Ice cream now.
This was a treat when we were young, with no freezers and no fridge until I was seven, one didn't buy ice cream to eat later on. It would be bought and eaten immediately or pretty well immediately. Us kids were sent across the road to the off licence of the nearby pub to pick up a newspaper wrapped block from their small freezer. It was a quick dash home for the ice cream to be divided into our bowls and demolished before it all melted away. Flavours, vanilla and sometimes Neapolitan (pink, green and white) but I preferred the vanilla.
We bought them in little tubs at the cinema, where strawberry and chocolate was also on the menu, choc-ices (chocolate wrapped vanilla bars. Out and about little blocks between wafers or in a cone.
We heard rumours that ice cream was even better overseas, I was suspicious of the claim how could anything be better!
I had to wait to find out, the French ice cream tasted the same.
Wait until you taste Italian I was told.
I eventually tasted it but although different and nice it wasn’t to my mind different enough to push my British ice cream off top spot.
Funnily enough the first ice cream away from home which made an impression on me was tasted in Moscow in the Soviet Union, as it was back then. Sold from metal utilitarian vans on the roadside served with incomprehensible language it was delicious.
Italian 2 - Russian 5 and for a while it tied with my childhood ice cream.
We were limited as to flavours when I left for my travels and this is where other countries were more adventurous. By the time I had reached Australia I had tasted some amazing flavoured ice cream. Made with their native fruits there was a freshness to the tastes , we couldn't achieve back home.
When I returned home, after a few years, our diversity of flavours in the UK had improved but there was a feeling of frustration at the limitation of the British palate here.
I bought a small ice cream maker and made my own, trying to add more of our fruits and nuts, it worked well and then after a few years the machine made its home with some young friends of mine to feed their appetite for the stuff.
My friend from forever/editor and I travelled to the USA one year and discovering the array of flavours on offer decided to see if we could eat a different flavour every day - it turned out some days we had two. We easily did, with some to spare. It was in New England when I first ate pink peppermint ice cream - it is always green here. The colour was pretty and the taste even better.
We had to visit Ben and Jerry didn't we? It wasn’t on our planned route but it was a must.
We do have more interesting ice creams now, especially in the restaurants.
I have never really taken to frozen yogurt even though I like regular yogurt very much, I didn’t take to baked Alaska either - cake with ice cream is so wrong on many levels for me, as to deep-fry ice cream - no, no, no:) I prefer my ice cream as ice cream, although I can enjoy it on something hot, such as fruit pie, if there is no milk or custard around. A dish of assorted flavours is my favourite.
I have never outgrown my liking for this dish, in almost any form and at any time. It was, is and always will be a treat above many others.
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