Recreating the Nutty Buddy

This is a happy story about how, sometimes, you can go home again.

When I was a small child (this would have been a good 45 years or so in the mid-1960s), there was a style of ice cream cone with a sort of top cap of solidified chocolate and chopped peanuts on it. They were sold under the brand name Nutty Buddy, but I think it had imitators as well. I didn’t care; I was barely aware of the brand and I liked them all. Ice cream trucks were more common then than they are now, and when I heard the bell on one of them ringing I knew what I wanted. A Nutty Buddy if I could get one, or an ice-cream sandwich if I couldn’t.

About a year ago my wife and I were out in Michigan for sword training, and one fine day we and Heather the swordmistress rustled up some cold sandwiches and drinks and went for a picnic lunch in a local park. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, and the food was good, and the company was good and – what was that? I heard what could only be the bell of an ice-cream truck! I think it had been literally decades since my last one; I instantly gave chase.

Now, Eric in hot pursuit of an ice cream truck is doubtless a rather comical sight. I have cerebral palsy and don’t run well, tending to galumph across the landscape in what I’m sure looks like a ludicrously slow and inefficient manner. Fortunately, I am fast enough to catch up with an ice-cream truck that doesn’t actually want to outrun its potential clientele. I caught it about a block away.

I discovered as my much more fleet-footed companions caught up with me that the truck did indeed have the object of my desire and immediately bought one. Alas, it wasn’t very good. Cardboardish cone, tasteless ice-cream, and some sort of advanced chocolate substitute on the top. The chopped peanuts were OK. There’s not much you can do to ruin chopped peanuts.

It was one of those cliched moments when you discover you can’t go home again. Either my tastebuds had become more discriminating over the years or the quality of the ingredients had been sacrificed to cut costs – I’m actually betting on both. This was not the stuff of my childhood memories. And so small!

But I said this story has a happy ending. Fast-forward another year to a few days ago. My wife and I had just eaten dinner at a favorite local restaurant of ours with one minor flaw: the desserts they have there are way too sugary and heavy for my taste. That’s generally true at restaurants these days, but I had a fallback plan. We had a pretty decent grade of vanilla ice cream in the freezer at home, and a few days previously we’d bought some Magic Shell on a lark.

Magic Shell, for those of you unfamiliar, is a eutectic mixture of liquid chocolate and vegetable oil that tastes just like regular chocolate sauce and is liquid at room temperature, but is engineered to freeze and solidify at the serving temperature of ice cream. It then becomes slightly chewy in a rather pleasant way.

So we’re tooling home and I had a thought. Ice cream cone! Ha ha! Cathy approved, and we grabbed some from a passing supermarket. When we got home, I figured this was worth doing right. So I built my cone carefully, waited long enough for the Magic Shell to solidify, bit into it – and discovered with a rush of surprise that I had exactly recreated the way a Nutty Buddy is supposed to taste and feel. Excelsior!

Here’s how you can do it yourself:

Start with a suitable quantity of Breyer’s vanilla ice cream. Breyer’s used to be extremely good, and though the quality has suffered in recent years due to cost-cutting it’s still better than average.

Get your hands on some old-fashioned waffle cones. We got some made by the Joy Cone Company in the original 1904 style resembling a rolled-up zalabia waffle; any similar product should do. Do not cheat yourself with the modern styrofoam-light flat-bottomed variety sometimes called a “kiddie cup”; those suck.

Finely dice some Planter’s cocktail peanuts – a teaspoonful will do.

Pack ice cream into the cone with a spoon. Don’t try to mound a big scoop of the stuff on the top; the effect works better if you end up with dense-packed ice cream roughly level with the cone top.

Drizzle Magic Shell on the exposed surface of the ice cream. Spread chopped nuts on top of it. Add another thin layer of Magic Shell on top of the nuts.

Important! Do not eat this immediately, however tempted you may be – the texture won’t be right. Wait for the phase change in your eutectic chocolate sauce, which will usually happen in 30 to 45 seconds. You will know it’s ready when it is no longer glossy-liquid in appearance but a dull and slightly lighter brown.

If you try to lick this confection in the way you would an ordinary ice-cream cone you will not have an entirely satisfactory experience. Eat it with your front teeth, biting off sections of cone along with the topping and ice-cream filling. The textural contrasts of waffle pastry, solidified chocolate, nuts, and the smoothness of the ice cream are very much the point.

And that’s the Nutty Buddy, reloaded. Enjoy!

88 thoughts on “Recreating the Nutty Buddy

  1. Breyers! You amateur! I’ve been making these for years. You got the cones right, anyway. Defintely the old-style waffle cones.

    My first choice would be Stroh’s. Alas, one cannot get Stroh’s Ice Cream in Florida. They evidently don’t ship the stuff this far south. So, sadly, I do end up using Breyers, which actually isn’t too bad. To get this right, though,IMHO you need the Extra Creamy vanilla ice cream, not the plain vanilla. Its smoother and tastes closer to the original ice cream than plain vanilla.

    BTW–for those who really, really like peanut butter, this is really good with the Reese’s Magic Shell. It won’t taste exactly like the original Nutty Buddy, but I’m a peanut butter addict, so I like it that way sometimes.

  2. Money was fairly tight when I was growing up. I’d have the occasional Nutty Buddy from the corner store, but I never had cash to go chasing after an ice cream truck. Looking back on it, I guess my mother was (intentionally or not) training me not to be too impulsive. (Perhaps that’s why I don’t yet have a smartphone.)

    But…

    My grandfather raised cows, and so we always had beef in the freezer, and milk with cream in the fridge. We actually had ice cream fairly often. I remember one time my brother and his friend were taking turns cranking the ice cream out front, and when an ice cream truck came by, they sold some to the driver.

  3. >I remember one time my brother and his friend were taking turns cranking the ice cream out front, and when an ice cream truck came by, they sold some to the driver.

    You win. My family had a hand-cranked ice cream machine back then and the product was pretty good, but we never sold it to a passing truck!

  4. Nutty Buddy has been removed from the iPhone App Store because it violates Apple’s policy of only allowing you to experience enjoyment if they make money from it.

  5. Speaking of changing tastes, one thing I’ve noticed over the years is that I can’t stand the smell of french fries from most fast food places anymore. I don’t know if it’s just my local franchisees, or if my olfactory sensors have come to their senses after years of abstinence, but I honestly feel like retching whenever I have to pick up a combo meal from Wendy’s or Burger King for a friend or family member.

  6. @Brian Scott:

    Could be that (a) they’ve changed oils because of trans-fats, and (b) use the oil too long. The beautiful thing about trans-fats (e.g. hydrogenated Crisco) is that they don’t go rancid.

  7. They used to fry fries in tallow, which probably smells much better than whatever they’re using now.

  8. Tsk, tsk, tsk, you colonials… the reconstituted-from-frozen-mashed-starch abomination known as the ‘french fry’ (I notice your retailers dropped the ‘Freedom’ bit a bit sharpish post 2009) is a Yankee crime against both Humanity and Potatohood. If you knew how they recycled the oil from franchises, you’d feel a bit more than just nauseous!

    The unsullied prototype of this soggy prolefeed monstrosity is, of course, the humble British (or Irish) chip. Take some spuds – King Edwards or Maris Piper are what you want – skin them if you must, then slice thickly: I cannot emphasize this final point too much. The finest chips are those that are fried, not in vegetable oil, but in BEEF FAT – or dripping, as we call it. Add salt to taste, then drench in good quality malt vinegar. End of.

  9. Nice post! And somehow Android wasn’t mentioned! Oops.

    Anyway, I live in Phoenixville and someone’s started running a classic Philadelphia Mr. Softee ice cream truck, with the Mr. Softee jingle bringing back memories of my childhood in Philadelphia. Of course, Mr. Softee expanded beyond Philadelphia where they were founded, so plenty of people know that specific ice cream truck jingle. Breyers — as you noted — is no longer the true premium ice cream it was when it was made in Philadelphia. Unilever bought them and changed things a bit. If you buy plain Breyer’s, that’s going to have fillers like Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum. If you buy the black Philadelphia Style package Vanilla, you’ll be closer to the orgiinal. Just cream, sugar and vanilla beans — but also lots of air blown in, and a lower milk fat percentage than the old days, I believe.

    In my opinion, the best Philly area easily available vanilla ice cream is Turkey Hill Philadelphia Style (once again, a black package). I highly recommend you try that for your next Nutty Butty re-creation.

    Sadly, most of the supposedly “premium” ice creams like Edy’s or Dreyers use fillers and are not really mainly premium in price.

    Oh, and my personal story about Nutty Buddies: I liked them, but was not as huge a fan as my brother. We used to buy them in boxes in the supermarket, and so we had them in the freezer. One time my brother unwrapped the paper covering on his to find that in addition to peanuts frozen into the chocolate top, he had 1/2 a frozen bug. Ewww. I suppose we should have been mercenary and sued like the McDonald’s hot coffee lady and made millions due to mental anguish, but we didn’t. I wonder if my brother is mentally scarred to this day? I’ll have to re-create the Nutty Buddy per your recipe next time he’s in town and wield it like a weapon and see if he recoils. :)

  10. Could be that (a) they’ve changed oils because of trans-fats, and (b) use the oil too long. The beautiful thing about trans-fats (e.g. hydrogenated Crisco) is that they don’t go rancid.

    Which is exactly what I like about FiveGuys. They cook their fries in peanut oil. What McD, BK and Wendy’s are using today is typically canola or corn oil, both of which do, in fact, smell absolutely retched when they go rancid. Peanut oil costs about double what canola or corn oil do, so that’s why fast food places tend to use it.

  11. What? I don’t see any open source recipes!

    You bastards, you killed Nutty Buddy!

  12. >The unsullied prototype of this soggy prolefeed monstrosity is, of course, the humble British (or Irish) chip.

    Speaking as a former resident of Great Britain who has enjoyed chips in their native clime – pish and tosh, my good man! Do not imagine that the American fry is a mere imitation. Of course the version served up by proletarian fast-food joints is inedible reconstituted gunge, but that is because everything they serve is inedible reconstituted gunge. A properly done American fry (confusion to the French!) is a thing of gustatory beauty not to be idly floccinaucinihilipilificated. Make from whole potatoes, thin-sliced, crisp on the outside and tender within, season with salt and pepper and/or paprika. Quite a different experience from Old Blighty’s chip, but in no wise an inferior one.

  13. >Peanut oil costs about double what canola or corn oil do

    Arrgh. Canola oil is a blight upon the Earth. Corn oil isn’t so terrible as long as it isn’t recycled to the point of rancid, but it’s inferior to peanut or sesame oil.

  14. Oh, yeah, and thumbs up to Five Guys. I, too, like their back-to-basics approach to the burger and fries. Actually spending money on decent ingredients = win.

  15. A properly done American fry (confusion to the French!) is a thing of gustatory beauty not to be idly floccinaucinihilipilificated. Make from whole potatoes, thin-sliced, crisp on the outside and tender within, season with salt and pepper and/or paprika.

    I like my fries with Old Bay (not to be confused with Old Spice…).

  16. >I like my fries with Old Bay (not to be confused with Old Spice…).

    Yeah, that’d work, too.

    We’ve got a jar on the spice rack of something called “Auntie Arwen’s Thermonuclear Disaster” – cracked black pepper, 90K HU cayenne, 65K HU pequin, 65K HU chipotle, chili peppers, paprika, thyme, garlic. I should dust that on some fries sometime.

  17. @revsven:

    The fries at Five Guys are made from real, thickly french-cut potatoes, fresh to-order. Don’t knock fries cooked in peanut oil until you’ve had them. Much, much better than the “inedible gunge” served at the fast food joints preferred by proles everywhere.

  18. Enjoy your peanut-oil fries while they last, folks. Inhalation of peanut gases is increasingly likely to send some poor kid to the hospital. We can expect widespread bans in the next decade or so.

  19. I love icecream myself (who doesn’t), but somehow I never developed a taste for the chocolate flavoured, either directly in the icecream or as a sauce. What I do really like is the fruit flavoured ice creams with or without fruity bits. However, this little description of your favourite icecream has set my taste-buds working already.

    I wish you had included pictures.

  20. Five Guys does do a great fry but one of these days I need to take a Friday afternoon off and go into downtown Chicago for Duck Fat Fries at Hot Dougs. http://www.hotdougs.com/

    The place’s scratch made sausages are so good that the line is usually out the door and down the block but on Friday’s and Saturdays they replace the fat in one of the deep fryers with rendered duck fat, and THAT drives the line around the block!

    Cash only, 10:30am to 4pm, M-Sat, and Doug is the one running the register all day every day.

  21. As I read this, I could hear the music from the ice-cream truck coming down our street. My childhood was in the eighties.

    At no other time in my life could I barter with my mother, gather the proper change from her purse, run down the street, and still have time to catch the ice-cream man.

    Sorry, no Nutty Buddy that I remember so I’ll have to try out your recipe. Look forward to it.

    I agree that most ice-cream cones today taste like cardboard. They suck.

  22. >they replace the fat in one of the deep fryers with rendered duck fat

    Oh. My. Sweet. Goddess.

    Next time I am in Chi-town I am absolutely not going to miss this.

  23. >The fries at Five Guys are made from real, thickly french-cut potatoes, fresh to-order.

    I should note for the record that I actually prefer very thin-cut fries. More yummy surface area, if you can avoid making them soggy or greasy which is admittedly more difficult – I think the reason a lot of places have gone to thick-cut in the last 15 years is that they’re harder to ruin with carelessness. The best I’ve ever had were what they called “shoestring fries” at a high-end steakhouse in Baltimore.

  24. You’ve reminded me that it’s time for my monthly ice cream cone. Happily I’m a couple of blocks from the ice cream store the gods come to for really good ice cream. . . .

  25. William H. Stoddard:

    Emack & Bolio’s?

    I used to get my Nutty Buddies from the ice box down at Store 24, where a kid could also stock up on Pop Rocks and Garbage Pail Kid cards.

  26. My sister was a Nutty Buddy fan. (And may still be. The topic just hasn’t come up recently.) Thirty some years ago she was complaining to me that they had changed the name. I suspect that her source had switched to a newer and cheaper supplier, but it’s possible that they really had changed the name. Anyway, the new name was Dr. Fun, which she said sounded more like a sex toy than an ice cream treat.

  27. *Rendered duck fat* ?!?!? That’s gotta be good…like chips cooked in lard.

    There’s no hope in hell of me dragging my ass up to Chicago…but the inventor of this is truly a beautiful person.

    BTW, your Nutty Buddy sounds a lot like the British Cornetto

  28. Now there’s an idea – a hacker’s ice cream truck. They drive by with good ingredients and you get to put together your favorite concoction. Locally, we have a steakhouse that let’s you pay for the privilege of cooking your own meat. It seems to be a successful business model for them; I’d bet the same could be done with desserts/ice cream.

  29. Nutty Buddy has been removed from the iPhone App Store because it violates Apple’s policy of only allowing you to experience enjoyment if they make money from it.

    The 60 cycle hum exists everywhere. ;)

    Five Guys has stupendous fries. Their burgers are not quite up to In and Out, but the fries are so much better that I’d choose Five Guys over In and Out if I ever had to make the choice.

    It is completely worth taking the time to learn how to make your own ice cream. David Lebovitz has a very good cookbook which produces solid results. The key is making your freezer really cold, and paying attention to the step where you chill the ice cream mix overnight before making the ice cream. If you don’t chill, the home ice cream makers will spend too much energy on getting the mix cold. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams just released a cookbook that calls for cream cheese rather than egg custards, which I haven’t tried yet — if it works, it’ll remove the tricky part of making good ice cream at home. Egg custards are finicky. But worth it.

    Also, the Jeni’s book recommends chilling the mix in an ice bath using a ziplock bag. Which is interesting, and may also work.

    The Cuisinart ice cream makers are under $100 for a 1 quart model. It’s more expensive to make your own ice cream than it is to buy even premium ice creams from the store. But, hey, what are your taste buds worth? And I can’t buy chocolate chile ice cream at the supermarket.

  30. @Jeff Read: From Boston, eh? That explains your politics and general attitude, at least. My Nutty Buddies came from the corner store as well. It was probably, at that time, a Lawson’s or, later, a Dairy Mart. (These were eventually bought up by Alimentation Couche-Tard, who closed most of them, including the corner store down the street from where I grew up — other stores, further south, became Circle K stores). The location was later purchased by a couple of Chaldean brothers.)

    Lawson’s Chip Dip is still, AFAIK, sold by Circle K stores in Ohio and, FTR, is still the best French Onion Chip Dip known to mankind.

  31. I would also suggest using homemade ice cream (my favorite way to make it is with liquid nitrogen, but I’m crazy like that). Blue Bell makes a good vanilla, but it’s only available in the south.

    I’m going to have to cook some duck breasts soon then use the fat to fry potatoes in. It does sound delicious. I’ve fried a quick bread dough in rendered beef rib roast fat. I’m salivating just thinking about it. Short story long, if you’re frying something the flavor of the fat matters.

  32. Hah Morgan you beat to the punch on the exact words of my planned first sentence.

    I’m Boston born and raised (well, Boston, and some northern New Hampshire); but now live by deliberate choice, in north Idaho. Take whatever political implication you might wish from that.

    I liked getting my nutty buddys (and they were my favorite as well) from Curtis Compact, Tedeschis, and AM/PM. The nearest Store 24 to me was on Blue Hill ave in Mattapan; and while as a 7 year old white kid I lived on River street (actually standard street, just off River) and would walk east to the Star Market in lower mills, I wasn’t stupid enough to walk any further west.

    As I remember them, the nutty buddy had about 3/8″ of semisolid chocolate with VERY salty peanuts embedded therein.

    Mass market chocolate in the U.S. today, is made with less chocolate solids, less cocoa butter, and less butterfat; and more cocoanut, palm, or other vegetable oils, and more sugar. It doesn’t have either the savory to sweet balance, or the richness and mouthfeel that it used to.

    I found that in the last few years particularly, candy bars just don’t taste nearly as “satisfying”, and I believe it’s this substitution of cheaper fat and more sugar.

    For those of us out west, “Blue Bunny” brand gives a slightly better vanilla than Breyers.

  33. “The 60 cycle hum exists everywhere. ;)”

    I thought that comment rather funny.

    Here in Australia many of the mass produced ice cream treats still use “real” ingredients (as opposed to imaginary ingredients). They have a brand “Magnum” that makes those frozen-confection-on-a-stick things (can’t remember the name) and their Chocolate Carmel is worth getting fat over. I only buy them one at a time from the local IGA so at least I have to walk there.

  34. My grandfather had a summer place in upstate New York in a little village called Burlingham. Old George Hamilton ran the general store. (He was also the postmaster.) If you asked for an ice cream cone, he would get a special double cone (it branched out at the top), open a half-gallon box of the ice cream flavor that you requested, cut a one inch thick slice of the stuff and put it in the cone. You got quantity as well as quality from him.

  35. I’m surprised at the Ice Cream snobs on here.

    Making ice cream at home is not a herculean task. I’ve got a tabletop ice cream maker with the freezer built in.

  36. I’m lucky to have a place nearby that sells quality ice cream, Screamin’ Mimi’s. They make it in-house. They change their flavor selection regularly (with a few year-round standard flavors,) and they’re always experimenting with interesting flavors like lavender and pumpkin. This is in California, so portions will be comparatively small and prices somewhat steep, but if you’re ever in Sonoma County for any reason, I’d strongly suggest checking them out:
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/screamin-mimis-sebastopol

    Their best flavor: Mimi’s Mud. Coffee-flavored ice cream, with caramel and fudge stirred in. I always get a double scoop of that on one of their in-house waffle cones.

  37. I’ve enjoyed this thread. While everyone has their preferences, I postulate that there is no such thing as bad ice cream, only degrees of goodness. At least, that’s how I remember the truck that passed by my grandmother’s house at irregular intervals.

    The beauty of the ice cream truck is that it honed your timing (only a limited time to react when you hear the music), sharpened your powers of persuasion while under pressure (my grandmother was a peach but had an understanding of the value of money that transcended mine), provided healthy exercise (the stop sign at the end of the block was the last chance to catch the truck in my case, a 200+ yard dash then the truck made a right turn onto a busy street), and rendered an appreciation for the results of a well executed plan.

    Who cares what the ice cream was like? The thrill was in the chase…

  38. For those of us out west, “Blue Bunny” brand gives a slightly better vanilla than Breyers.

    We have Blue Bunny here in Florida, too. It’s not too bad. I still prefer Breyers Extra Creamy Vanilla.

  39. @Kevin:
    “I postulate that there is no such thing as bad ice cream”

    I think that can be trivially falsified, modulo the no-true-Scotsman fallacy.

  40. Did anyone else ever notice that the guy driving the ice cream truck always looked like he came straight from a Cheech and Chong movie?

  41. @ William

    I never thought I’d get into a debate about the relative value of ice cream, but here goes…

    From Wikipedia (I had to look it up)…
    No true Scotsman is an intentional logical fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion.[1] When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim, rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it.A simpler rendition would be:

    Alice: All Scotsmen enjoy haggis.
    Bob: My uncle is a Scotsman, and he doesn’t like haggis!
    Alice: Well, all true Scotsmen like haggis.
    When the statement “all A are B” is qualified like this to exclude those A which are not B, this is a form of begging the question; the conclusion is assumed by the definition of “true A”.

    My postulate did not have a B component, a counterexample to the universal claim.

    Unless one can find a provable example of bad ice cream to pose as a counterclaim, the no-true-Scotsman fallacy argument doesn’t work as far as I can tell. “True A” prevails.

    Slurp, slurp.

  42. In these parts, they were called “Drumsticks”, and they were my favorite snack after I learned how “Sidewalk Sundaes” earned their name. Mine didn’t even make it one block towards home.

    I stopped one of those trucks a couple of years ago, and to my surprise and shock, what used to cost fifteen cents was now costing a buck and a half, or a bit more. The sad part is that it is probably about the same after you correct for inflation, but my sticker shock didn’t listen to rational argument. I haven’t stopped one of those trucks since.

  43. When I was a little kid, around 1970 or so, my mom brought home a dessert — instant, I think, because she served in one of our bowls — that tasted like some kind of strawberry mousse with a chocolate shell on top. I thought it was incredible at the time, but never found out what the name of the product was or saw it since.

    Any ideas on what this was?

    I’ve attempted to recreate it myself, with little luck.

  44. @Kevin:

    I’ve had icecream that was not good. As in bad. As in ice crystals flavored white.

    Now, one can then say “That’s not Ice Cream by definition x, sub paragraph b, it’s Iced Milk or Ice Milk Product” or some such (which is why Velveta, despite being made entirely of the not-rectangular bits craft cuts off it’s cheese wheels, is sold as a “pasturized cheese product”). But like Sex and Pizza there does exist SOME out there that is bad.

  45. Pierre,

    The drumstick is a distinctly different thing. It has an entirely different flavor, taste, and texture; and considerably more ice cream; but less nuts. It’s still a mass market brand available in most supermarkets (whereas the nutty buddy mostly is not).

  46. @ Kevin:

    Mostly because I never thought I’d get into a debate about the relative value of ice cream either, but simply could not pass up the (probably) once in a life time chance.

    The Google search terms are: ice cream recall

    As no one has defined the term ‘bad’ in the context of this debate I contend that any ice cream recalled by it’s manufacturer, for whatever reason, is by definition ‘bad’.

    Which should satisfy the ‘provable example of bad ice cream’ you asked for.

    I have no idea why making this comment was such fun –novelty of subject matter value I suppose.

  47. Morgan, a very good alternate to Breyers, now available in FL, is Blue Bell. They still make HALF-GALLON containers. NO shilly-shallying about with the packages size to maintain a price point. And the flavors have remained consistently good for years.

  48. @Mike Runs:

    Blue Bell is pretty good, but I’m sometimes disappointed in some of their flavors. Their plain vanilla is great — when you can get it as opposed to the French Vanilla that, for some reason, my local Wally World seems to always have more of.

  49. I hope you’re confusing Breyer’s and Dreyer’s (aka Edy’s), though that’s unlikely.

    I grew up on Breyer’s- it wasnt’ all that good. Money was always tight, but store brand ice cream was just too nasty so we had Breyer’s, in the half-gallon cardboard boxes (if we let my dad but it he’d *always* buy Neapolitan, though noone could ever stomach Breyer’s strawberry) The vanilla came with genuine wood chips mixed in, to simulate pieces of vanilla bean. For anyone who understands (like Chris) Breyer’s is a definite step down from Brighams- it has less milk fat and more air. Once I discovered the world of premium ice creams I never looked back.

    Now to be a contarian… I’ve always hated, loathed and utterly despised peanuts. I would always be the one kid who got orange sherbert from the ice cream truck.

  50. @meat.paste:

    I would also suggest using homemade ice cream (my favorite way to make it is with liquid nitrogen, but I’m crazy like that).

    Where you get liquid nitrogen from, and what is your recipe?

    I’m going to have to cook some duck breasts soon then use the fat to fry potatoes in.

    I recommend duck breast baked in honey (thyme honey if you have it)… mmmmm….

  51. Five guys is excellent.

    I confess that as a child of the 90s, the ice-cream truck probably only carried the poor-quality Nutty Buddy mentioned in the story. Nonetheless I thought they were great, so probably I’d enjoy this homebrew version even more.

  52. I ate at Five Guys for the first time yesterday. I’m not impressed. The burger was lame, the fries were not “the best”, nowhere near In-and-Out.

  53. I was fortunate enough to live in Heidelberg, Germany from August of 83 to June of 86. I was 8 when we arrived and just shy of 11 when we moved back to the States. My earliest memories of the ice cream truck are rooted solidly there. He would roll slowly through the base housing and have a line of hungry little army brats on every block. There was a menu, but it consisted of flavors, cone styles, spaghetti-shaped creations, banana splits, you name it. The little VW bus was a rolling Baskin Robbins as far as we were concerned. A cone and one little scoop was something like 25 Pfennig, with extra scoops another 10 or 15. Pocket change. It was heaven.

    When we moved back to the US, to Ft. Bliss, I made a mad dash for the first ice cream truck to roll past our new home. How disappointing! It was full of the same pre-packaged crap Mom bought at the grocery store. I didn’t purchase ice cream from a truck until sometime within the last few years when my kids asked me what was making that strange music.

    I hope the Germans are still lucky enough to have those trucks.

  54. @William and D. Hensley:

    This is getting fun. OK, I’ll try to refute your excellent points.

    The original postulate in its entirety…”I postulate that there is no such thing as bad ice cream, only degrees of goodness.” In the second post I stated…”Unless one can find a provable example of bad ice cream to pose as a counterclaim…”

    Your posts centered around the notion of defining what a “provable example of bad ice cream” might be. No such thing exists, and here is why…

    The quantifying term “degrees of goodness” contains an infinite number of possibilities. Collectively, these possibilities encompass all possible quality levels of ice cream. Therefore, even a “provable example of bad ice cream” falls within that range of possibilities. The term “provable example of bad ice cream’ only acquires meaning if one can attach a reference point or frame to the discussion.

    Here’s an interesting treatise relating to the condition of a glass with water in it…http://www.socsci.uci.edu/imbs/McKenzie1.pdf

    In my original post, I did not explicitly declare a reference point for the postulate. But it doesn’t matter. From one reference point, a particular serving of ice cream is bad. From another reference point, that particular serving of ice cream is simply less good than some other servings.

    From the reference point of a cynical 55 year old, I can certainly agree there are examples of bad ice cream out there. Using that reference point, Santa Claus doesn’t exist, either.

    But from the reference point of a young boy who just caught up to the ice cream truck and traded someone else’s money for a frozen concoction wrapped in paper on a hot summer day, all ice cream is good although some might be better than others, and Santa Claus is alive and well.

    For today, I choose the young boy’s reference frame…

    #sticks tongue out and makes face#
    :)

  55. A “bad” ice cream is any ice cream you quit eating before its all gone. Or choose not to eat at all, even if free. I’ve had a couple of those.

  56. @SPQR:

    So any serving of ice cream over half a gallon or so can be expected to be bad? :-)

  57. Morgan,

    @Jeff Read: From Boston, eh? That explains your politics and general attitude, at least.

    Well, this particular Store 24 was in Connecticut. Though Boston is where I am now. Gotta love a state where there’s actually a referendum to repeal the state income tax — and the voters decide, “no, we want our income tax, give us that back!”

    Lawson’s? I saw those in Japan!

  58. Easy steps to make bad ice cream:

    1) Buy a normal carton of ice cream.

    2) Turn the freezer temperature way, way down, put the ice cream in and wait a few days.

    What you will get — provided you can chisel it out of the carton — is a mix of freezer-burned ice cream and crystallized ice that is most unpleasant to eat. Et voilà, bad ice cream.

  59. >and the [Massachusetts] voters decide, “no, we want our income tax, give us that back!”

    What a disgusting bunch of sheeple. Makes me feel a bit ashamed to have been born there.

  60. >What a disgusting bunch of sheeple. Makes me feel a bit ashamed to have been born there.

    I lived there for some years, and have family there. My sister lives in Barney Frank’s district. Before the 2010 election I spent some time explaining to her at some length Frank’s contribution to the ‘housing crisis’ and our current economic disaster. I even told her about some of Frank’s other little odd bits of history, like using a prostitute and liking him so much that he hired him on his staff. And said prostitute then running a bordello out of Frank’s own house, likely with Frank’s knowledge (she gets all her news from the Boston Globe and the Sunday NYT, she needs a little help).

    She voted for him anyway.

    Some people are just bound and determined to, well, be wrong. But they stay true to their _feelings_. (Frank *cares*, and Republicans are mean and selfish…. GAH).

  61. @ Kevin

    I think you are using a form of Zeno’s problem to postulate that there can never be ‘bad’ ice cream because there will always be some (however infinitely small) value of worse ice cream, making whatever ice cream one is claiming as being ‘bad’ still better then some other sample always existing which would be at least slightly worse.

    If that is the position you are taking, then I would contend that by the same definition, there can never be ‘good’ ice cream.

    Which soon leads to the conclusion there is no ice cream, either good or bad.

    Which I suspect shows that your attempt at side stepping the issue of clearly ‘bad’ (manufacturer recalls it because it could kill) is a logical fallacy.

    But not a bad attempt in an existentialist sort of way.

  62. @D. Hensley

    You’re right, I am side stepping the issue, and I am still suffering pain from the logical contortions I’ve had to make to support the position.

    But I am willing to endure that pain for the privilege of defending a reference frame where ice cream exists, is always good, and Santa Claus lives…

    Happy slurping…:)

  63. Since I’ve never seen a “Nutty Buddy” I can’t compare directly, but in the Chicago area the brand name I know is “Drumstick”.
    (pierre, “these parts” has negligible information content.)

  64. Edy’s has a very nice ice cream called slow-churned. It is lighter and creamier than regular ice cream the texture is very nice.

    I’m surprised no one mentioned Ben and Jerry’s. It is always good, if a bit pricey. I rarely get it because I don’t want an ice cream called liberal nutjob swirl or something.

  65. @ Kevin

    Oh good, now excuse me while I join you over there ‘where ice cream exists, is always good, and Santa Claus lives…’

    Might be a case of me wanting to believe sweet lies… but how sweet they are.

    Now, if you don’t mind, me too –‘slurp, slurp…’

  66. What a disgusting bunch of sheeple. Makes me feel a bit ashamed to have been born there.

    Well shoot, now you know how I feel! I was born in the Dallas Metro.

    I lived there for some years, and have family there. My sister lives in Barney Frank’s district. Before the 2010 election I spent some time explaining to her at some length Frank’s contribution to the ‘housing crisis’ and our current economic disaster. I even told her about some of Frank’s other little odd bits of history, like using a prostitute and liking him so much that he hired him on his staff. And said prostitute then running a bordello out of Frank’s own house, likely with Frank’s knowledge (she gets all her news from the Boston Globe and the Sunday NYT, she needs a little help).

    You left out said prostitute lying about the facts of this case in order to have a scandalous story to sell to book publishers and movie producers. Frank kicked him out once he found out what was going on.

    You also left out the Republican who tried to get Frank booted out of Congress later being arrested for soliciting gay sex in an airport bathroom.

    And hey, at least ol’ Barney didn’t try to cover up his activities by getting the public record classified like G-Dub did. The Dallas Observer ran police blotter reports of George’s fun with booze, blow, and hookers throughout the 80s, but you can’t get those back issues, not even with a FOIA request because that info is classified by the federal government.

  67. @ D Hensley

    I’ll meet you at the truck…

    @esr

    Thanks for starting this thread, it has been fun.

  68. You also left out the Republican who tried to get Frank booted out of Congress later being arrested for soliciting gay sex in an airport bathroom.

    Well, hell, Jeff — soliciting gay sex in an airport bathroom is a victimless crime, and you ought not criticize people for victimless crimes.

  69. Well, hell, Jeff — soliciting gay sex in an airport bathroom is a victimless crime, and you ought not criticize people for victimless crimes.

    It’s not the act itself. It’s the hypocrisy. Trying to get a well-regarded Congressman kicked out of office for soliciting a prostitute while you’re doing the same shit yourself is the act of a fucking hypocrite. You know, like claiming to be “pro-life” while voting to send Americans to die — and kill — in a needless and illegal war. Hypocrisy has become something of a Republican hallmark.

  70. I forgot my snark tags. Sorry! (Short sincere form: I agree with you on all counts, and I don’t think it’s anyone’s business who pays who for sex. I find this issue is often the way you tell the difference between a real libertarian and a Republican who wants to feel special.)

  71. “Unless one can find a provable example of bad ice cream to pose as a counterclaim, the no-true-Scotsman fallacy argument doesn’t work as far as I can tell. “True A” prevails.”

    Actually you’ve got the logic backward. Jay Leno said it best:

    “Even bad pizza is still pizza.”

    Apply that to ice cream….

  72. @Jeff: No actually hypocrisy is something of a politician hallmark, though generally only Republican hypocrisy gets reported.

    Personally I don’t care much about gay sex, and I’m ambivalent about prostitution. I find it personally unpleasant, but that’s not a big deal… it’s still two free people entering into a contractual arrangement for services rendered. What really gets me is that it’s often really just a cover for honest-to-goodness slavery.

    However, what you don’t know is my *sister*. She’s very hostile to prostitution, as she finds it inexcusable exploitation. What she didn’t know is that her wonderful rep was paying money to further such inexcusable exploitation… repeat: *she didn’t know*. This well-informed woman-of-the-world, reader of the Newspaper of Record and it’s little New England mini-me… She even told me I was lying, until I offered references. *shrug* If you’re going to make decisions, even bad ones, they should be based on knowledge of the facts.

    The severity of your reaction is interesting, though. One wonders if you are being honestly Christian (“let he who is without sin throw the first stone”) or just cynically contorting for political advantage.

    As to ice cream and MA… can you still find Brigham’s ice cream in stores?

  73. What’s the Boston Globe got to do with it? They called for Frank to resign when the scandal originally broke.

  74. The treasure of my childhood which has gone straight downhill is Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies. Was that nasty aftertaste added, or did I fail to notice it when I was a kid? For calibration, Stella Dora cookies always tasted weird to me.

    I didn’t like nuts that much when I was a kid, I went for the vanilla bars with a chocolate shell.

    Opinions about Ben and Jerry’s? I’m rather fond of it.

  75. @Bryant:

    Well, hell, Jeff — soliciting gay sex in an airport bathroom is a victimless crime, and you ought not criticize people for victimless crimes.

    I realize you’re saying this at least partly in jest, but:


    The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area. Craig then proceeded to swipe his left hand under the stall divider several times, with the palm of his hand facing upward.

    I honestly don’t know how I would react if someone solicited me in this manner, but my initial instinct would probably be that a grown adult who would deliberately mess with me while I am on the can is evil.

  76. @Nancy: You too, with the Chips Ahoy?

    They’re definitely different than they used to me… they’re more shelf-stable now, but the taste and texture have both definitely gone downhill. Not only do they taste worse, but they feel worse- harder, and more than a little brittle and crumbly. Even the chocolate in the chips is distinctly worse than it used to be.

    Not a childhood thing, but does anyone remember what Au Bon Pain chocolate croissants used to be like? 20+ years ago when i first had one, it was a revelation. The pastry was crisp and buttery and the chocolate filling was dense, incredibly rich and just a little creamy. Now… they suck. The ‘pastry’ is generic and bread-like and the filling is like mediocre bar chocolate.

  77. @Jakub Narebski
    I’m fortunate enough to have a supply of LN2 at work. I liberate some occasionally to make ice cream for school groups or boy scouts (with some left over for me). I can go to the local air products / praxair company to get a dewer, but my out of pocket costs are considerably higher :) The big bonus to LN2 is that everything freezes fast. I like to crank up the butterfat content (sub in cream for half and half and sub in half and half for whole milk) add some high quality ingredients (I’m fond of Ghirardelli’s 60% cacao chips melted into the cream mix. Something close to a ganache, but only about 20% chocolate by volume.) The freezing process is so fast that ice crystals are very small. The result is a very rich, flavorful and smoooooooth ice cream.

    @Greg
    Your sister says, “Republicans are mean and selfish.” For individual rights, this is generally true. It is also generally true of Democrats. Both of our parties are much more supportive of the status quo (surprise!) and those who donate to their re-election campaigns (surprise again!). As someone who is not a multimillionaire, it means I have much less direct input into the governmental system than a lobbyist, corporation, union, or mega rich person does. All I can do is vote and write letters (one of my senators is so blithe that when I write him a letter against his position, I get letters back saying thanks for agreeing with him. Grrr.) Now I’m all angry. I think I’ll cool off with a dish of ice cream…

  78. @All

    I live just 90 short minutes from the Blue Bell factory (hate to call it that, the stuff is so good). I highly recommend anyone visiting the Austin area to take a detour out to Brenham. The drive is beautiful and the ice cream is twice as good coming straight from the tap.

  79. In Montana, we have a local company named Wilcoxson’s which still makes excellent ice Cream. I’m not sure if the local walmart carries it, but the local Albertsons stores usually have a section, and they seem to be doing well. They don’t have a Nutty Buddy, but they have something similar called the Nutty Royale, which as near as I can tell still tastes as good as it did when I was a kid. :) I also discovered on an ice cream truck this weekend that they make a delicious huckleberry ice cream sandwich. If you ever make it out this way, I reccomend trying it.

  80. This just in…

    Apple Computer (AAPL) has purchased the trademark assets of the Solo Cup Company for an undisclosed sum. These include trademarks passed from the Seymour Ice Cream Company through the Sweetheart Cup Company including the trade name “Nutty Buddy.”

    In related news, Apple has initiated legal action against Wilcoxson’s Ice Cream Company of Livingston, Montana, makers of the Nutty Royale ice cream cone, and Purity Dairies of Nashville, Tennessee, makers of the Nutty Buddy ice cream cone. In both actions, Apple is alleging trademark infringement on its “Nutty” trademark. An Apple spokesperson stated that ,”You just can’t throw the word nutty around without including us.”

    :)

  81. @ESR:
    > What a disgusting bunch of sheeple. Makes me feel a bit ashamed to have been born there.
    To me, that seems like a fiscally responsible, grown-up decision. Unless they were running a huge surplus or something.

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