Tutti Frutti


Here's the permalink to Frightening Albert, the Director's Choice on the Contemporary Art Society website.

I bought some mint and chocolate chip ice cream from the supermarket, and for some reason it reminded me that, a long time ago, some sweet shops used to sell ice cream from tubs in a glass-fronted chilled cabinet. This is where I first encountered flavours other than vanilla. Chocolate, raspberry ripple, strawberry (well, just pink, actually) and tutti frutti, that most exotic of ice creams.

I recall that there were ice creams from bigger shops that came in rectangular blocks, wrapped in waxy cardboard packets with tabs and slots to keep them closed. This was usually either vanilla, or Neapolitan - chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry (well, just brown, cream-ish and pink, actually). The melted remains left a curious and uniquely coloured sludge in the bowl. These packets had to live in the little freezer compartment in the fridge, along with the fish fingers.

That reminded me of ice cream from the ice cream man. Jangly strains of "I'm Popeye the sailor man" announced his arrival in the road. Grown-ups had wafers, and I always wondered why they were so special. Kids had cones. The big advantage of a cone is that you could break off the pointy end, scoop some ice cream from the top, and have your own mini-ice-cream too. This is a free extra. Next you could suck the ice cream through the hole in the bottom of the cone. That required effort, and if you didn't have a powerful enough cheek-collapsing suck - or you timed it wrong - you had ice cream running down your arm. This is why kids are born flexible: so that you can lick your own elbow, all the way back up to the wrist.

Sophisticates also had flakes, hundreds and thousands, chopped nuts, and/or ripple sauce.

Arctic Roll came along next, and our lives were changed forever.

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