Ben & Jerry’s could make a D.C. ice cream with Route 11 potato chips

If you've ever popped open a bag of Route 11 potato chips and thought, “Man, I wish I could eat these with ice cream,” Ben & Jerry’s has a new promotion you should know about.

The Vermont-based creamery is crowdsourcing “locally inspired” ice cream flavors in five major markets, including D.C. But this being Ben & Jerry’s, neither the flavor options nor the crowdsourcing are quite what you’d expect. Washingtonians, for example, can vote to have Route 11 chips in their flavor, while Portland and New York can both vote for local beer.

On the voting side, Ben & Jerry’s will tally conventional tweets and user submissions with real-time measures of daily D.C. minutiae: Instagram photos of the White House and Washington Monument; joggers on the north and south sides of the Potomac; punctual trains on the Red and Orange lines; and men around the city wearing red and blue ties. The number of each will determine the winner of a different ingredient battle; for example, if more people check-in on Foursquare at a law office than at a government building, the Route 11 chips will advance instead of cinnamon. The whole thing is so convoluted, in fact, that we can only refer you to this promo video for the proverbial full scoop.

Per Ben & Jerry’s, the leading D.C. ingredients at present are cherries, chocolate, caramel, waffle cone pieces, marshmallows and Route 11 chips, which amounts to -- Cherry Garcia with chips on top? An unappetizing cross between a carnival and a bonfire? Either way, we have to assume Ben & Jerry’s ice cream makers will do a little editing before the flavor premiers at an ambiguous “community event” on June 29. A Ben & Jerry’s spokesperson says exact details on the event will come later this week.

In the meantime, we're curious: What would you name a D.C. ice cream?

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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Alex Baldinger · June 12, 2013