An ice cream sandwich is one of those magical memories that is capable of bringing me back to being a kid. It represents the culmination of many successful pleas to my parents at gas stations, convenience stores and little country shops, that culminate over a decade of road trips with my family. It represents dozens upon dozens of little successes that went a long way to proving a well dragged out “Plllllleeeeeeeaaaaasssse” could sway the most dismissive of parental moods.
Still, to this day, though, it’s absolutely incredible what a simple thing the ice cream sandwich is. It’s just two soft and simple chocolate wafers surrounding a completely undynamic and unfancy vanilla ice cream. Yet, it’s just one of those perfect combinations that ranks right up there with peanut butter and jelly, salt and nuts, mashed potatoes and gravy. And don’t they go down fast, boy? I mean, what makes that ice cream in there so soft and yet retain the perfect firmness so that it doesn’t seep out the sides when you bite into this delicious, frozen sammy?
Of course, there are fancier versions of the ice cream sandwich. Mrs. Fields, Toll House, and some others will put the ice cream in between a couple of chocolate chip cookies, sometimes even surrounding the outer layer of the ice cream with chocolate chips. They’re very tempting, and I wouldn’t fault anyone for opting in on one of them instead. It’s all lipstick, though. They’re just not better. The cookies are never quality, and they just don’t go as well with vanilla ice cream. And Klondike Bars aren’t ice cream sandwiches, by the way. The Klondike’s hard chocolate covering some vanilla ice cream isn’t any different than a bowl of vanilla ice cream with a heap of magic shell on top. In fact, I challenge anyone to stake claim to a childhood memory of a Klondike.
Before closing, let me please not forget to point out one final celebration of the traditional ice cream sandwich. It’s that wonderful cookie goo that winds up left all over your fingers, no matter how fast you felt you had to eat it because the weather was so hot. Like Cheetoe fingers, it’s a great end to a wonderful experience.
Celebrating this day was explosive for my palate. It was therapeutic for my nostalgia circuits. And it was a great share with my family. Thank you for the memories National Ice Cream Day!
See you Friday for National Watermellon Day.