Thursday, September 14, 2006

Beer and Ice Cream

I know it may sound like blasphemy, and my sister Amy will probably call upon whatever Hippie God she worships to smite me down like Lee Corso's rental car, but I've decided--after much research--that Ben & Jerry don't make the best ice cream.

Oh, it's pretty damn good, to be sure, but it's not the best.

I liken it to Guinness beer--a quality product that can justify it's premium price, with legions of loyal fans. But just like Guinness, Ben & Jerry's can sometimes be much too heavy and rich, and it even shares that dark beer side-effect of giving you gas. (Some would say that's a bad thing, but the jury is still out on that one, especially if Eddie B. is on the jury).

So for the most part, Guinness is a special occasion beer for me. I'll drink the Irish Car Bombs on St. Paddy's day, and if I sometimes find myself in an Irish pub, I'll gladly drink a Dublin Milkshake (A pint o' Guiness with a shot of Stoli Vanilla--tastes just like chocolate milk), but you won't find any Guinness in my fridge on a regular basis. It's good, but sometimes it's just a bit much. It's way too heavy for the desert climate in which I live.

So what is my favorite everyday beer?

I love me some Mexican beers with lime, and I dig the occasional microbrew, but I'll have to go with Michelob Light if I'm picking a favorite. It goes with pretty much any kind of food, which a lot of beers don't--no matter how much they'd like you to believe otherwise-- the price is right, and after downing a few of them you don't feel like you just got up from the Thanksgiving table.

If you were to serve a search warrant on my refrigerator, a less-than-six pack of Michelob Light is probably one of the first things you'd find. It tastes damn good, and no matter how many other beers I experiment with, I always come back to it. It's a grocery list staple, just like milk, butter, eggs, tortillas, and bread.

So what do I consider the Michelob Light of ice cream?

I've tried dozens of varieties over the years, and just like my search for good pizza, even the bad ones aren't that bad, but finding a standout has been tough. But I think I finally settled on one--I'm going to have to go with Breyer's, specifically their Mint Chocolate Chip.

The label says all-natural, so I guess that's a good thing, it tastes damn good, it doesn't fill me up, and most importantly, it's the only ice cream I've ever had that doesn't make me thirsty after I eat it. And oh yeah, it only costs about half as much as the hippies charge for their stuff. Of course I don't keep ice cream on hand like I do with beer, but if I were to have an everyday frozen treat, Breyer's mint chip would be it.

I guess that means that I'm pretty much done with Ben and Jerry's. Not that I won't eat it again, but like a bottle of Guinness, I'll likely wait until the next hippie holiday to do so. Maybe next April I'll pick up a pint to celebrate Earth Day Industrial Revolution Day.

In the meantime, I'll treat myself to the occasional bowl of mint chip or an icy cold bottle of light beer. But probably not at the same time.


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