I don’t watch a lot of TV. I have a few shows that I record (my current line-up includes House, Modern Family, and Dog Whisperer), and I watch them as I walk on our treadmill during these cold, dark, icy winter months. But as soon as the sunshine and safe pavement of spring arrives, I’m outside – and the television is set aside.
Since getting the new puppies, however, I have been watching a little more TV. Every evening after walks and dinner, the puppies and I sit on a chair in the living room and have ‘cuddle time’. This is the one time in the day they are allowed on the human furniture (they have furniture all their own – and ample quantities of it!), and we all sit and snuggle for 20 minutes or so; it’s their reward for being good boys the other 23 hours of the day, and is also a lovely way for all of us to bond. During cuddle time, there isn’t much I can do apart from petting them and watching TV. (Two dogs on my lap doesn’t leave much room for a book, puzzle, or craft; and two dogs means I need two hands available for petting, anyway.) So for the past month, my daily TV consumption has increased by nearly 100%; and I’m learning some interesting things as a result.
A few of the shows I watch during cuddle time include Modern Marvels and How It’s Made. Ever since watching the crayon factory episode of Sesame Street as a wee tot, I have been hooked on seeing production in action. (I think this also helped fuel my fascination with construction gear – but I digress.) On a recent viewing of How It’s Made, the camera crew went to the Dippin’ Dots factory – and I got to see how the teeny tiny pellets of ice cream came to be.
I had seen Dippin’ Dots before as a consumer – at carnivals, amusement parks, fairs – but I never felt compelled to try them. In all honesty, they seemed kind of gross to me. (The unnaturally fluorescent colors alone were enough to turn me off…) But when I saw the behind-the-scenes of how this concoction is produced, I admit that I was intrigued. Hmm…
Interestingly, for the past several months I have been trying to locate a crazy ice cream flavor to try. Something like corn, or wasabi, or avocado… (And yes, all of these flavors really do exist.) But the closest I came to finding something “outlandish” was Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Late Night Snack‘ – a vanilla ice cream base with salty caramel and fudge-covered potato chips mixed in. Kind of interesting, and probably tasty – but just not quite enough of a ‘wow’ factor for me.
In my latest trip wandering the frozen case at the grocery, I did spy a display of “Ittibitz” – a facsimile of Dippin’ Dots. In lieu of locating an exotic flavor of ice cream, perhaps I should try a crazy style of the treat? Eh, why not.
So I purchased the Neapolitan flavor of the pellet ice cream, mostly because I know how real Neapolitan ice cream should taste; so I could do an accurate comparison of traditional treat to crazy confection.
After dinner last night, I decided to crack open the small tub of creamy pellets and complete #77 on the 101 list. But just before I peeled back the lid, I noticed an instruction: “Shake well before opening.”
Hm, curious. (And a wee bit unsettling.) Okay…. So I rattled the tub around a few times, and some of the stuck-together balls dislodged slightly from each other. I guess that’s all that needs to be done…
I removed the cover and examined the brown, white, and obnoxiously pink frozen BBs. They looked so processed and artificial, it’s not even funny.
I tentatively dipped my spoon into the pile, and extracted a small mound of the balls. I slowly raised the spoon to my lips. I can’t believe I’m about to eat this.
I couldn’t help but chew the first bite of granules – my reflexes just took over. Solid food equals chewing in my mind; and at first contact, the little balls do feel pretty solid. However, after 3-4 gentle bites (I have super-sensitive teeth), the pellets kind of melted down a bit and smushed together in my mouth, and formed one solid-yet-soft mass. Definitely interesting.
The overall taste of this ice cream (if I dare call this ‘ice cream’) is pretty poor. It’s quite bland, and has a very ‘waxy’ note (reminiscent of those wax lip thingys that children play with at Halloween…) I can tell that the ingredients used to make this product are super-cheap; the company’s budget must go into processing equipment and marketing instead of sugar and cream…
Still, this little venture was kind of fun. I actually did enjoy the whole textural experience of feeling the cold individual pellets congeal into one cool mass of what could pass for a frozen treat… But now that I’ve tried it once, I don’t think I’ll consume this type of ice cream again. Good enough to say that I went, I saw, I ate – and now I’m done. 🙂