In addition to unequivocally being a central component in bringing the boys to the yard, it has given countless generations a thinly veiled excuse to fantasize endlessly about creameries. What? Just me?
In any event, without the frozen delight, freezers worldwide would be nothing more than glorified mini-mortuaries. It's damn safe to say that all confections should pretty much bow down to it and its kissing cousins, because ice cream, gelato, sorbet—they are the alpha and the omega.
To commemorate the inaugural day of The MUNCHIES Guide To Summer, our weeklong venture into all things dog days, we decided to probe the recesses of the true sovereign of summertime, ice cream.
And if you think this has been a news-filled June—what with the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision, the capture of the two New York prison fugitives, and the validation of Obamacare—wait till you hear what's been going on with ice cream. It has become this summer's Forrest Gump, popping up in all the wrong places and causing all kinds of controversy and mayhem.
We start off our intrepid lactose odyssey in The Land of the Crescent Moon, Turkey.
Police in Istanbul were dumbfounded when they received a peculiar complaint from a local ice-cream company. Apparently, the company has one of those long running, dime-a-dozen ice cream promotions; in this case they promised a free ice cream if customers brought in a spent ice pop stick containing the word "free."
Here's the thing: The company that lodged the complaint with local authorities was receiving far more of the promotional sticks then they had actually produced.
It didn't take long for police to discover that most of the counterfeit ice-cream sticks originated from the Sultangazi district in Istanbul. Soon afterwards, two enterprising individuals—who were in possession of a boatload of the fake ice pop sticks and the machine used to produce them—were arrested. Officials are claiming that the counterfeiters had run the operation for over three years and had partnered with several supermarkets to redeem the ice cream prizes and resell them to other, unsuspecting supermarkets in the area.
Talk about an operation of Machiavellian machination. Seriously, though, I'm almost entirely certain that global economics will be reduced to bartering ice pop sticks after the forthcoming apocalypse.
Incidentally, if you aren't trying to get your Robert Redford on by pulling a long con on those fat cats over at Big Ice Cream and want to read about some real Turkish dondurma, check out our article on the David Blaines of Turkish ice cream. Meanwhile, halfway around the world in Thailand, ice cream is creating more havoc. A Thai ice cream company, Wall's Thailand, owned by the multinational mega-corp Unilever, has had some apologizing to do. In some sort of twisted recognition of pride week, the Thai subsidiary posted a picture of a black-bean flavored ice cream with the caption #LOVEWINS.
The problem? Apparently "black beans" is a demeaning slang term for gay men. Commentators quickly chimed in, calling the post "low" and "discriminatory." The Wall's Thailand Facebook page is now covered in appropriate, rainbow-colored ice cream treats and countless #LOVEWINS hashtags, so it seems safe to say that Wall's Thailand is truly repentant. Thailand, after all, is one of the most tolerant and popular countries in Asia for gay visitors. Damn you, ice cream! Just like twins, marine life, and jorts, you just love to make us hate.
Next in our ambling epic of all things ice cream, we head to the adobe mosaic that is the American Southwest.
In a brewing controversy at Burning Man this year, the US Bureau of Land Management has made some pretty eccentric demands of the festival organizers. It allegedly wants the Burning Man organizers to provide them with free M&Ms, licorice, and Chobani Greek Yogurt. OK, not so bad so far, right?
Also, the Bureau has asked for a so-called Blue Pit lodging facility that would have restroom trailers with flushable toilets, a washer and dryer room for laundry, and VIP accommodations in so-called "container apartment" units, according to documents seen by Reuters. Okaaay.
But the piece de resistance? The would-be dessert-butantes from the government are also demanding 24-hour access to a freezer designated solely for ice cream stacked to the brim with Drumsticks, Choco Tacos, ice cream sandwiches, popsicles, and individual-serve ice cream in assorted flavors. You know, it really grinds my gears when people say all bureaucrats are slack-jawed infantilists.
So, what did the organizers have to say in response?
"The Bureau of Land Management is not significantly increasing its staffing this year and it appears to [us] that some of these additional requests are above and beyond what is needed under regulatory requirements for [the Bureau] to administer the permit," wrote Burning Man in a spirited response. Yeah, that ice cream request went way over the line.
And finally, purely for your amusement pleasure—because who doesn't enjoy listening to a child whine endlessly in a supermarket?—check out this video from the great state of Texas. It captures the moment one little boy finds out that, thanks to the recall we've discussed previously, he wasn't going to go home with any Blue Bell ice cream. A brand loyalist, the news hits him pretty hard. We can all relate, can't we?
Because no matter how much trouble ice cream may get into, it's our favorite summer treat—and a lightening rod for all of the ills of humanity.