Attention, freeloaders: From 4 to 8 p.m. today you can find free Häagen-Dazs scattered throughout the city. The giveaway is part of some kind of national campaign; the locations are listed on Facebook. We’re not really sure of the meaning of the giveaway, aside from the obvious publicity angle, but as Wikipedia has taught us, looking for meaning in Häagen-Dazs is literally a meaningless pursuit: Both “Häagen” and “Dazs” are made-up words chosen in 1961 by the company’s Brooklyn founders, who thought vaguely Scandinavian monikers would make their product more appealing to Americans. And as today’s free-for-all demonstrates, they were right.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 10, 2011