When a friend and I headed to Denise’s Homemade Ice-Cream in the Clintonville area of Columbus for a bit of ice-cream research, we found out that ice-cream is kind of like a horoscope. The flavor you order tells something about who you are.
“What flavor is the favorite?” my friend asked the guy behind the counter who had his scoop ready.
“For women your age, Salty Carmel,” he said. (Our age is the above 30)
“What about not our age? And not necessarily women?”
“That depends. . .” He began ticking off categories, and assigned flavors to particular groups. It was clear that he is a people studier, and has learned a few things from his observations as he has scooped away.
“All men like nuts. Any kind of nuts. Butter pecan. African American men in particular like Butter pecan. Not Pistachio, though, except for Middle Eastern men. They like Pistachio–and Mango.”
“Kids like Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate–and Blueberry.”
Teenage girls? Thin mint chip.
Women in their twenties? Chocolate fudge brownie.
Asians like the Green tea.
He said that all this might sound like profiling, but that’s not what he means. People pick ice-cream flavors based on tastes that are familiar to their cultures–and what they last ate.
When people are standing before him, undecided, he’ll ask them what they ate last to help them pick a flavor. Not all flavors are chasers for all foods. We didn’t ask him for this list. That’s our next lesson.
As for me, I had the Tiramisu. I usually pick Rum raisin, but the woman working with him said that the Tiramisu is her favorite flavor that has alcohol.
My friend had Peanut butter chip, although she also tasted White Gold, Sweet corn and Cucumber and pronounced each of them delicious. I had already plowed into my flavor choice while she was still deciding.
Of course, not all people pick according to their particular categories, these are generalizations, but I thought about how my 6-year-old son’s choice of flavors like Bubble gum and Cotton candy don’t appeal to me in the least.
Two days ago, I did buy a Dreamsicle from the ice-cream truck that dings through our neighborhood for nostagia’s sake. I loved them when I was a kid.
Here’s a link to MakeIceCream.com that lists the 15 most popular flavors. Vanilla has 11% points over the next popular flavor, Chocolate.
By the way, I highly recommend Denise’s. Located on North High Street. This is gourmet ice-cream with a capital G. There’s also free WiFi, so while you’re savoring ice-cream, you can surf.