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Pistachio-almond is one of Baskin Robbin’s classic 31 flavors.

Upon closer inspection, two oddities emerge.

First, the product’s official description is: “a nutty combination of pistachio-flavored ice cream and roasted almonds.”

That’s right, the nut pieces you see are almonds, not pistachios.

Then there’s the ingredient list, from which pistachios are entirely missing:

“Cream, nonfat milk, almonds, sugar, corn syrup, natural & artificial flavor, blue 1, yellow 5, cellulose gum, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, carrageenan, polysorbate 80.”

It’s not just ice cream chains pulling this trick.

I recently stopped by a well-known New York City vegan restaurant and ordered a delicious-sounding spinach-almond-banana-soy milk smoothie to go.

As I watched the smoothie man concoct my beverage, I was slightly crushed to see it didn’t contain actual almonds, but rather a few drops of almond extract.

I think I now understand how Milli Vanilli fans felt when the lip-syncing scandal broke…



  1. lbwsampson said on April 17th, 2009

    Being that I live in New Jersey, it’s hard to not be familiar with the NJ Turnpike factories that produce ‘natural flavor.’ Every time I see it on a food label, I’m very wary of what that could be. I know it’s a highly secretive industry but has anyone written anything on what ‘natural flavor’ or ‘artificial flavor’ actually IS? I’d be very interested in reading about that.

  2. Cloud said on April 19th, 2009

    Hi Andy,

    I couldn’t find any other way to contact you other than posting a comment on one of your articles.

    My name is Heidi, community manager for Askables.com.

    I have a proposition for you regarding your obvious knowledge of and passion for Nutrition.

    I think you’ll be interested in hearing more, so please contact me if you’d like to know more – heidi@askables.com.

    This is not spam and I am a real human with feelings :-)

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks for your time.

    Heidi Ward

    Community Manager


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