The Ultimate Dessert Paradox

In food on 09/15/2009 at 8:12 am

We just got back from a road trip to Vermont, the self-proclaimed home of the skinny pancake. Why they just can’t call it a crepe is beyond me, but unfortunately, any faint hope of a food grazing tour was sorely misplaced.

Vermont is known for its scenery, not necessarily its food. The former is breathtaking indeed, and alas, the latter is breathtakingly bad. The state is devoid of any real ethnic food diversity, except for the requisite Chinese take-out in every town. Some places can’t even get American food right, burger, fries, and milkshakes.

One thing that was constant on our trip was slurping at least one malt chocolate shake per day, to keep up our spirits due to the lack of tummy satisfying food that wasn’t greasy or fried. But there are also amazing degrees of deliciousness in a shake, depending on the amount of fudge, real or fake ice cream (frozen yogurt), ratio of milk to ice cream, etc…that is used. The two best ones were had at the Arlington Dairy Bar and the Malt Shop in Stowe.

One of the very paltry food highlights was the Ben & Jerry’s factory tour in Waterbury, where after a short $3 tour through its hyper-technicolor facility, you are treated to a hearty sample of an yet unreleased flavor that is only available in scoop shops. We were privy to the orange and cream: orange sorbet swirled with vanilla ice cream, basically, a creamsicle. It was quite delicious.


The cream and icy were a great contrast, and the taste was just tangy enough. I hope they release it worldwide soon. In the back of the factory, there is a ‘graveyard’ of retired flavors and a revelation of what ingredients go into the ice cream:

the secret is out

At the gift shop, we happened upon a recipe that has been haunting me ever since I tasted it on the streets of the night markets in Taipei when I was a teenager: fried ice cream. I remember the guy sweating bullets onto my ball of goop and mixing it back and forth on a flat grill. But if you think about it, is that really possible? Ack! What a find! When we recover from vacation withdrawl, we will surely try this baby out, using tempura batter since I don’t think the one I had was crunchy on the outside.

days of my youth

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