Dirty diaper. Unless you’re a new parent or a pediatrician, no more description needed.
Unless it’s an ice cream flavor. It’s chocolate with chocolate chunks.
Like sunscreen and bug repellent, watermelon and iced tea, ice cream screams summer. The stands I frequent close shortly after Halloween. They sell pints at half-price before unplugging freezers and boarding up windows until spring. Then grocery store pints and half gallons suffice, occasionally gracing pies a la mode throughout fall and winter.
There’s nothing like an ice cream cone. And this summer, there are more flavors than ever to choose from. Creative expression has pervaded ice cream, exposing our palates to culinary experiences akin to dining in ethnic restaurants.
Cheeses- feta, goat, ricotta or blue can be found mixed with fruits and vegetables. Savory spices such as paprika, basil, rosemary, curry, pepper and even garlic are offered next to traditional chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. In New Jersey, the Garden State, I’ve seen “Fresh Corn.” For those who skipped breakfast, maple syrup and bacon flavors abound, and for those thinking salad, there’s olive oil.
Then there are the flavors invented by creative vendors whose names tell the customer nothing. Why don’t the stores tape an explanation of these flavors to the front of the case? Instead, customers have to ask what each is, wasting the scoopers time and annoying the impatient Little League team waiting in line.
One stand offers a flavor named for the town’s zip code. And “Special Flavor,” which changes all the time. Last visit, it was peach. And the imaginative names, like Dirty Diaper, Elephants Never Forget, and Kong.
My visits to the ice cream store are infrequent; I savor every lick. I might ask for a taste of something different and then stick to my usual: coffee or coconut or black raspberry.
As for comfort food, I’ll take ice cream. While others might not eat under stress, I’ll happily consume the entire kitchen, particularly ice cream.
Years ago, my sister Madeline and I, home from school, took a brand new half-gallon of Heavenly Hash (vanilla and chocolate ice cream filled with white marshmallow swirls, chopped almonds, and dark chocolate chunks) from the freezer. As we vented about our day, gossiping and complaining, we passed the container back and forth, taking a spoonful. And another. And another. Without intending to, we finished the entire carton. We still remember eating that half gallon, an experience we haven’t repeated.
Once or twice a summer I’ll splurge on a hot fudge sundae with nuts. Homemade hot fudge outshines anything store bought or even from ice cream stands. Here’s my sister’s easy recipe. It’s divine!
Madeline’s Hot Fudge Sauce
1 can evaporated milk
2 tbs corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups chocolate chips
Mix milk, corn syrup and sugar together in sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring, continue stirring on low for 3-4 minutes, remove from heat, add 2 cups chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Keeps for weeks in the fridge. Reheat in microwave as needed. Enjoy!
So what’s your favorite flavor? Are you a traditionalist or an experimenter? What new flavors have you tried?