Monday, August 07, 2017

I scream!

Two decades ago, my parents made their first and only visit to the US.  An incident from that trip that my mother recalled, when we were talking during my visit to India, revealed a lot about my regimented and boring life.  An incident about which I have no recollection till this very day.

So, what happened?  As my mother remembers it, I had almost warned her that everything sugary is inexpensive in America and, therefore, she should pay particular attention to chocolates and ice cream that she ate. Especially ice cream, for which she had an extra fondness.  Apparently I had also explained the logic for the warning: Ice cream is a easy way to gain pounds in no time at all.  On top of that, well, because of diabetes in the family.

What a horrible son, right?

Wait, there is more to the story.

Soon after they returned to India, a routine blood test revealed that she had diabetes!

See, I am a good son, after all! ;)

Ice cream is very American.  In my first "winter" in Los Angeles, I was surprised to see Americans rushing to the ice cream outlets even when it was cold outside.
Kids and adults eat ice cream.
A lot.
While walking.
And, of course, while driving too.

Ice cream is so much a part of America, in ways about which I had no idea. Like this one:
When the 18th Amendment outlawed the sale of spirits in 1920, many early American breweries, including Yuengling and Anheuser-Busch, turned to soda and ice cream to stay afloat. By the end of the decade, Americans were consuming more than a million gallons of ice cream per day—and, crucially, associating it with the comfort and diversion formerly assigned to alcohol.
"Ice cream had become inseparable from the American way of life" so much so that the boys fighting for the country abroad had to served with this comfort food that reminded them of home.  Ice cream became a part of the massive military-industrial-complex:
The U.S. Navy spent $1 million in 1945 converting a concrete barge into a floating ice-cream factory to be towed around the Pacific, distributing ice cream to ships incapable of making their own. It held more than 2,000 gallons of ice cream and churned out 10 gallons every seven minutes. Not to be outdone, the U.S. Army constructed miniature ice-cream factories on the front lines and began delivering individual cartons to foxholes. This was in addition to the hundreds of millions of gallons of ice-cream mix they manufactured annually, shipping more than 135 million pounds of dehydrated ice cream in a single year
Of course, for many of us with bloodlines outside Europe, all that intense lactose of ice cream is one big hassle.  At the same time, I too crave for the ice cream experience. And, of course, I too love the comfort food that stirs the memories of childhood days in India.  America offers a product for that too:
Description at the site:
We make this exotic sorbetto simply with ripe Indian mangos, pure sugar and fresh lemon. It’s vegan and free of milk, though your mouth might have trouble believing it at first. Just keep eating it until your mouth admits it was wrong and apologizes.

God bless America! ;)

ps: A "cold" fact that will make this guy happy: Talenti is a subsidiary of Unilever, after the fast-growing upmarket private company was snapped up for an undisclosed amount ;)


Ramesh said...

Everybody knows that the best ice cream in the world is made by Unilever - Good Humor, Breyers, Ben & Jerrys, Talenti .......

Watch all that ice cream eating, young man. It may be vegan, but its still full of fat.

Sriram Khé said...

Everybody knows that Unilever didn't start these, but merely bought up the ice-cream makers ;)

It is funny how these big corporations buy up the names like "Ben & Jerry's" and retain the names so that customers can be conveniently misled into thinking that these are the independent companies fighting the MNCs ... I suppose one can fool most of the people most of the time ;)

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