Have you ever noticed how much stuff there is in ice cream?! Ice Cream History Dot Net (which you can bet that I will be exploring later) says that ice cream typically has dairy products, milk proteins, sugar, fat, stabilizers, flavorings, air and ice...but, I am not talking about that. I am talking about the good, sometimes weird stuff.
I mean, we all love some vanilla ice cream. The only way to feel more American on a hot summer day is to put it next to mom's apple pie. You might dress it up and throw some chocolate sauce or sprinkles on it, but it is still just vanilla with some dressing on it. What we are focusing on, today, are some weird flavor game changers.
I like ice cream. Always have. It's kind of hard not to. I like gelato, shakes, whatever. I used to be a wuss about it and stick to plain old vanilla, but have expanded my horizons and am happy to report back that I am thrilled with the results. And now is a great time to be alive with ice cream. You hopefully missed out on listeria and in 2018 can buy a pint of ice cream with ALL KINDS OF @#$! in it. Let me briefly highlight a few of those companies that aren't afraid to supply ice cream teeming with ingredients or toppings or mixins or whatever you wanna call them.
If you are from Texas and DIDN'T get listeria, you almost have to buy Blue Bell. They regularly swap out and add to 5 seasonal flavors or their 20+ others. Your standard fare is often present with standouts like "Key Lime Mango Tart" (which I should have NO BUSINESS liking, but I do) and "Cookie Two Step" (Cookie Dough and Cookies). Heck! You can even get a "Pistachio Almond" flavor pretty regularly, which if you have not seen it before, seems buck wild, but has actually been kicking around for a long time. Weird green salty nuts in creamy dairy? Ice cream scientist are some bold dudes. Like I said, Blue Bell is a standard in Texas and if you have it wherever you are, you should check it out.
|From a tantalizing Blue Bell tweet on the Twitter|
Ben & Jerry's is a special ice cream maker for me. I grew up in New Hampshire and have been to the original Ben & Jerry's factory in Vermont. It was really cool and a high point of my childhood. Ben & Jerry's use their ice cream to put the fun in funky, much like their flavors suggest. They have a flavor based on the jam band, Phish, called "Phish Food," which is filled with chocolate fish and yummy. They have a Stephen Colbert inspired flavor entitled "Ameri-Cone Dream" which is of course filled with waffle cones and angry bees. With flavors like "Chunky Monkey, Cherry Garcia, and Half Baked," Ben and Jerry's moves their joint to the other side of their mouth and plants their tongue directly into their cheek with stoner humor and has for ages. One thing that they don't joke about at all, however is political activism. So if you enjoy a side of liberal advocacy mixed in with your ice cream, Ben and Jerry's has got your back. There are so many flavors to choose from, you could put them on a rotation and never get tired of ice cream. I recommend that.
|From Ben & Jerry's website|
Finally, we must mention an industry giant. I never ate Häagen-Dazs 'til I was over 30. I always thought that it was ice cream for the fat and elderly and did not mess with it. Turns out, fat people eat lots of things on the regular and old people have eaten lots of things over the span of their life, so I should have seen their pallets as refined and adhered to their wisdom. Häagen-Dazs is delightful and their "Rum Raisin" is the oldest man flavor there is. It is also lovely and probably my favorite of all of these. I recommend it, even though my wife denounces it as "gross" and an "irresponsible dietary choice..." Yeah, ok, wife.
There is a lot of stuff that goes into ice cream that is good and not listeria. Ice cream is cold and delicious. If you are super lazy, you can even go to a Marble Slab, Cold Stone, or Baskin Robbins and they will make it easy for you. They might even put marshmallows in it or something and you don't even have to scoop it yourself. It should be no surprise that the good stuff in ice cream is What's Good Scott. Even though it is cold outside, try eating some ice cream and not smiling. Try eating a flavor that you never have. Do it for me.