Sweet Spot

Sweet Spot

An Ice Cream Binge Across America

Book - 2017
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"A journalist channels her ice-cream obsession, scouring the United States for the best artisanal brands and delving into the surprising history of ice cream and frozen treats in America. For Amy Ettinger, ice cream is not just a delicious snack but a circumstance and a time of year--frozen forever in memory. As the youngest child and only girl, ice cream embodied unstructured summers, freedom from the tyranny of her classmates, and a comforting escape from her chaotic, demanding family. Now as an adult and journalist, her love of ice cream has led to a fascinating journey to understand ice cream's evolution and enduring power, complete with insight into the surprising history behind America's early obsession with ice cream and her experience in an immersive ice-cream boot camp to learn from the masters. From a visit to the one place in the United States that makes real frozen custard in a mammoth machine known as the Iron Lung, to the vicious competition among small ice-cream makers and the turf wars among ice-cream trucks, to extreme flavors like foie gras and oyster, Ettinger encounters larger-than-life characters and uncovers what's really behind America's favorite frozen treats. Sweet Spot is a fun and spirited exploration of a treat Americans can't get enough of--one that transports us back to our childhoods and will have you walking to the nearest shop for a cone"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York : Dutton, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 1101984198 (hardback)
9781101984192 (hardback)
Branch Call Number: 641.862 ETT
Characteristics: 309 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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Indoorcamping
Jan 03, 2018

Food history/food memoirs are what I read the most. I was afraid to read it because I thought I'd just crave ice cream the whole time. Fear not - the whole theme of this book seems to be one of opening your eyes to the reality of where our food comes from and how it's made, even when it's supposed to be bespoke, artisan, home-made, and local.

After learning that my local favorite ice cream sources (added bonus - the location of the story is the Bay Area so us locals are familiar with and, like me, might have actually experienced these treats of which she writes) are made with pre-packaged "base" mixes, I was not so excited about actually eating ice cream anymore. In fact, I kind of got disgusted. What else is cheating me out of a hand-made, local, small-shop, mom-and-pop, quit-your-job-to-make-ice-cream experience?

That said, there's so much journalism and so much research and plenty of going deep on all things tangentially related to ice cream that I feel like I read something educational and fulfilling and rich, like a premium ice cream is supposed to taste. But while actually reading, I felt like I was skimming through something very light and fluffy, like Breyers fat-free vanilla.

Isn't that the best of both worlds? Learning something new while not realizing it? Such a quick read, so personable with the tone, yet so interesting about something you might wonder how someone could actually write a whole book about without getting into chemistry or some other boring side-track. Surprisingly good, just like ice cream made of pre-made, purchased "base."

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