Like many Americans, I love ice cream. There’s something about the texture, the creaminess, and the endless flavor combinations that I can’t get enough of. Growing up, my parents and I loved to go to the same Chinese restaurant and I would always end the meal with their mint chocolate chip ice cream. It was inexpensive, the ice cream and the restaurant in general, but it was just so good. So from then on, my favorite flavor was mint chocolate chip. I loved the refreshed feeling I got from the mint, and the chocolate, well, it’s chocolate. It was perfect then, and still is, as far as I’m concerned.
But as I grew older, I discovered more flavors in general, which translated into more ice cream flavors. I realized just how much I loved peaches: the fruit, artificial flavors, and of course, ice cream. Breyer’s and Edy’s both make great peach-flavored ice creams. I lived for Breyer’s strawberry as well–it’s just too perfect.
Then puberty hit (like a Panzer running into a brick wall) and I discovered the truly medicinal capabilities of any form of chocolate ice cream. Bad heartbreak? Rocky Road. Teenage friend drama? Turtle Tracks. Cramps from the depths of all hell? Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food, which I still turn to on occasion for non-judgmental solace.
As a Southerner, vanilla ice cream is ubiquitous, making appearances more as “á la mode” than a stand-alone flavor. I mean, there’s just not much to vanilla by itself, but throw it on top of some just-out-of-the-oven blackberry and/or peach cobbler? I can die a happy camper. Someone’s grandmother just made her famous apple pie from scratch, so what do you do? Cover it in vanilla goodness, of course. There’s something about those flavors that cause them to work better together than apart. It truly is a beautiful phenomenon.
More recently, as I’ve become a coffee aficionado, I’ve learned to make room for coffee ice cream in my life. Add some chocolate chunks and some strawberries? I’m done for. It’s also great to use in various recipes, adding a depth to the dish that is hard to put your finger on upon devouring the dessert, thanks to how well the coffee ice cream blends with the other ingredients. (Check out this recipe for Killer Coffee Dessert.) (It might be called “Killer” because if you eat too much, that’s exactly what it’s going to be.)
So, I’ve just got to know…