The Bearded Giant loves him some ice cream.
No, you have no idea.
You THINK you love ice cream… but you don’t know.
Have you driven 80 miles each way for good ice cream? The Bearded Giant has, repeatedly. Have you scheduled the start times of your two-day road trips to make sure you passed through specific towns when the places with great ice cream would be open? The Bearded Giant has. Have you waited in line behind sixty people for nearly an hour just two get two scoops of Salted Caramel at Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco? Okay, that last one is a bad example since Bi-Rite is the most-reviewed business of all time on Yelp… There are thousands of people who can say yes to that one.
Anyway. Ice Cream. I lurves it.
So spending a year in a country that doesn’t really do dairy was going to be a challenge. Other expats might bemoan the lack of quality cheese in China, and hey, I love a good Havarti as much as the next guy. But an icecream-less year was simply not in the plans.
Prior to leaving for China, I made sure to build up my reserves by eating as much ice cream as humanly possible for two months straight. Okay. That might be an exaggeration. It’s not like I was having a gallon a day or anything. It was a quart, tops. But it was enough that my first couple weeks here I really didn’t miss it.
And then the reserves ran out.
And like a drunkard getting the shakes, I knew what I needed… Shakes… Or scoops.
Either one would do. Not much for cones. Since that’s just stuff in the way of me eating my ice cream. But in a pinch I could plow through a cone. And things were getting pinchy.
So at two consecutive restaurants that had shakes on the menu, I ordered them. And two consecutive restaurants earned my wrath for betraying the Sacred Trust of Shakes.
Oh, you’re not familiar with the STS? I thought everyone was. It states quite plainly that shakes are to be made from ice cream, and served so cold and thick that you will burst blood vessels in your cheeks if you try to drink them quickly through a straw. Lots of places do a good shake. Whataburger. Steak N Shake. Burgerville. In N Out. I’ve even enjoyed the strange Jalapeno and Peanut Butter shakes at Sonic. Cold and thick and we are good.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of betrayal when you are at a restaurant that serves a damn fine cheeseburger, and you receive THIS as your chocolate and banana shake:
If your shake is properly accompanied by a bendy straw, you are doing it wrong.
Yes, I drank it all anyway. You know me better than that. And sure, it was tasty. But that is NOT a shake. That is chocolate and banana milk.
The quest for ice cream continuing, we stopped by a place that seemed promising. The sign out front even had snow on the characters in the name. Super fancy!
Might have a shot at some real ice cream here! Looks like they have cones and bowls and all kinds of stuff!
Wait a minute.
That center picture looks familiar.
That’s pretty cool.
Just grab any random McFlurry image from McDonald’s and slap it on your sign for your own ice cream!
Mickey D’s isn’t in Changchun anyway. So it isn’t like anyone is going to complain…
What else do they have?
That is one darn pretty sign. Bright and colorful and festive. I mean it really draws you in and gets you excited about…
Wait a minute…
Well at least on these they made the McDonald’s backwards…
Sadly the ice cream was just as fake as the McDonald’s photos on the signage. That non-dairy soft serve that is made from pig spleens and starfish intestines.
Okay, that probably isn’t actually what’s in it. But it doesn’t have ice cream in it either.
Back at Zoo Coffee for another blogging session, and sure enough, guess what they have?
If you guessed cans of Strawberry Crush for only 20 RMB, you’re a mind reader!
But in addition to that, they also have:
Actual ice cream.
Or maybe it’s technically gelato. But either way it’s more than close enough. We have chocolate, and blueberry, and vanilla, and mochi, and uhh… Rum Grape?
Okay, that’s close enough to what the name should be. I suppose they wanted to make the sign say “Rum Dried Grape” but there wasn’t quite enough room.
17 RMB later and Rum Grape was mine.