our intention was to create a flavor to honor Jeremy Lin's accomplishments and his meteoric rise in the NBA, and recognize that he was a local Harvard graduate. … If we failed in this instance we offer our sincere apologies.”
Considering that the flavor fell far short of these intentions — as far as we can tell, vanilla, lychee and waffle cones have little to do with either Lin's record or Harvard – the team clearly missed the basket. No points for air balls, Ben & Jerry's. Stick with the Schweddy ones instead.