Friday, March 11, 2011

What is the Legal Definition of ‘Ice Cream’?

Image via Wikipedia
I never thought I would have to ask that question.

I was at the grocery store. I wanted ice cream. Not just any ice cream, chocolate ice cream. The suggestion had been put into my head during a recent Twitter conversation—I'm easily influenced when it comes to dessert foods.

The ice cream selection at the local supermarket is unbelievable…it's huge! I don't buy ice cream very often but I do know that I can just pass the frozen yogurt, ‘lite’, soy, rice, non-dairy, sorbet, and otherwise marked package right by. If I'm going to eat ice cream, I want ice cream, full-fat and full-flavor.

This particular grocery store didn't carry my favorite (and trusted) brand, Blue Bunny, so I was forced to find an alternative. Pint-sized premiums like Ben & Jerrys, Haagen Dazs, or Starbucks were out. A pint is [almost] too much to eat in one sitting but since any amount left in a pint is "too little to save, I might as well eat it all…" I have absolutely no self-control when it comes to pints.
But, hey, Dreyer’s/Edy’s is a good brand, right? Of course!

Image via
Choosing a flavor is the next hurdle for me. Just plain chocolate? Maybe, but how about some “brownie” chunks to make it really delicious? Enter Dreyer’s/Edy’s ”Fun Flavors” Double Fudge Brownie.
"Chocolate lovers, this is for you! Chunks of chocolaty brownies and swirls of fudge in chocolate flavor frozen dairy dessert.”
What a delightful-sounding flavor. That was my best choice. FYI, the Girl Scout Cookie “Fun Flavors” weren't out yet or I'd be munching on a bowl of Samoa's or Thin Mints “Fun Flavors” instead. Or would I?

Remember When Ice Cream Was Ice Cream?

I was scooping up a pre-midnight snack of Double Fudge Brownie goodness when I noticed the carton label said, in really small letters on the back label, “Frozen dairy dessert.”

I'm sorrry…what?

“Frozen dairy dessert.”

Okay. Why is this, for whatever reason, not ice cream? Why can't it just be ice cream? After all, what I really wanted was ice cream. What makes this not ice cream? I'm truly incensed that I was duped into buying “frozen dairy dessert”!

So what is the legal definition of ice cream? I decided to Google that, of course. I took the first hit because the URL was intriguing as all get out: LOL…"news‘n’"—I'm just jealous I didn't think of it first. That link has enough explanation to keep me happy:
“In accordance with the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, the Food and Drug Administration enforces a set of standards which regulate the labeling of food products.

Ice cream is defined as a frozen food made from a mixture of dairy products, containing at least 10% milkfat.”
 The ”Fun Flavors” “Frozen Dairy Dessert” labeled products have 45 out of 150 calories of fat-per-serving. The “Grand” products are the real-deal ice cream with 70 out of 150 calories of fat-per-serving.

“Frozen dairy dessert”…honestly…

Image via
The Wendy's Frosty, if you will notice, is also a “Frozen dairy dessert”, and it says so right on the menu boards at the restaurants. Here's a fun Wikipedia factoid you may not know about the Frosty:
“The Frosty was invented at Wendy's owner Dave Thomas' request by dairyman E.M. "Bill" Barker. When the first Wendy's opened in 1969, chocolate was the only flavor available. The actual flavor of the original Frosty is a mixture of chocolate and vanilla. Dave Thomas thought that 100% chocolate was too overpowering a flavor when paired with a Wendy's burger and fries meal. The second Frosty flavor, vanilla, was introduced in 2006.”
Dairy Queen's regular soft-serve is 95% fat-free and is not “ice cream”.

Baskin Robbins sells real ice cream, as always, in scoops. In 2008 they introduced "Soft Serve". If you will notice on their site, Baskin Robbins is very careful to not use the term “ice cream” with anything related to their Soft Serve products.

Next time, I'll go Dreyer's Grand…except they don't put Girl Scout Cookies in that. I’ll have to pick up a box of Samoas or Thin Mints on the way out of the store and add them myself!
---------------------- File:Ice Cream dessert 02.jpg Author: Lotus Head from Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Quote and image, Double Fudge Brownie information page. May 25, 2010, Wendy’s Frosty Gets a Social Media Infusion. Wikipedia, Dairy Queen: Products: Frozen Yogurt

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Requiem for a Dream—Further Proof that I'm Completely “Losing It”

I deleted the first paragraph I wrote because it was how I thought this story started. But after backtracking along the chain of events that brought me to this subject, I realized that it wasn't how things began…

The “real” story:

A few days ago, and I don’t know why—I was probably avoiding doing something I was supposed to be doing at the time—I got caught in the Wikipedia vortex, clicking around on the blue hyperlinks just to see what useless facts I could feed my already-overstuffed brain. And Wikipedia did not disappoint! I ran across the following under some random subject and the header “In Film”:
“In the film Requiem for a Dream, Ellen Burstyn portrays Sara Goldfarb, an elderly widow who becomes addicted to weight-loss amphetamine pills. After suffering from amphetamine psychosis, she is hospitalized against her will, undergoes electro-convulsive therapy, and later on was confined at a mental asylum.” —Wikipedia Entry
“Now,” I asked myself, “what could be more interesting than psychosis, electro-convulsive therapy, and a mental asylum?” I had neither seen nor heard of this movie so it begged further investigation—although I’m pretty sure I was supposed to be doing something else at the time…
Requiem for a Dream / OST

The Wiki movie plot description was full of drug-induced psychosis—fun for the entire family! The film is centered around dreams, delusions, drug deals gone bad, mayhem, addiction, and a refrigerator that is a “menacing, living monster.”

From the plot description I decided that I'd probably rather read the book.

But every film needs a soundtrack, right? Oh yes, the Wikipedia entry has a “Soundtrack” header too—and that, my friends, is what started my own journey down the proverbial rabbit hole…
“The soundtrack has been widely praised and has subsequently been used in various forms in trailers for other films, including The Da Vinci Code, Sunshine, Lost, I Am Legend, Babylon A.D., and Zathura. A version of the recurring theme was reorchestrated for the film trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” —Wikipedia entry
 You see, I always wanted to know where that really cool “movie trailer” music came from because it usually isn’t on the official soundtrack, I assume because the soundtrack is sometimes not finished for the trailer release. So I did a general search…I'm usually pretty good at ferreting out this kind of information. I found that the track I was looking for on the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack was “Lux Aeterna” (Link goes to a sample track at Amazon because not everyone uses iTunes).

So I gave it a listen and it sounded so familiar. It was driving me crazy because I had heard it before…recently…and not in a movie trailer. The familiar track in my head was not the one from above. The track going through my head was much more orchestral and forceful. I spent probably a good hour-and-a-half trying to match the tune in my head to one in the iTunes database. I came close, but not exactly right on. Eventually I gave up. I'm sure if I heard it again I'd know…

And I did hear it again! Last night I was listening to Pandora Radio on my iPhone—becasue there is an app for that—and that very “Lux Aeterna” track was played complete with the display picture shown above. Excited, I held up the iPhone for BigAL to see and asked if we had that soundtrack archived somewhere. He looked at me like I had sprouted antennae or something and said, “Yes.” But I couldn't leave well enough alone. I handed him my ear buds and asked him to listen and tell me where I had heard that track before. After all, he would know.

(Well…he did know, and I'm not sure I even want to admit this, but here goes…)

“That's my ringtone.” He said flatly…


Then the slapping sound of an epic facepalm…ouch…he's had that ringtone for years!

I've not felt quite the same since.

Since then I have learned that “Requiem for a Dream” is actually ”Lux Aeterna”, remastered as “Requiem for a Tower”, for the trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and is often used in other trailers for movies and video games.

(Dear YouTube, it is not funny that as I search for the following music track/video that you display ads asking, “Are you at risk for Alzheimer's?”)

Give it a listen. This track can make anything sound epic…even a ringtone…or a facepalm.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's the first week of February and, as expected, here in Utah it's bone-chilling pee-freezing cold:
Photo from the archives of
‘Nuff said.