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Cream in Ice Cream
'Of course you don't need it.'

by Everett Wilson
June 17, 2006

This could be a metaphor for quality of all kinds, and a diatribe against all corruptions of language like "fat-free half-and-half" (How can a product that is half cream and half whole milk be fat free?) but this is a column in  celebration of favorite things, not in criticism of unfavorite things. 
We live in a part of the country which had dairy farming as its principal industry for several generations. While there are still many dairy farmers around, the last two decades has seen a tremendous decrease in their number.  I theorize that ice cream with cream as its principal ingredient is still readily available here because  our neighbors  learned in their youth  to eat ice cream with sufficient cream in it,  and they won't give it up without a fight. 
By "readily available" I mean it is the freezer cases of the supermarkets for $4.50 a half-gallon and $6.50 for a gallon. (Sometimes it is on sale for much less!) In our neighborhood you  not have to buy one of the premium national brands to get enough  cream in your ice cream. 
I can't honestly  say "Good for you" if you claim   the inability to tell the difference between cream and skim milk and declare that one is as good as the other-- any more than I would say "Good for you" if you were to  insist there is no difference  between a piano in tune and one that is not. In the first case you have a deficiency of taste; in the second,   a deficiency in hearing. 
So if, indeed, you are forbidden ice cream by your medical advisors, you may not want my sympathy but you will have it just the same.
I am not recommending ice cream as a staple in anybody's diet. It is a dessert. You don't need it.  It is   food eaten strictly for the pleasure it affords. All of its nutrition can be delivered more efficiently in healthier forms. You don't eat it because it is good for you   but because it is good for you. 
If you don't like it, there is no point in eating it. But if you do like it, it makes sense to get the best you can afford.   
We who are advocates of cream as the principal ingredient of ice cream are not all purists. We may have as an ideal hand-cranked ice cream that contains only   cream, milk, eggs, sugar, and   flavoring, but we appreciate the convenience of commercial ice cream that attempts to live up to the name of ice cream. We gave away our hand-cranked freezer thirty years ago, when we moved away from a community where fresh cream was readily available. We have  kept supermarket ice cream, the best we could afford,  in our freezer from then until now. 
Then, when  we moved here six years ago, we discovered ice cream in the supermarket, reasonably priced. It  tasted like cream, milk, and sugar instead of corn syrup.  Of course we can live without it. But we rejoice that right now we don't have to!

About the Author:
Everett Wilson lives in rural Wisconsin.

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