Here’s a scoop on flavors of ice cream

Published 10:58 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Yes, I used to eat a scoop of licorice ice cream and a scoop of banana ice cream on an ice-cream cone. I mentioned that fact in last week’s column, and someone asked me about it.
I developed the concoction when I was about 8 years old. My maternal grandmother, who lived in Pensacola, Fla., at that time, would pick me up at my house and take me home with her for an afternoon, an overnight stay or an entire weekend. Often, we would stop at the Baskin-Robbins on the way to her home. Many times, I would get one scoop of licorice ice cream (a dark gray) on the bottom of the cone, topped with a scoop of banana ice cream.
I can hear some of you saying, “Ewwww” or “That’s nasty.” Not to me, it wasn’t. I like licorice. I like banana. Combining the two flavors made sense then. Still does, at least to me.
I think part of the appeal of the licorice ice cream was that it left a messy ring around my mouth, a ring that made me appear as if I had been eating sludge. I remember my grandmother constantly trying to wipe my mouth so I would not look like a “heathen” should we run into women from her church.
Around Halloween, I’d switch the scoop of banana ice cream for a scoop of orange sherbet. With the licorice ice cream’s color being close to black and the orange of the orange sherbet, I would replicate, as close as possible, the two colors mostly associated with Halloween.
Besides, the two flavors went well together. Trust me on this.
Remembering those concoctions has me wondering if I should pursue other ice-cream flavors that would be off the beaten path. I think a Red Hots-flavored ice cream would be interesting. One would have the coolness of the ice cream with a bit of heat from the Red Hots. I have to believe that ice cream flavored like SweeTarts would have an appeal — a bit sweet, a bit tart. Don’t you know, a Neapolitan coconut candy bar — remember those pink, white and brown stripes? — would be great flavor and color combination for an ice-cream cone.
And to really pucker one’s lips, how about a couple of scoops of Lemonhead ice cream on a cone? For that toasted coconut experience, why not some Chick-O-Stick ice cream?
These days, finding banana ice cream is no problem, but try finding licorice ice cream. About 25 years ago, there was a place in Greenville that sold licorice ice cream, but it wasn’t the same as what I had in my boyhood. This licorice ice cream in Greenville, if I recall, was nothing more than vanilla ice cream with small bits of licorice (which were green) in it. Not even close to that dark-gray licorice ice cream I used to crave.
I’d sure like to have that “dirty mouth” look at least once more.
Mike Voss covers the city of Washington for the Washington Daily News. He’s thinking about making watermelon ice cream before the summer disappears, with bits of black licorice to replace the watermelon seeds.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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