Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Size All Its Own and Ice Cream Americana (Or America in a Cup)

A rather eclectic collection of thoughts, but I thought I would share anyway.

In the world of sizes the size medium could reasonably be perceived as the disdained, red-headed step child.  Think about it.  Small comes in multiple flavors—small, extra small, and extra, extra small.  Large is the same—large, extra large, and a number of multiples of the adjective “extra.”  Medium is simply medium.  There is no additional descriptor used with the size “medium”.  The English language doesn’t have an “extra medium”.  We don’t use the phrase, “Wow, that’s really medium.”  Like a child forbidden from the use of profane language, the size medium has a very limited associated vocabulary.

I submit that while it may seem that medium is less, (well more than “small”, but you know what I mean), it is actually an amazing size.  Medium is truly it’s own size.  It requires no additional grammatical support.  It is unique enough to stand on it’s own.  We should celebrate the size medium.  I do my part by ordering most of my soft drinks and ice cream products in the medium size.  Most often medium is just right.

Since I just mentioned one of my favorite topics, ice cream, we might as well discuss it further.  A major discussion revolves around the question of quantity versus quality.  Is it better to get cheap, inexpensive ice cream in order be able to eat to the heart’s content?  Or, is it better to go the more flavorful and unique route and enjoy the depths of the flavors more?  Some people, like my father, are very much traditionalists.  He likes very plain and standard flavors.  His favorite is chocolate chip followed closely by other standard staples.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  He will eat most types of ice cream you put in front of him, but he prefers the standard staples. 

Others, like me, have a more refined taste.  Once I realized that I needed to implement portion control in order to maintain weight control, I moved past my childhood experiences and explored a variety of flavors and textures.  While my father has his favorite flavor, I maintain a little black book of wonderful flavors and brands that I like to enjoy at different times and in different seasons.  While my quantities have been reduced, the quality has brought new experiences. 

Recently we discovered a new place close to our home, Rita’s.  They serve gourmet Italian ice and custard.  One of their signature dishes, the gelati, is a cup with a bottom layer of custard, followed by a layer of Italian ice, and topped with another layer of custard.  The common flavors of custard are chocolate and vanilla.  The Italian ice flavors are all over the spectrum.  A few weeks ago they had Florida Orange flavor in the Italian ice.  It was amazing.  It had bits of orange zest in it.  Mixed with the vanilla custard it was amazing. 

Tonight my wife, oldest daughter and I stopped by Rita’s.  They had a new flavor of Italian ice I had never seen or tried before—Peanut Butter & Jelly.  I thought it was amazing and tasted like the real thing.  Combined with the vanilla custard it was heavenly, like America-In-A-Cup.  A perfect blend of peanut butter & jelly and ice cream is the essence of Americana. 

Next time, though, I’ll go with the medium size gelati at Rita’s.  The large was too much, even if it was only 50 cents more than the medium.  The medium would have been just right

--Jarad Van Wagoner

Please see my previous post regarding ice cream.
Van Wagoners and Ice Cream

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