December 18, 2021
There are foods people love that stand above all others.
They are delicious, addictive and irresistible.
Ice cream has been a favorite of mine my entire life.
i began my working career at a Foster’s Old Fashion Freeze.
The silky cold of soft serve ice cream made the heat of my summer job melt away.
Whenever i refilled the dispenser i made it my job to taste test that the frozen ice milk was the right consistency, temperature and flavor.
My next job was at Baskin Robbins.
While there are always 31 flavors of ice cream and sherbet in the freezer cases the Baskin Robbins flavor library includes more than 1400 varieties.
My buddy and i would hold competitions for the best sherbet freeze.
My favorite combination was Daiquiri Ice, Pineapple Sherbet and Rainbow Sherbet. Add 7up and mix.
It was an essential part of my job to sample every flavor because people always asked about the taste.
Of course we gave them free samples too.
My favorite ice cream of all time is Pralines ’N Cream.
Mint Chocolate Chip is a close second.
My summer job during college was at the Foremost McKesson ice cream factory.
The factory is near downtown Los Angeles.
The weather in the summer often touched 100° F.
In the anteroom of the warehouse the temperature was 30°.
The factory floor was kept at 0°.
In the conveyor loft the temperature was minus 30°.
Ice cream was mixed and homogenized in the factory adjacent to the warehouse.
The factory filled ice cream containers with a soft, partially frozen mixture.
The containers traveled along a conveyor belt to the loft of the warehouse.
In the loft the containers were lifted on end and lined up in long rows.
These rows were slowly rolled the length of the warehouse past giant freezer fans which froze the ice cream.
There was always a malfunction in the lifter. Ice cream containers were always getting jammed in the mechanism.
One of my jobs was to monitor the lifter.
The homogenized ice cream on the conveyor belt never stopped. The factory never stopped.
When the lifter jammed, containers immediately began to smash into each other.
i had to unload and stack the incoming containers, clear the lifter, melt the spilled ice cream with a blow torch, then place the stacked containers back onto the conveyor in between the ceaseless ice cream coming from the factory.
Once everything was back to normal i could grab one of the broken 1/2 gallon containers, squeeze it and eat it like a push up.
A little known fact is that the broken ice cream containers were carted over to the factory where they were dumped into the chocolate homogenizing tub. When chocolate ice cream tastes a little different to you, that is why.
Even though i wore a heavy parka my shift in the loft was limited to 20 minutes, after which i would go from the minus 30° loft to the 30° above zero anteroom to warm up. After that i spent an hour on the 0° warehouse floor.
On the warehouse floor one of the jobs was catching 1/2 gallon containers as they slid down a ramp on the frozen side of the warehouse. i would catch two at a time and stack them zig zagged onto a pallet.
In one area of the warehouse the forklift driver had made a fort out of stacked ice cream pallets.
This was a great place to take a little break.
The factory also made Bonbons. There was always a broken container of Bonbons in the fort.
To this day i love my ice cream.
i am thoroughly trained as a connoisseur.