Saturday, September 02, 2006

Custard fatigue

Orange Dream

Custard custard custard. I love it. I take pictures of it and eat it and when it gives me a stomach ache I don't care. But sometimes I just don't like it. Like the other day, when I tried this orange dream custard at Kopp's. It was ok but it didn't have any wow factor. It didn't taste like real orange. It wasn't as rich and creamy as plain vanilla. It was supposed to be like a creamsicle but it was missing the contrast of the hard shell against soft ice cream. A creamsicle would have been better and this brought on an overwhelming dejection. Maybe you are like me and can understand that a disappointing few spoonfuls of something you were hoping would be so so good can spoil your mood.

Kopp's Frozen Custards

A while back I started this Kopp's Frozen Custard flickr photoset. May I remind you that Kopp's always serves chocolate and vanilla in addition to their two daily flavors. To find out what a day's flavor is, you can go to the website or call the flavor hotline, 414-282-4080. I keep the Kopp's website in a toolbar bookmark for quick checks of the daily flavor whenever I feel hungry and also many times when I don't.*

I started the project as a way of coaxing myself to try out the different flavors and open up my palate. I used to track their flavor calendar to choose which days to go for custard so that I could always have my non-vanilla favorite, grasshopper fudge (which is mint custard with chunks of chocolate fudge). Sometimes I would go without even knowing the daily flavor, intending to have chocolate or vanilla. Between these three flavors, my custard needs were being met very well. But I would drive past the flavor-of-the-day sign on I-43 and wonder, maybe I'm missing something by never trying tiramisu or strawberry or German chocolate cake. So when I started taking pictures of custard, I decided I would try as many as possible and having this little project gave me an incentive to keep trying new things.

Turns out I don't like any flavors very much other than the ones I already liked. The only real discovery was mint chip, which is grasshopper fudge with chips instead of fudge. Black raspberry is good too and I like the caramel flavor custard, though it really should be more intense. Most of the other ones I could do without. I don't like ice cream with lots of chunks of stuff in it (like most Ben & Jerry's flavors). And since Kopp's vanilla, chocolate, and mint are all so submile, all the other flavors have a hard time measuring up.

But I keep on pursuing my dream of tasting all the flavors. Now that I'm in the middle of it, the project is like the sun or the seasons, always there. And like when I play video games, I have become focused on completing the task even as the task itself has ceased to have much appeal. I just want to do it, to accomplish what I started. The goal is actually probably unachievable, since Kopp's has more than 200 flavors (so far I have taken pictures of only 19) and occasionally introduces new ones. There is only so much custard a person can consume, even the person with the only Kopp's custard flickr photoset in the entire history of the universe.

*What else is on my bookmarks toolbar? Glad you asked. The Thomas the Tank Engine site, flickr, the New York Times, the site of a professional organization of which I am a member, the page you are reading now, gmail, statcounter, zap2it, the pages of the public and campus libraries, google news, and drop-down menus in categories for links pertaining to various scholarly and not-so-scholarly projects I have been undertaking. To make them all fit, I abbreviate the names, so my Kopp's bookmark actually is just a lower-case k.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know exactly how it feels to get cranky when an eating experience doesn't live up to expectations. I felt a little that way when we got ice cream last month at the University Creamery at Penn State with my choice of flavor, called something like Teeny Weeny Beany, chocolate with chocolate chips and bits of vanilla bean. The chocolate was so intense that the wonderful rich dairy flavors of the ice cream couldn't be appreciated the way they can be with vanilla or peach or some milder flavor.

BTW, Haagen Dazs (sp?) has a great flavor, black raspberry with chocolate chips in it.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Mrs. M. said...

In an attempt to be all adult and adventurous I once got watermelon custard instead of the whatever chocolate glop that was the flavor of the day. Watermelon custard was awful: it looked, smelled and tasted like hand lotion.

The flavors of the day are often dissappointing, but I still try them every time I go to Kopp's. Then I end up swiping spoonfuls of the boyfriend's chocolate custard.

12:19 PM  

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