After an unusual chicken birayani dinner, which for once featured mushrooms and red, yellow and green peppers, I delved into the freezer for dessert. I don’t eat dessert after every meal, only two or three times a week, particularly after spicy Indian food. I was planning on trying out the new strawberry and raspberry frozen yoghurt that I had purchased earlier on in the week, since I had not eaten any fruit flavoured ice cream for a long while. However, as I stood before the food-laden shelves, I suddenly had an inspirational moment, a moment of culinary genius. I had had the opportunity and the idea of putting together four different flavours of ice cream in the same bowl.
I grabbed the four different flavours and put them on the kitchen counter. I carefully spooned out the first flavour of ice cream, which was a beautiful green colour. It was mint ice cream topped with chocolate shavings. Then, I scooped out the ice cream I had originally intended eating by itself. This was the strawberry and raspberry one, which was not the pink colour I had thought it would be, but was an unexpected white, with traces of pink. Next came the Mississippi Mud Pie flavoured ice cream. I dug my spoon into the chocolate portion of the tub, avoiding the vanilla flavoured parts. Lastly came the Cookies and Cream flavour, with its ‘pied beauty’.
I put the tubs and the cartons of ice cream back into the freezer and then began my feast of flavours. The first spoonful was of the flavour I was as yet unacquainted with, the berry flavoured treat. It was subtle and sapid. It was an excellent introduction to the host of chilled desserts at my command. I took the mint next as a palate cleanser, preparing myself for the chocolate rush of the Mississippi Mud Pie. It was rich and comforting, superbly satisfying. I worked my way around these three flavours. I was saving the Queen of the flavours for last: the Cookies and Cream. When I got round to it, it fulfilled every expectation, making me feel all the pleasures of the palate that a dessert can deliver.
And, as I ate, I marvelled at the excellence of the experience that technology has enabled in terms of the frozen dessert. Previous generations had never had access to the explosion and mixtures of taste that I had been able to treat myself to, let alone the immediate access that I had, without any cooking of one’s own. I marvelled at my luck in being in a prosperous Western country which enabled me, the consumer, to have and to be able to afford four different flavours of ice cream in the freezer at once. And I also wondered. I wondered how many people in the world had been lucky enough and so inclined as to combine four flavours of ice cream in one bowl and to feel transported for a few precious moments from this world with all its problems, great and small.