When someone asks my favorite ice cream flavor I always say “vanilla” — but often to a look of indignant disbelief. “You must be boring” they think. I guess my tastes are vanilla – but I am referring to the real vanilla.
“Vanilla” does NOT mean “flavorless.” Vanilla IS a flavor.
I also think that vanilla complements the true flavor of ice cream better than other flavors. Oh you can have your “50 shades” of different syrups if you want. Maybe you want to try it all, that’s OK. You have the right to experiment a little — but you are deviating from what is really ice cream. If you have to dress your ice cream with all kinds of syrups, nuts, springy-jelly things and the like, then I would say that you are missing the point of ice cream! That weird stuff is NOT a real ice cream experience.
Somehow in your mind all those strange add-on things are taking the place of the real ice cream. I will just mash my face in vanilla thank you.
Just the vanilla ice cream is all I need. Me, my mouth, and the ice cream. I love how I get that “pre taste” from the ice cream just as my mouth glides to it. The anticipation — the excitement — the electricity. Before my mouth is even on it I can perceive the affective flavor. My tongue will glide forward, that’s when I am hit with my favorite flavor. My mouth and the mounds of creamy goodness become intertwined. Real vanilla is rich, deep and luxurious. Toppings? I do not want or need anything weird or distracting.
Vanilla is not “bland” – in fact, real vanilla is a very intense and sumptuous flavor. Vanilla flavor is derived from the orchid pods of Vanilla planifolia, a flower indigenous to Central America. There are three sub-species of Vanilla, the best and most famous is “Bourbon vanilla” aka “Madagascar vanilla”.
Madagascar and surrounding Indian Ocean counties are where much of the world’s commercial vanilla is grown. Check that bottle of vanilla extract in your cupboard! I bet it says that it is a product of Madagascar. I hope it does.
I love the scent and taste of vanilla extract! … as long as it is the real thing. When I purchase vanilla ice cream, I never buy those with “artificial” flavoring. There I might agree … THAT artificial vanilla is boring. You might as well just be eating a picture of vanilla, because “that ain’t vanilla.” Nothing artificial should be part of the ice cream experience.
Let me warn you, there is another way to obtain — quotes: “natural flavoring” — of vanilla. Extract from the anal oil glands of beavers is used to create “vanilla” flavoring. (No, I am NOT making that up.) Now, the real Vanilla sp. plant is very labor expensive because it must be hand pollinated. (The plant can only be pollinated by a species of bee found only in a small region of Middle America.)
The substitute vanilla, made from beaver, is very common in ice cream packaged as “naturally flavored” vanilla. You see, if you create a vanilla-like flavor from an animal – then that legally counts as “natural”. It is just our human taste chemistry. Thus, the best part of a beaver tastes like rich, creamy vanilla.
I admit, I like to eat the beaver on occasion. You have probably licked beaver yourself. It is highly likely that you were munching the furry rodent if have eaten some “naturally flavored” vanilla. Naturally flavored, but not naturally flavored with Madagascar vanilla – naturally flavored with – ahem – you know.
Pick up some “vanilla bean” ice cream today, and dive into its intoxicating creamy flavor.
Starlight: I can’t count how many times I was actually munching the furry rodent.