July 1, 2006
Lori Dahm, technical editor
That Frozen Magic Elixir
Americans love ice cream. Officially, we consume about six gallons of ice cream per person each year. But I bet that we are lying to the pollsters, because that figure seems shockingly low.
Why is it that ice cream has such magical appeal? Realistically, it’s probably the loads of butterfat, sugar and decadent inclusions in the ice cream mix.
But ice cream’s place in popular culture has reached unparalleled, unprecedented heights: In sitcoms or advice columns, the cure for a lonely or broken heart is often portrayed as sitting home alone eating consolingly from a pint of ice cream.
Manufacturers have certainly stepped up to the challenge and are creating ice creams that stimulate the imagination and tantalize the senses. I remember being excited when Oreo cookies were inclusion pieces in my favorite Ben and Jerry’s, but I could hardly have imagined today’s world with ice cream containing chunks of fried sopapilla or chocolate-coated tiramisu.
I say, bring on this harmless but sinful-seeming, unrivaled indulgence. Why not elevate ice cream to the status of cure-all. Rather than “take two aspirin and call me in the morning,” advice for the lonely, the down, the celebratory and the angry alike should be “take a few mouthfuls of your favorite inclusion-ridden ice cream and you’ll feel better immediately.”
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