Here’s a scoop on flavors of ice cream
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.