15
Apr
13

4.15.13 … all natural Breyer’s vanilla bean is still my favorite! …

ice cream, Breyer’s, all natural, kith/kin, childhood:  I love this not so much for the investigative journalism but for the capturing life when I was a kid.  Breyer’s was magical …

Back then, we knew something was up if our mother returned from ShopRite with a half-gallon of Breyers ice cream. It meant that another 8-year-old first communicant had feigned an understanding of transubstantiation. It meant that someone was celebrating her first birthday, or that someone had seen his last.

Most of all, it meant a reprieve from the cheaper fake version of ice cream that usually defiled our freezer, a store-brand ice milk that tasted like nothing so much as frozen sadness. Ice milk represented dessert as punishment.

Things have changed.

First, as part of typical trompe l’oeil packaging, the cartons now hold 48 ounces, not the half-gallon’s 64. (The good news is that your hands have not become freakishly large; the bad news is that you’re not suddenly much stronger.) Second, that age-old Breyers boast of “All Natural” has been replaced with “Quality,” which is one of those impressive words that loses impact the more you think about it.

Lastly, not all Breyers is what we once understood the name to mean. A Breyers carton in the store’s freezer might be ice cream, but the Breyers carton right beside it, identical in nearly every way, might be something called “frozen dairy dessert” — which, when translated from the original Orwell, means: not ice cream.

Why, Breyers, why?

Before Häagen-Dazs, before Ben & Jerry’s, before ice cream became an artisanal product that could not be fully appreciated unless you had personally squeezed Elsie’s udder — there was Breyers. So: why?

Breyers natural vanilla ice cream: milk, cream, sugar, tara gum, natural flavor. Period.

Breyers extra-creamy vanilla frozen dairy dessert: milk, sugar, corn syrup, cream, whey, mono and diglycerides, carob bean gum, guar gum, carrageenan, natural flavor, annatto (for color), vitamin A palmitate, tara gum.

Granted, the ingredients in Breyers frozen dairy desserts do not include plutonium, or motor oil, or Kraft Singles American Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product. And granted, this is a big country: some people out there might be demanding more corn syrup, less cream, in their frozen treats.

But something more than ice cream is melting away. This is what I brood about, late at night, as I apply basic ice cream to my psychic wounds.

via Remembering When Ice Cream Was, You Know, Ice Cream – NYTimes.com.


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