The current vogue for artisanal small batch ice cream is a nostalgia for something most of us never had.
Especially baby boomers who grew up in a world where ice cream was sterilized and shaped into blocks or packed into trucks and sold on a stick. Ice cream was not soft and creamy and personal. It was -- like everything else in the 50s and 60s -- a highly processed product that was meant to seem inert rather than alive.
In the mid-Sixties, Baskin-Robbins started to move slowly, slowly in the other direction. Even the chain's logo used old-timey fonts and graphics to suggest a soda fountain in 1913 -- the kind of soda fountain that had been extinguished by ice cream chains.
What we had really lost was the sense of ice cream as an idiosyncratic, personal and indeed living thing. And now we want it back.
The Nose deconstructs the meaning of ice cream today.
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