Now we’re talking!
It’s funny how the Ice Cream Sandwich is part of everyone’s childhood. The classic. I can remember it being a treat of choice for us at our summer cottage, The Lake, where we would spend the summer along with my cousins. Hot summer nights after long days of swimming and doing kid things. You earned your end of day treat and savored it. The treats were kept in the basement freezer which you had to access by going outside (through raccoon infested walkways and paths, or so it seemed). Two kids were sent on a mission to be the gatherers, armed with a basket and a flashlight, but when they returned they were met with a hero’s welcome.
I celebrated twice today. First was at work. I picked up a box of the classic Hood Ice Cream Sandwiches on my way in. Rectangular shaped vanilla ice cream bars sandwiched between two chocolate cookies that leaves a coating on your fingers. Why are there holes on the Ice Cream Sandwich cookie? Does the ice cream need breathing room? And can you really call that a cookie?
Anyway, I walked around the office and asked if anyone wanted one as I tried to spread the holiday cheer. I was met with looks of puzzlement but also of delight – which is the way you should react to the offer of an Ice Cream Sandwich. I actually offered one to somebody who was there for an interview. He declined politely, but I wonder what he would have done had he accepted? Do you eat it while you are being interviewed? What do you do with the wrapper? And let’s not forget the Ice Cream Sandwich cookie residue – he still had hands to shake. Wise choice by the interviewee. I feel like someday in the future we will meet again and he will say “Aren’t you the guy who offered me an Ice Cream Sandwich?”
My second celebration came later when I got home. When I knew this holiday was coming (this quest requires homework), I Googled “Best Ice Cream Sandwich in RI.” The first item that came up was Tricycle Ice Cream. They are not officially “The Best” by whoever bestows that title (which I don’t think actually exists), but they had a great website and their sandwiches looked awesome. It’s not a store but really a cart that they take to local Farmer’s Markets and events where they sell their homemade products. These sandwiches were something special. We eventually tracked them down at the Hope Street Farmer’s Market in Providence over the weekend and stocked up for today.
To help us celebrate, we enlisted our Ice Cream Sandwich expert – Laura’s sister Cherie. Cherie has been known to show up to a party with a tub of ice cream and a tray of cookies and then make her own Ice Cream sandwiches. She’s got talent and she knows good food. She’s also very colorful. We tried to get our niece Molly to come over too. Molly who is new to RI has the most distinguished palette I’ve ever seen on a kid – ever since she was a toddler. She’s not the Chicken Nugget kind of girl, so her opinion would be fun. Unfortunately she was under the weather, but she joined us via FaceTime.
We had four flavors to try which were, we think: Horchata Ice Cream with Madagascar Vanilla Shortbread Cookie, Creamy Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Ice Cream on a Dark Chocolate Cookie, Madagascar Vanilla Ic Cream with Espresso Shortbread Cookie and another flavor. When we bought them, they told us what they were, but the packages were not labeled (remember, they are usually just selling to people who eat them right there). Great packaging by the way. I cut pieces of each sandwich flavor and served them to Lola and Cherie as they carefully considered the tastes and combinations.
The Horchata was the overall favorite which was described to us as tasting like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and that’s exactly what it tasted like. The ice cream was great in all but it was the cookie that really made the difference. Crunchy. Flavorful. Homemade. They were all great. The Espresso one was particularly aromatic, almost off-putting at first, but then it grew on you. As Cherie said, “kind of assy, but a good finish.” I told you she was colorful. Our tasting party would highly recommend Tricycle Ice Cream and they were the perfect stars of our Ice Cream Sandwich Day Celebration.
Two days down. This is easy.
Tomorrow: National Watermelon Day. Oh, and my birthday.