Honey Graham Ice cream is really good…Like REALLY good. I mean like get me out of bed before Noon on a Saturday, good. Sadly, this life changing realization wasn’t one that I made until last week. That was when, for the first time, I dug the unbelievably ineffective FFC ice cream scoop into the ice box of death (A title I gave the cooler, partly because the amount of ice cream I get from that box cannot be good for my arteries, but also because every time I try to scoop ice cream from it I feel like I’m going break my wrist). When I emerged from the cooler I had a new addition with me, it was about 3 inches in diameter, perfectly golden brown, and smooth as hell. I sauntered over to the table with what I thought was just another scoop of frozen dairy product, sat down, and dug my spoon into the velvety richness. I put that first bite in my mouth and immediately my eyes lit up. The light caramel flavor complemented with hints of fresh honey and chunks of graham cracker pieces was a taste sensation like nothing I’d ever experienced in life. As my tongue rolled over the ice cream I could feel my whole body just being uplifted (along with my cholesterol, but that’s beside the point), and I knew immediately I had to get more.
Now, at this point, most of you are probably wondering if I’m going to write my whole first blog about honey graham ice cream, and while I wish I was, I’m not. I’m completely confident that I could, and my life is sad enough to the point where I wouldn’t be surprised if I do, but this particular blog is about something bigger.
The first month or so of college has been filled with lots of excitement and fun, but that being said, many elements of the college experience are very repetitive. You wake up way too early every day, you go to class, you do your homework, and, arguably the most repetitive element of them all, you go to the Fresh Foods Café, or FFC, every day at 1, 6, and 11. Now don’t get me wrong, the FFC is great, all the pizza, pasta, sandwiches, soda, cereal, cookies, and other unhealthy food you could ever want, but at the same time eating the same type of food in the same setting at the same time with the same people every day can get a bit mundane; this especially applies to the ice cream. The ice cream at the FFC comes from the sa
me company, Taharka Brothers, and while the flavors are rotated daily, they usually only change out one or two kinds per day, and they only have around 10-12 flavors in stock. What this means is, if you eat ice cream regularly, which I’ll admit, I do, then you’re eating pretty much the same flavors every time. This used to really bug me, I hated not having change and variety, and honestly, what was worse was that none of the ice cream really tasted that great to me; I longed for something better. Now, I’d heard my friends talk about this magical ice cream shop called Charmery, which was located in a little local town called Hampden. They told me that Charmery was the best ice cream you could find in the Hopkins area, and that I had to go there ASAP. They said it was at least 10 times better than Taharka Bros. and there was way more variety too. I became so excited to go to Charmery that it was all I could think about when I glumly ate my bowl of cookies and cream ice cream at 11 pm every other night.
Finally, one Friday afternoon me and my friends were deciding what to do, and I suggested that we take a walk over to the neighboring town of Hampden, stroll around the streets a bit, see the sights, and of course, eat some damn good ice cream. I told them about Charmery, and immediately everyone agreed we had to go there. So we strolled down, and after traversing many sketchy rock paths and a shoddy bridge or two, we made it. As we walked down the street I saw a long line stretch along the block and as I got to the store I could smell the sweet smell of waffle cones wafting through the air. After waiting in line for 20 minutes we all got our ice cream and I was so excited I could barely hold it in. I’d been waiting for this moment for weeks now, and now the time was here. All those days eating mediocre ice cream had led up to this…and so I delicately dipped my spoon into the creamy treat and let my tongue gently caress the smooth icy goodness. As it hit taste buds my smile immediately contorted into a frown. This seemingly delicious, fabled Old Bay Caramel ice cream that was supposed to be life changing simply wasn’t good. I had a couple more tastes to see if I had just gotten a weird bite, but to no avail, it just wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. My head drooped, I somberly walked over to the garbage can, and much like a parent sending a child out to college, I slowly sent it on its way. As the golden brown waffle cone fell from my hand at a rate of I felt my hopes and dreams fall with it. My desire to find delicious ice cream had come to a standstill, and it almost seemed like I was destined to the dining hall doldrums for the rest of my freshman tenure. As we trudged back to campus I realized that the only thing I wanted was some FFC ice cream to wash away the taste of that horrid Old Bay Caramel (okay it really wasn’t that bad…just like with everything else in this long, drawn out story about ice cream I’m being melodramatic, humor me please). I walked into the Café and immediately headed towards the back right corner where the ice cream is. I went through the standard procedure of grabbing a bowl, looking through the flavor list, and sighing when I realized there was nothing new. This time, however, I did something different, instead of reaching for the cookies and cream or cookie dough like I always did, I went for a flavor I’d never had before. I decided to try something that, in my mind, didn’t sound very good, but could only have been an improvement from what I had eaten a mere 20 minutes prior. That, my friends, was the moment I tried Honey Graham ice cream for the first time, and it was life changing.
Now, while this anecdote does comprise a majority of my blog, it doesn’t come without a moral, or quick punchline to cap it off. The whole time while I was at the FFC I committed two cardinal sins, well three really. For one, I never appreciated what was around me…JHU has the third highest ranked dining services in the USA, and yet I never took the time to experience it through all the amazing stir fry lines, or the mac and cheese bar, or the chips and dip tray, or even the make your own omelet station. I was always content with the reliable, but usually mediocre pizza, salad, sandwiches, and cereal. Which brings me to my second sin, not being adventurous. I never had the guts to get a bowl and forgo the usual cookies and cream for something different. I never took a risk because I was always afraid of the consequences. Like what if the ice cream wasn’t good? What if I got full and couldn’t eat the cookie dough? All these seemingly important questions were constantly running through my head every time I went to the ice cream cooler, and as a result I never tried anything new. This brings me to my third and final sin…not trying honey graham ice cream sooner…like man I messed up… that stuff is so good….
Anyway, the point it that often times the best things are right in front of you. So just don’t overthink things, be adventurous and willing to try new stuff, and above all, EAT THE HONEY GRAHAM (but not too much, save some for me too please.)