such a small state, Vermont sure does its part in making us all very large. I suppose you can’t exactly
blame the state itself, but you can blame two hirsute Dead Heads, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, for choosing Vermont
as the headquarters of their wonderfully popular, ever-fattening Ben &
Jerry’s ice cream empire.
Their main factory, located near the town of Waterbury is a must-see for anyone visiting Vermont. Sure, the
state has great skiing and produces wonderful maple syrup, but the absolute highlight is undeniably a factory tour of Ben & Jerry’s.
Only three dollars buys you a 30-minute tour through the ice cream making facilities. When I went, I expected
more of a Willy Wonka type of factory with trained squirrels cracking nuts, but everything is actually quite white and
sterile and manned by employees dressed in what looked like medical smocks. Nonetheless, it was still pretty cool
to see how the ice cream is produced.
Frankly, however, we all know the real reason anyone visits a factory: free samples. Ben &
Jerry’s is no exception. The tour concludes in the FlavoRoom where little scoops are waiting to be inhaled
by wide-eyed kids and adults acting like wide-eyed kids. I was hoping for a big barrel of the stuff myself and a
large soup spoon, but alas, I had to bat the little kids aside and settle for the junior scoops instead.