Tuesday, 25 January 2011

What kind ice-cream flavour are you?

Ice-cream flavours are like perfumes, they come in types. You have your Sorbets and your Creams. Sorbets come in citrus (eg lemon, pear, melon) and other (chocolate, strawberry)... There are 2 types of Creams as far as I can tell: primary (eg vanilla, chocolate, coffee, strawberry) and exotic (eg rhum and raisin, pistachio, ultra dark chocolate, chocolate and mint, cinnamon). And then there's Complex (eg rocky road, cookies and cream, Tiramisu...).

Before Ben & Jerry's, before Baskin Robbins, ice-cream came in individual flavours, served in scoops. You could order one, two, or three scoops and it would be served either in a cone or in a little metal cup. Most people stuck to traditional combinations: vanilla and chocolate, or vanilla and strawberry. Some people didn't at their own peril. As a child, my dad would order things like lemon, strawberry and coffee but rarely got what he'd ordered.

Ice-cream flavours are a bit like physical types. Some combinations are rarely found in nature. Before the advent of diy hair colour, spray tan, coloured contact lenses, and plastic surgery, people tended to look... well, one way or the other: blonde and pale, brunette and dark, red headed and freckly, black or asian with brown eyes.

But that's all changed now: you can be blonde and tan, with yellow eyes, a 5ft frame and 34DDD breasts or black and blue eyed or asian and a freckly redhead. It's not all artificial either. Some of the best combinations are natural... gone are the days when people tended to marry someone local, now people fall in love with others who grew up on the other side of the world and make beautiful babies together. So there are less Sorbets and Simple or Exotic Creams and more Complex flavours.

I am coffee and pistachio but secretly, I yearn to be banana with blue bumble gum and candied fruit (the ice-cream equivalent of Pamela Anderson in Bay Watch). The thing is, blue bumble gum and candied fruit and banana is all well and good but not always appropriate. Like a big tattoo, it rules out things like state funerals and grown-up job interviews. Mind you, coffee and pistachio is a bit intellectual and lacks spontaneity... more business suit than bathing suit.

So I'm waiting for the next generation of dyi beauty: gene therapy. Imagine waking up in the morning, and wanting to be a statuesque blonde with an enormous chest and a nice tan: pop your pill, and wham! There you are: 1 foot taller, natural blonde, natural tan, real boobs. Then the next day you want to be a petite brunette ex-ballerina type. Pop a different pill and wham! There you are: size 0 and lustrous black locks and alabaster skin and look! no bra. And there would be a pill for everything in between. Like being a cartoon.

I would like that very much. In the meantime, I would like to be blonde, either Finnish or Ukrainian, and speak fluent Mandarin (with a Beijing accent, even though I find the Shanghai accent rather charming). I would also like to be a bit taller (especially in the leg department) and a little more streamlined. And I would like nice straight and thick hair. And skin that tans. And 20/20 eyesight. And disconcertingly pale blue eyes. In other words I would like to be a two scoop combo of dragon fruit sorbet and gianduja with a hint of pepper.

In the meantime, there's always ice-cream.

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