Dreyer’s – Vanilla
One of My Earliest Memories
Ah, yes. The old Vanilla Bean flavor from Dreyer’s. That ice cream brand that most mom’s buy at your local supermarket, because there’s no real point spending money on the good stuff until you can learn to appreciate it. Or that brand most mom’s buy at your local supermarket because they happen to have a coupon.
Anyway, I remember that this was not the first time I’d had ice cream, but it is certainly the first I can distinctly remember tasting- truly tasting. I was probably around 3-4 years old at the time, and ice cream was my after dinner treat if I managed to eat all of my cooked broccoli. It took all I could muster at the time to force my mouth to chew and swallow this solidified bile, and I remember the groans of anguish and I got slowly closer to finishing. After finishing, the taste still lingered, accentuated by the heat like how a dog turd that is still warm is exponentially worse than a cold one.
So as the bowl of ice cream was set before me, I raced to dig in, eager to get this taste out of my mouth. What I found was not only relief, but transcendence. Like a choir of angels singing melodic chords as I savored, and swallowed, my first bite of ice cream.
The ice cream was cool, and like walking into a walk-in refrigerator while sweating, the temperature change seems to envelop you, but not at a rate that is shocking- like jumping into a pool, just… perfect. The taste, while not even extremely potent, was the perfect palate cleanser. It removed every note of the disgusting cooked broccoli, and left it with nothing but a simple sweet melody of vanilla. At this point in my life, I wasn’t even sophisticated enough to mess around with chocolate syrup or whip cream, but I wasn’t even in need of it.
The best part of this memory was the feeling of simple joy that came about after this relief. If you take the total time felt on this earth when I was 3-4, and measured them proportionally to the age I am now, it’d be like I was tasting bile for 2 hours, and then in a single moment went from awful to awe inspiring. I was elated with a sense of happiness, that I am barely able to fathom now that I’m older and jaded. As much as I try to hold onto this happiness, I know there will likely be very few, if any, more times in my life where I experience the same kind of unbridled joy.
Even though I’m not sure I was able to fully describe the taste of vanilla, it’s freaking vanilla. You should know what a cheap vanilla ice cream tastes like. Also, keep in mind this is among the bottom shelf of store ice creams out there, but it will likely always hold sentimental attachment, as the ice cream that started it all…
If you were reading above and wondering, “how did he come up with that math of eating broccoli for 2 hours?” I’ll be happy to answer below.
At ages 3-4 I had not spent very much time on the earth, and therefore everything seemed to take forever. Grocery shopping, church, waiting of any kind; all seemed to last a long time because to me, these were significant portions of my life. So if we note that I’m around 8 times older now that I was during the time when I first remember eating ice cream, then we use the same factor when noting how long it “felt” to eat broccoli. The last portion of any meal (the portion I hated the most would likely take around 15 min to eat.
Using this line of thought, 15 min as a 3 year old would have to feel 8 times longer in order to accurately represent the amount of time it felt like eating in today’s (my current age) standard. Therefore it would be like eating something you despise for 2 hours now as an adult.