Sunday, July 03, 2005


Hardcore Soft-Serve

Yesterday's Globe and Mail review of Cool: The Story of Ice Cream digs up a couple of odd nuggets:

The sordid history of the wholesome treat is quite fascinating, too. Although, for the most part, ice cream parlours were seen as an alternative to taverns, in some places (notably Scotland), campaigns were formed (fuelled by anti-Italian sentiment) to shut down the dens of iniquity where teenagers gathered, gambled and used foul language. Some were even thought to be fronts for prostitution.

The Scots weren't the only ones who objected to ladies licking ice cream cones in public. Ice cream is a sensual, voluptuous food, and how to eat it was a subject dealt with by many etiquette experts. Many advised simply taking it home and eating it in private, which, incidentally, is how it is currently done in Iran -- a fact we might have expected to find in Powell's book but didn't.

This makes me wonder: is there any pleasurable consumer product that has not been accused at some point of corrupting public morals?

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