Halloween ripple – Happy Gourmand

We have been spoiled in style this October. This week, we have enjoyed sunshine and warmth as if summer were not already over.

I decided I should celebrate such good fortune, so Ella and I went for ice cream.

For me, summer ice cream cones are at least one scoop nostalgia. I love exotic flavours in a cup or bowl, but when I’m outside in the fresh air licking the scoops in a cone, I prefer the classics. 

My favourite is Tiger Tiger. It is comfort and frivolity all wrapped up in a ball. Not the easiest flavour to match with another, but I do love a challenge.

This week, I was inspired by the patterns and chose Banana Fudge Swirl; I can recommend it highly.

I enjoyed my latest cone surrounded by the pumpkins at Paynter’s Fruit Market, the only place I know on the Westside that serves hard ice cream cones.  A wave of melancholy came over me as I considered that the outdoor days for my Tiger ice cream were numbered. 

Suddenly, it occurred to me that some seasonal inspiration might work well… what if it was called Halloween Ripple in October? This could present my cherished flavour to new fans. After all, some of us don’t want pumpkin spice-flavoured everything.

My mind began to whir with ideas… perhaps a whole winter series of flavours could be promoted, with a flavour of the month. Wouldn’t that be a good way to help cheer us through some of the dreariness of those shorter, darker days?

November has a holiday that is generally seen as more sombre in nature, but perhaps we could focus on the respect that goes with Remembrance Day and offer a retro flavour?

Ice cream became generally available just before the First World War and by the 1940s, ice cream parlours were all the rage. Maybe good old-fashioned vanilla should be November’s flavour, encouraging people to make an ice cream float or a sundae?

December is a celebratory month for most, what with Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and many other cultural and religious holidays. Something special is in order… a flavour with more innovation than peppermint, with all due respect to Hagen Dazs and its Peppermint Bark feature.

There is a company in America called Serendipity offering a new flavour called Unicorn Bliss Sundae. It certainly fits the theme of celebrating — this stuff is a party in a scoop.

 It has a vanilla base, studded with pink and blue cookie dough pieces and decorated with a glittery swirl. I don’t want to know how they get edible glitter; I guess that means I’m too old to ride with the unicorns.

Halo Top, another American company that makes light ice cream in decadent flavours, is featuring a Gingerbread House flavour this winter. It also has a few “Canadian flavours”: butter tart, maple pecan and chocolate honeycomb. I will admit, they all sound worth trying.

Perhaps the best way to close out the year with a scoop of ice cream is to find a local parlour that makes artisan products. Tis the season to splurge, right? Then, let’s give back and support a local business while treating ourselves to an extra special dose of happiness. 

By January, the days are getting longer again, but if we really need a boost, my final suggestion is just to stand at the freezer section and see what makes you smile.

It might be vanilla with your own toppings, or maybe it’s a crazy Ben & Jerry’s flavour you don’t have to share. Just remember to share a smile when you’re done licking the spoon.