Cold, hard and oh so sexy
As a born and bred New Englander, Loyd Grossman didn't have to wait until the arrival of Haagen-Dazs to know what constituted truly great ice-cream
Tuesday 04 July 1995
I was lucky enough to grow up near Boston, Massachusetts, a city blessed with the highest per capita ice-cream consumption in the world. The rules about good ice- cream were few, but iron-clad:
1. Good ice-cream was bought, not made at home, though, paradoxically, any good store-bought ice-cream was always praised as tasting "home-made".
2. The best ice-cream came from establishments that were named after the proprietor - often overweight and usually ill-tempered - who could be seen fussing over his ice-cream machines in the background.
3. Pre-packed ice-cream was for suckers only. Real aficionados insisted on buying their ice-cream packed into tubs and weighed. One pint of ice- cream weighed a pound.
4. Making ice-cream was a man's business. With the exception of the legendary Abby Mae, all great ice-cream makers were men.
5. Soft ice-cream was only for children or foreigners.
Then the conservative world of ice-cream was turned upside down. Big manufacturers began to reproduce the style of craftwork ice-cream. Dense and heavy ice-creams with strong, clear flavours and dizzying price tags began to appear in supermarkets, and the small artisanal makers began to be overwhelmed by the marketing and advertising muscle of the big boys.
Haagen-Dazs - a newfangled New York brand with a made-up name and provenance - convinced the world that high-ticket ice-cream was an indispensable part of smart urban living. Suddenly, ice-cream was sexy - something we New Englanders had always known, even though we wouldn't have quite put it in those words. Ben and Jerry, meanwhile, offered a more homespun, ageing-hippie approach to the peddling of luxury ice-cream (which appeals particularly to ageing hippies like me). Both brands established the fact that people in Britain will pay for real ice-cream rather than making do with those blocks of emulsion-yellow transmogrified pig's fat that used to be a British summertime treat.
Happily, an increasing number of British luxury ice-creams are following in the American footsteps and making their way into the shops. There has also been a simultaneous explosion of DIY ice-cream culture thanks to the new generation of ice-cream machines that plug in, turn on and churn out a litre of irreproachable fat and sugar in about half and hour. My children and I can now happily concoct ice-cream out of leftover Christmas puddings, bits of broken biscuits and whatever else lurks in the back of the kitchen cupboard.
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
- 3 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 4 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
- 5 Paracetamol Challenge: Mother of girl killed by overdose pleads with teenagers not to take part
Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'
'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
Fifa corruption arrests: How Chuck Blazer rinsed money from the beautiful game
Fifa corruption live: Uefa to consider pulling teams from Fifa tournaments if Blatter stays
Ukip MP Douglas Carswell says he felt his safety was 'seriously at risk' after he was surrounded by anti-austerity protesters
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
iJobs Money & Business
£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...
£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...