it’s never too cold…

Dessert: Gorgonzola ice cream with artisanal
honey and fresh mint. Pureed persimmons.

Originally uploaded by

So, I’m sitting in a deli cum café on a clear crisp cool afternoon. Well, maybe “cool” is a tiny stretch. I’ll admit, my personal body thermometer is a bit off from the rest of you. Maybe it’s a little more like somewhere in the twenties (Fahrenheit) which I think most might consider “cold.” At any rate, the point is that it’s not exactly the kind of weather that would make you think that we’re experiencing a second Ice Age, or make you look out the window and wonder if you’ve somehow been kidnapped to the North Pole without knowing it…Two older women sit down at the table next to me. A silver-haired mother-daughter team. Their orders come – the daughter’s a sandwich soup girl. Ma is a cold noodle salad (looks Thai-ish?) gal; it comes with a small tuft of spinach, glossed with bacon-grease. They nibble.I’m clicking along on my laptop, largely ignoring the nibbling, when something the daughter says makes me stop – heart and all. “… it’s too cold for ice cream.”What? All clicking ceases, my hands paralyzed on the keyboard. Who says that? (As I eye the ice cream counter in the background…) I look over at mom, who deflates in her seat… daughter continues mindlessly nibbling.Go ahead, I almost blurt out, do your job as a good parent and tell your daughter she’s crazy!! Why does the temperature outside have anything to do with what you eat inside? I’ve never understood this! In fact, I find a nice cold dish of ice cream quite warming any day of the year, regardless of location!

Mom’s eyeing the desserts now… daughter’s on her cell setting up her mother’s next bone density test. Didn’t anyone ever tell her that it’s rude to talk on the phone when you’re eating with some one – especially if that person is your mother? Poor ma… “Maybe some cake…” ” She speaks up. “…with some ice cream?” she adds timidly.

“No, I’m full.” Daughter shoots back as soon as she snaps her phone shut.

I’m wagging my head… sad… doesn’t she know that ice cream is full of bone-fortifying calcium?

There is NO EXCUSE for ever passing up good ice cream.

Mom gets up.

“Yes!” I think to myself – go for it, Mom! Show your daughter who’s in charge… go get yourself some ice cream!She shuffles back, obediently, with a to-go box… sigh… Mom and daughter slide the better half of their food into two huge boxes. I’ve lost hope and pity … the mother obviously doesn’t deserve ice cream – lacks adequate mothering skills.As I was saying – there is NO EXCUSE for EVER passing up good ice cream. Here are some acceptable reasons (not excuses):

1. You genuinely don’t like ice cream. (In which case, I think you should quickly consult your physician or therapist.)

2. You’re standing outside at the North Pole and the temperature is at least below zero degrees Fahrenheit.
You’re medically forbidden – such as severe lactose intolerance, or allergies. (Will need to show medical proof.) As noted, lack of bone density is not a good reason.

3. Poor quality. (Sadly, this is actually the most likely, or acceptable, reason, in my opinion.) This could occur in a number of ways: too runny, too hard (Although this can sometimes be remedied by a little patience, I refuse to touch gelato that is kept at insanely low temperatures… as over-freezing gelato destroys its very essence, indeed, life.), non-fat/no-sugar selections only, excessive food colouring (Why is mint chocolate chip often neon green? What about the bubble-gum flavors that turns kids’ mouths every shade of the rainbow… unnaturally glowing sherbets…)… and so it goes…

4. Although there’s never been a flavor I haven’t tried on the basis of sounding disgusting or weird, I do recognize there may be flavors that perhaps just don’t agree with the palate. For instance, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with flavors like Gorgonzola, chevre, and olive oil – but I’ll concede that those flavors might be absolutely horrid to many. Given a limited selection of flavors I dislike – like bubble-gum, mint-chocolate, or anything that has too much caramel, I’d refuse ice cream too. But, I’m usually safe because vanilla is almost always available.

So, the next time you’re out on a crisp, sunny, breezy, calm, cool, cold, rainy, snowy, even icy day – and you are within 100 miles of good ice cream, or better yet – gelato, warm yourself up inside and have yourself some! You have my permission.

~ by ulterior epicure on February 17, 2006.

5 Responses to “it’s never too cold…”

  1. I’m with the daughter, I don’t eat ice cream in winter. But then again I don’t eat much ice cream period. If I was a big ice cream eater I’m sure temperature wouldn’t stop me too often, as I don’t stop drinking coffee when it’s hot outside, unless of course I am outside.

    And I almost want to cry because you dislike mint chocolate chip ice cream. That is my absolute favorite. For me it’s such a wonderful combination, and I love it’s adorable, albeit unnatural green

    Ah well, to each their own right? =)

  2. hi culinarily obsessed!
    thanks for visiting. of course, you know that my post is *slightly* cheek-by-jowel, right? =)

    …and of course, to each their own! just don’t make me eat anything glowing =)

    ulterior epicure.

  3. Please don’t ask how I’ve managed to stumble across your blog … I fear I couldn’t answer that if my very life depended on it … However, that being said, I wanted to comment and say that I have thoroughly enjoyed your commentary and thoughts of the epicural journey. Being stranded in the culinary black hole of the Midwest, I enjoy reading of others forays into true culinary genius (Kansas City has great BBQ, however, one can only eat BBQ so often before the palate goes on strike!)
    Anyway, I just wanted to peek in and tell you that I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts.


    Ms Deidre
    (Food Junkie)

  4. I have to say that I agree with you on the ice cream except for the fact that Mint Chocolate has got to be one of the greatest flavor combinations! ;)

  5. I just discovered your blog through e-Gullet. Enjoying it immensely. Thought you might like to check out my food writing too. One post in particular, “Proof God Loves Us” is about my favorite gelato/sorbetto: Capogiro. Check it.

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