Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Cherry ice cream? I believe you mean Cherry Garcia.

Last Sunday, July 19th, was National Ice Cream Day. I missed it. But as July is National Ice Cream Month, I can get in under the line and celebrate this near perfect food.

Not that I need a day or a month to celebrate ice cream. I pretty much live the ice cream life. 

In my book, a day without ice cream is a day without sunshine. Let me amend that. I don't mind an occasional day without sunshine. It's plenty sunny and 90 sweaty degrees out today, and I'm sitting here fantasizing about a nice blizzard. So a day without ice cream (or frozen yogurt) is far worse than a day without ice cream.

For me these days, mostly it's not ice cream ice cream. It's fro-you. But I have a (small) bowl of it pretty much every night. Generally, it will be (small) bowl of Gifford's of Maine Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip, which is quite nice - no skimping on the chocolate chips. I also like Gifford's Moose Tracks fro-yo. 

If I decide to up the calorie ante, I'll have a pint of Talenti gelato in the fridge. Pistachio. Coffee Chocolate Chip. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup. The only problem with Talenti is the effort it takes to get the cap off. Seriously, you can google this problem and get all sorts of advice - none all that good - on how to unscrew the lids. There have been evenings when I've wished I had a chainsaw - or at min a hacksaw - to get that damned lid off. Absolute murder.

When I'm at an ice cream shop, I'll vary things up. Sometimes Coffee Cookies & Cream. Sometimes Butter Pecan. Sometimes Maple Walnut. Once in a blue moon - and only if that blue moon is in the dead of summer - I'll go for Strawberry or Peach. On the Cape, I'll opt for Ryder Beach Rubble or Cranberry Bog. If I'm at Friendly's, finishing my Big Beef lunch off with one of their Happy Ending Sundaes - and, yes, that is the name they go by - my preference is Hot Fudge on Coffee. 

I'm not all that partial to Mint Chocolate Chip, and I really cannot abide the thought of Bubble Gum, but, in truth, I'm down with most ice cream flavors. 

But if I had to pick a favorite-favorite, I'd have to go with Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia. It comes in both ice cream and fro-yo, and while there's always plenty of Ben & Jerry's in the freezer of my go-to grocer, you can't always find Cherry Garcia ice cream. Even rarer is the fro-yo version.

I don't think I'm alone here in my affection for Cherry Garcia, and I'm interpreting the report that something called "Cherry" is the favorite ice cream of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to mean Cherry Garcia. I suppose it could mean Cherry Vanilla, which is also quite tasty, but I'm going with Cherry Garcia, which greatly improves on regular old Cherry Vanilla by adding little slabs of chocolate. The best. The very best. Even if you're not a fan of the Grateful Dead.

Overall, the favorite U.S. flavor is Cookies & Cream, a reasonably good choice. Which is more than you can say for some of the state flavorites.

Arizona and Illinois share a preference for Mango. Really? Mango? Not a fan. Still better than Nevada's Cotton Candy. (Gag.)

And, sure, I'd accept a cone if it were the last ice cream on the face of the earth, but - good golly, Miss Molly - do California's really eat a lot of Tutti Frutti?

A number of states bland out with Vanilla, including Maine and New Hampshire. But what are we to make of Connecticut's pigging out on Beer ice cream. Beer? Huh?

Oregon, Washington and Utah spoon up something called Coconut Milk. DC has some rather upscale taste. They're fav is Stracciatella.

I had to look up Michigan's Superman, a ghastly swirl of red, blue, and yellow. Nor was I familiar with Virginia's Tiger Tail. Certainly, an improvement on Superman, but my personal ice cream jury's is kind of out on the thought of orange ice cream swirled with black licorice. 

Now, Teaberry ice cream - which is popular in Pennsylvania - might be okay in small doses if it tastes like Teaberry gum.

Still, I'll take Cherry Garcia which, of course, I am now craving. There's none in my freezer, and there's no guarantee that if I braved the dual elements of heat and humidity currently visiting themselves upon my city, there's no guarantee that the closest grocer would have any. 

Bringing to mind a ditty that my father used to sing to us when we were having a scorcher. 
When it's too hot for comfort, And you can't get no ice cream cones,
T'aint no sin, to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones. 
Not familiar with this ditty? Here you go.  

Guess I'll have a (small) bowl of Blackberry Chocolate Chip fro-yo to celebrate National Ice Cream Month. 

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