Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bobtail Year: Wrath

Eat the chocolate. Crush the others into powder to throw into an enemy's eyes.
August is month three of my Bobtail Year, two pints of Bobtail Homemade Ice Cream a month for donating to Oracle Theatre.

Revenge is a wrath-filled act so sweet that one cannot help eating spoonful after spoonful. This is also the case with Bobtail's flavor, Wrath. Here's their teaser: "The next in our Seven Deadly Sins series will make your taste buds spite you after the very first bite. With a fiery touch of cayenne and crushed black pepper tossed into chocolate and mixed with cinnamon-fudge flakes, you'll only rage for more!!"

I am no stranger to spicy chocolate and, like last month's Lust, this one distinguishes itself from the others. If last month's seductive flavor was a lover, this month's is a fighter. Cue Guile's theme from Street Fighter II...
ROUND 1: FIGHT! This might be the spiciest ice cream I've ever eaten. It throws fireball after fireball and, once the hadouken-level heat begins, it doesn't leave. The flavor punishes the eater with each dragon punch to the jaw, but us Seven-Time-Sinners are all gluttons for everything, even punishment. But, while the pummeling comes swiftly and steadily like a hundred hand slap, I cannot help but appreciate a master at work. Texturally, this isn't just a chocolate ice cream with fudge flakes mixed in. It has an intriguing earthy texture that adds depth to the chocolate. They say death is in the details and, in this case, that death comes from the black bits flecked throughout the base.

ROUND 2: FIGHT! With seasoned fighters, each blow is crafted to destroy like a sumo smash. Including cinnamon in the flakes makes a recognizable mix-in (chocolate flakes) actually increase (not defuse) the burn, turning it into a weapon. This secret attack is both devious and delicious. As each cold bite melts away, it leaves behind some chocolate-cinnamon flakes for me to ponder as I stand their dizzily with them melting on my tongue. Naked, the flakes offer a complex flavor that suggests mocha, a sweetness that is followed by earthy bitterness and the texture of coffee grounds. Like a sonic boom, the calm comes before a much louder end, and with this flavor the end is always a roundhouse of heat.

Here comes a new challenger.
(Suddenly and inexplicably, the game console bends time and space enabling a Mortal Kombat crossover...)

FINISH HIM!! Having barely survived the spinning pile driver of the ice cream and the flakes, I somehow get myself to my feet for what I know will be the last time. Woozy and barely conscious, I still feel the steady burn I've been feeling since I first got hurricane kicked in the mouth. It might be my swollen jaw, but it feels like the heat is crescendo-ing from yoga fire to yoga flame, even in this short reprieve from getting my pixelated butt handed to me. I look at my opponent and think I could take one more bite of the cold, cold ice cream, because that will cool things down again, right? Couldn't be more wrong. Bam. Zow. One last dragon punch right in the kisser.

CONTINUE? Wrath stands over me. I flinch to protect my black and blue face and hear it say, "You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance." And I wonder, "What the heck does Sheng Long ice cream taste like?"

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bobtail Year Bonus: Reinventing Envy

August is month three of my Bobtail Year, two pints of Bobtail Homemade Ice Cream a month for donating to Oracle Theatre. In this entry, I take inspiration from Bobtail to create my own flavor.

My interest already piqued by the first three flavors, I was frustrated by the description for Bobtail's latest addition to their flavor cycle inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins: "Envy is simply an ice cream that wishes that it were more." The teaser was infuriatingly uninformative...yet affective in making me crave it. The tragic irony was that the anthropomorphized ice cream from the teaser (a sweet cream ice cream with no mix-ins) was not the only one wishing it were more. Having left my sampling unfulfilled, I decided to try on a different sin and vainly declared that I could do better!

Re-purposed Bobtail pint container.
Brad's Green Envy is a subtle avocado ice cream with a burning rivalry between cinnamon and Tabasco. Taking inspiration from three different scoop shops, it is a mash-up of:
  • Envy. Like Bobtail's plain sweet cream ice cream, avocado ice cream, while flavorful, leaves sweet toothéd people wanting more.
  • Avocado Cinnamon. While I wouldn't change a thing about this fantastic flavor from my Chicago favorite Black Dog Gelato, for my purposes, I needed my sin-inspired flavor to have more of a burn.
  • Disco Inferno. This sweet cream and Tabasco ice cream from Boston's J.P. Licks tasted totally plain Jane...until the after burn. An armchair hot sauce aficionado, I knew Tabasco was the perfect hot sauce for my ice cream because it would add heat without altering the flavor.
I had done it. Knowing that my flavor, Brad's Green Envy, was more creative than and far superior to Bobtail's Envy, I laughed pridefully, each mwahaha a cherry bomb on my jealousy sundae. While I strapped on my running shoes for a much-deserved victory lap, my roommate Jamie chimed in, "Your flavor would definitely make Bobtail's more full of envy, so I think they still won." Deflated, I then knew I was nothing but a foolish, hubris-filled amateur in Bobtail's devilish game.