Thursday, July 10, 2014

Green Tea Ice Cream ... Sam I Am

Green Tea Ice Cream
It ain’t easy being green, if you’re ice cream in the U.S.  In most American supermarkets, you’ll find that ice cream doesn’t tend to be green.  I decided to do a little test – and ask a few Americans if they could name me just one green ice cream.  Silence for a long time usually occurred and people thought long and hard.  Then the only one they could name (if any at all) was chocolate chip mint ice cream.  But even that isn't completely green – it’s green and brown.  (I bet some seniors may think of pistachio ice cream, my grandma liked that one.)  

Posters in Scoop Shack. Edgartown, MA
Green tea ice cream is green in color and is made from matcha, the Japanese ceremonial
green tea powder.  While this flavor is extremely popular in Japan and other East Asian nations, the color green in an ice cream, however, does not appeal to everyone.  My husband, for example, when asked exclaimed “Yuck! That’s a crazy flavor.”  “But you’ve had green tea”, I replied, “and you liked it, why not green tea ice cream?  “No way! I don’t like green ice cream, Sam I am.”  Despite the lesson to be learned from Dr. Zeus’s Green Eggs and Ham, I am unable to get my husband to try green tea ice cream, neither here nor there, not anywhere.

Scoop Shack, Edgartown MA
Despite the color, I’ve noticed two indicators that green tea ice cream has made some head way in the U.S. market in recent years.  For one, as of 1996, one of the most popular ice cream companies – Haagen-Dazs – started selling green tea ice cream in the U.S..[1]  None of the other top U.S. ice cream sellers make green tea ice cream.[2]  

Secondly, I recently found home-made green tea ice cream selling in the Scoop Shack, a Mom and Pop ice cream shop in a small town in New England.  Mom and Pop shops tend to sell only the most popular flavors.

I’ve visited plenty of U.S. ice cream parlors, particularly in the summers, every year of my life and have never seen green tea ice cream sold in them before.  In Edgartown, Massachusetts, the Scoop Shack makes ice cream daily.  They currently make and sell green tea ice cream with mint and honey.  That sounded delicious to me and I bought a scoop and loved it.  My husband just doesn’t know what he is missing!


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