Thursday, September 25, 2008

America Deserves the TRUTH!***

With Halloween fast approaching, themed candy packages are appearing around the office. It made me realize a growing problem in America. Just as many voters are concerned with candidates spinning things with creative wording, I am concerned with candy spoiling things with creative wording.

“Fun Size?” Who do they think they’re kidding? Give the kids a smaller package of candy—LESS candy—and have the audacity to lie to children by telling them this bag and serving size is somehow more fun? If you believe that, I’ll write a check from the government for every tax-paying citizen and call it “Economic Stimulus.” One candy dish in the office has “Fun Size” Mini-Oreo packages, which unlike the typical Mini-Oreo package size contains exactly 6 mini Oreos. I estimate this is roughly the equivalent of one-and-a-half Oreo cookies. As a voter and Halloween enthusiast, I am appalled.

This Halloween, don’t let candy companies lie to children. Invest in the next generation. Invest in honesty. Buy full size candy bars for the children in your neighborhood.

I’m Brad and I approve this message.

***If you've decided you’re voting for Obama and want to work for the campaign, Travel for Change (an organization separate from Obama’s campaign) is offering to fly interested parties to swing states to help win the vote. If you can’t go, you can donate your frequent flyer miles.
Is every American you know registered to vote? Tell your friends, family, and neighbors to register.

Friday, September 19, 2008

America Can Do Better!***

I recently had dinner with some friends at the home of one of my Sunday School students. Thanks to a conversation about how big or small full-size dogs can be, the student retrieved his copy of the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records. As you might imagine, after laughing at some bizarre statistics, I flipped to the index to see what might await me under the topic of “ice cream.” And, America, I learned that Michael Phelps is not enough to make me proud of American competitive achievements. We are not performing in a way befitting of our country in some of the world’s most important competitions.

Highest average ice cream consumption per person in a year:
Australia - 35 pints/person (or 4.4 gallons)
To be honest, this does not sound like very much to me when one considers that most ice cream that isn’t superpremium comes in a half-gallon size. This means the record for ice cream consumption per person in a year is only nine half-gallon cartons over the course of the year. This statistic should bring every country to shame, not just ours. (I’m looking at you, Luxembourg!)

Highest average chocolate consumption per person in a year:
Switzerland – 25 lb. 6 oz. (equal to 230 bars weighing 1.75 oz per year)
This statistic is quite high. Impressive, yes, but unachievable? No. We should see this as a goal, not a threat.

Most ice cream flavors displayed at once:
UPA Gelatieri Padova (Italy) – displayed 521 flavors of ice cream together

***I like to joke on my blog, but in all seriousness,
a very important election is coming up. Take a moment to ask yourself: "Is everyone I know in America registered to vote?" If you are at all unsure, please tell your friends, family, and neighbors to register. The registration deadlines are fast approaching!

If you decided you’re voting for Obama and want to work for the campaign, Travel for Change (an organization separate from Obama’s campaign) is offering to fly interested parties to swing states to help win the vote. If you can’t go, you can donate your frequent flyer miles.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Take the Third Annual Pumpkin Challenge!

For the third year in a row, I will attempt to consume as many varieties of pumpkin edibles I can in the month and half preceding Halloween. Last year I ate 25 varieties of pumpkin-named food, beating 2006’s total by five!

The rules are the same as last year:

  • The item consumed must be a food. (Inhaling a pumpkin candle scent does not count.)
  • The only beverage allowed is the milkshake.
  • Food items cannot be doubled. (Two slices of pumpkin cheesecake count as one item. The only way it could count for two different items is if the second item has a distinct enough difference of flavor that it warrants a different name AND the item comes from a different source than the first item.)
The Pumpkin Challenge was invented to promote pumpkin in hopes of it being recognized in all seasons as a superior food.

Friday, September 12, 2008

To Cone or Not To Cone?

It’s functional. It’s economical. It’s American. But as much as I appreciate the smell of fresh waffle cones, I prefer to eat my ice cream from a dish. How odd, since I grew up near Doumar’s

Waffle, cake, cookie, sugar—cones come in many forms. Okay, maybe just four forms. To me the taste takes away from the main event, the ice cream the cone contains. Yet, it is a tradition so revered the cone taste is considered by some to be a vital part of the ice cream experience, not just a nostalgic scoop shop delight. Some companies now make flavors with cone pieces mixed in to the ice cream, such as Stephen Colbert’s Ameri-cone Dream (Ben & Jerry’s) and Caramel Cone Crunch (Häagen-Dazs).

The one occasion I have consistently sought out a cone was the summer after my freshman year college when I interned at a theatre in Chicago. One of my favorite stops was Windy City Sweets on Broadway. They had a flavor, Rainforest Crunch, which had chocolate-covered cashews! But what made this experience all the better was a dark-chocolate dipped waffle cone. Mmm…

The only other time I consider coning is when I order soft serve ice cream, in which case the only acceptable cone for this cheap excuse for ice cream is the cake cone, the cheapest quality of cone (AKA the one you get at McDonald’s).

What’s your opinion: To cone or not to cone?

P.S. Cone politics aside, I still heartily recommend Doumar’s
in Norfolk, VA, one of the contenders claiming to have first developed the ice cream cone. (There is no hard and fast evidence to confirm anyone as the first.) Stop in for limeade, minced North Carolina-style barbecue and one of their ice cream concoctions if you’re in the ‘hood! You can also see the “original” waffle cone machine.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Candy Dilemma

One of the biggest disappointments in my long, looong history of buying ice cream came the day I saw someone had finally created a chocolate covered pretzel ice cream! Be still my beating heart!

…And my heart did indeed go still when I cracked the lid to discover they actually meant vanilla ice cream-covered chocolate-covered pretzels.

Chocolate is a bold flavor, often dominant, but a thin layer around a sparse and scattered mix-in does not give me the fix I need. If God meant for candy to taste like vanilla instead of chocolate, the Mayans, who are historical for the for no reason other than their reverence of chocolate, would have been wiped off the face of the earth. Hmm…bad example.

It seems simple to me. Butterfingers are covered in chocolate. Baby Ruth is covered in chocolate. Reece’s Cups are covered in chocolate. So why are candy-centric ice creams vanilla-based? It leaves us chocophiles unsatisfied and frustrated. However, those of us who frequent distributors of soft serve ice cream creations, like Dairy Queen, can rise up! Order your next Butterfinger Blizzard with chocolate ice cream and taste the new thought model, my friends. Take it to the streets!

UPDATE: Canada got it right, so why not the US?