In defense of peppermint ice cream

4 Dec experiment:

You are walking down Main Street, USA when you happen across an ice cream parlor advertising homemade and hand-dipped heaven. When you step inside, it’s the Wonka Factory of ice cream shops and you can choose any flavor in the world. PB&J, Moose Tracks, Dill Pickle.

Most of you will choose chocolate or vanilla. (Most, MOST – this is established fact. Stop being offended, Polly. You are hardly most anything.)

I would pick peppermint.

I know, I know: Ew, Penny. Toothpaste ice cream? GROSS.

But it doesn’t taste like toothpaste (there is a difference between spearmint and peppermint – one will make your nose run and your breath smell clean, the other is a sweet treat with a hint of freshness; it’s the difference between Vicks vapo-rub and a candy cane), and I’ve heard it all before… usually from people who approach this seasonal delicacy with preconceived notions and deep-seated prejudice.

These people did not run inside on steaming summer afternoons, desperate for a tall glass of iced mint tea, boiled earlier that day with fresh mint from the garden. Refreshing, cool, sweet.

These people never took a peppermint stick, stuck it in a lemon, and sucked the sour juice and pulp out through a sweet, quickly disintegrating and sticky “straw”, racing to see who could finish first.

These people have missed dipping their spoons into a dish of frozen ivory with swirls of blush and shavings of Christmas Mornings Past spent giggling as they saved the red and white striped canes that appeared overnight on the lowest-hanging branches, just within their still-stunted reach, from dogs whose noses are so much more discerning than their own.

These people don’t know what they’re missing.


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