Saturday, December 11, 2004

Ice Cream

This is especially petty, but can a man get a pint of ice cream that doesn't have chunks of crap floating around in it?

Not actual crap of course. I mean almonds, brownie chunks, sponge cake, reeses cups, cookie dough, brazilnuts, etc. etc. Can a man get a pint of ice cream that is free from all this shit? Besides chocolate and vanilla?

Here's another newsflash: Haagen Daaz is way better than Ben & Jerrys. That's right hippies. It's better ice cream. Take a pint of HD side by side with B&J, leave them out of the freezer for a few minutes, and then open them up and take a scoop from each. You can tell right there as you scoop that Haagan Daaz is the real deal. Ben & Jerrys is a lighter, fluffier ice cream, and I don't mean that in a good way. It's got a vaguely grainy feel to it, and it's a little gummy in the mouth. When you scoop it, it's almost like it's coming out in tufts.

Now Haagen Daaz. That baby scoops like liquid silk. And when you taste it... it's like Holy Shit. Haagen Daaz is that good. It's makes me feel like my tongue is taking up valuable real estate in my mouth, space that could be better utilitized by Haagen Daaz ice cream on a 24/7 basis.

Now I know that B&J is this great organization that treats it's employees really well, they're eco friendly, they saved the rainforests, they promote Phish and the Dead, they just want everyone to be happy, etc. And Haagen Daaz is this corporate bully that broke a bunch of laws. There was that whole "what is the doughboy afraid of?" scandal. And they aren't even really German. Or Dutch. Or whatever nationality the name is meant to suggest. They just invented it to give them some ice-cream cred. And that's exactly the sort of bullshit I take a strong stand against.

But my friends, the proof is in the ice cream, and HD puts out a better product.

And then we get to the chunks of crap. Now maybe you like chunks of crap in your ice cream. God bless. Mazel Tov. But me, I like that liquid silk sensation thing I was talking about earlier. And you know what brings the whole smooth and creamy reverie thing to a screeching halt? An almond does.

And the problem is that chunky ice cream, for a long time now, has completely dominated the market. It's taken over. Ben & Jerrys made their name by trying out weird and wacky new chunk flavors and eventually finding a few winners and now everybody is following suit. And it sucks. Sure, there's still chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and maybe coffee if we're lucky, but that is it for those of us who like a smooth ride. Your average ice cream selection at the Quikie Mart now is only going to have flavors with Bannana chunks, and oatmeal cookies, and marshmellow bits and pretzels....

Yes, pretzels.

And how about that flavor, Chubby Hubby? Every single purchase of ice cream for me is a little private guilt battle. If I win the battle, I buy the ice cream. If not, I don't. It's usually 50-50. But no waaaaaaaay am I going to buy a pint of ice cream that is basically called "Fat Man".

Now Haagan Daaz's Dulce de Leche. That's a flavor! Caramel ice cream with a caramel ripple. Or is it a ribbon? Either way it aint a chunk. When you dig that spoon into the virgin topsoil of a pint of dulce de leche and come back with a glistening ribbon of caramel, it must be just like when our ancestors drove that axepick into the mountain and exposed that rich vein of silver.

Yep, just like that.

And then it was Ben & Jerrys turn to be the Digimon-style imitators. They couldn't just sit by and watch Haagan Daaz corner the caramel market with their exciting new flavor. No, they had to act. And they acted the only way they knew how: by taking a decent flavor idea and injecting chunks of crap into it. So they gave us Triple Caramel Chunk, which was essentially Dulce de Leche with chunks of caramel filled chocolates floating in it. Bravo Ben & Jerrys. Another masterpiece.

Ben actually spoke at my college once. I went to hear him talk. This was 97 or 98. The lecture topic wasn't ice cream and the great chunk debate, it was US military buildup and how unnecessary it was. I remember he used long rolls of toilet paper to make a point about the US military budget. I also remember how he ridiculed the idea that a "rogue nation" like Afghanistan could possibly pose any kind of actual threat to the United States. Yeah that was some sharp analysis there Ben. Don't quit your day job.

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