Today I saw a sight that made me very happy. An ice cream truck that didn’t have the prepackaged Sponge Bob flat thing on a stick that I can’t even really call ice cream, or the blue and red “balls” that come in a cone (I have no idea what these things are that my children seem to relish), but I saw a truck with homeade ice cream being scooped out into homeade sugar cones.
On the side of the truck was this statement:
You probably can’t read it but it says :
“Welcome to the Van Leeuwen Artisan, the original gouremt ice cream truck. We make our ice cream with fresh hormone free milk and cream from local farms, cane sugar and eggs. Our flavors come from the finest small producers all over the world.
Ben Van Leeuwen”
I almost bought the whole truck. I have recently started making my own ice cream and sugar cones and while it’s easy, it takes some time. It’s so much easier to just buy it at the store or more spontaneously from a truck. My kids light up when the old fashioned Good Humor truck pulls around the corner when we least expect it. But I have to say, I cringe when I see what they get. I do have a weakness for the other kind of ice cream truck that has the soft serve. Note: I always get vanilla ice cream with a cherry (it’s red so I call it cherry but it doesn’t have a lick of cherry in it) hard shell.
However, if you can’t find the Leeuwen truck in your neighborhood (I think there’s only the one), then a nice alternative is at your grocery store. I have recently enjoyed seeing the Haagen Daz brand called “Five” with just five ingredients. I love that. You know exactly what you are getting and you can actually pronounce the ingredients.
In this case, the ingredients are: Milk, Cream, Sugar, Eggs and Ginger. While not local or organic, this is a huge step in the right dietary direction.
I certainly don’t want to be the bad guy and take away the ice cream lady’s business or deny my children the happiness they get from that summer tradition of running down the streeet to greet the truck, but there is such a big difference between real ice cream and frozen corn syrup and chemicals that it has definitely made me rethink our behavior at home and limit the truck action to once in a while or when there’s a gang of kids and you just can’t say no.