Liking Rum Raisin Ice Cream in a Vanilla World


Liking Rum Raisin Ice Cream in a Vanilla World


Everybody beats to a different drum, and we really are all victims of our upbringing. For instance, my kids, who were born in Indianapolis, despite Colt’s propaganda on billboards, and mascots visiting schools, etc., beat to the drum of the Pittsburgh Steelers (now that has a good beat).


So goes it with ice cream. The United States is the largest consumer per capita in the world for consumption of ice cream. Each person in the U.S. consumes an average of 24 quarts, or 6 gallons, of ice cream per year. The next closest are Australia and New Zealand. In New Zealand, a very popular ice cream is vanilla mixed with honeycomb, called the Hokey Pokey.


You might be wondering, what are the top flavors of ice cream choices in the USA? Well, vanilla tops the charts with 59 percent preferring this flavor. It is the basis of most other creative flavors. Second is chocolate, and third goes between strawberry and cookies and cream. 


You can search high and low, and search all over the globe, but one flavor you won’t find on a list of favorites is Rum Raisin ice cream. By its ingredients, you might give it a creative name like, Assisted Living Flavor of the Day, or Laxative in a Cone. Odd flavors are not unique in the world of ice cream. In Germany, one can consume Spaghettieis, which is ice cream made to look like a bowl of spaghetti. In Greece, you can buy Olive Oil and Fig flavored ice cream. Ancient Greeks used to take snow and mix in honey and fruit for their early frozen delights. The oldest record I could find of cold treats is in Iran. In that nation, as early as 400 BC, ice would be taken from the mountains and stored in specially designed buildings to allow access to ice year-round. 


So why am I on a Rum Raisin quest? Many of us are Rum Raisin people living in a vanilla world. I mean, while we might like the base flavor of vanilla, we need mix-ins. We need creativity to survive. We don’t want the vanilla life that is normal for 59 percent of our neighbors. As an entrepreneur who literally risked my finances for our business, I wouldn’t eat Rum Raisin ice cream as my choice, but I might mix in Risk, Long Hours, Frustration, Exhilaration, Stress, etc. with maybe a few nuts (the guys I work with) sprinkled on top. There is nothing wrong with being a vanilla person who goes with the crowd, the world needs vanilla people. I mean, there is vanilla in Rum Raisin ice cream. 


In Japan, vanilla takes first place, chocolate second, and matcha (powdered green tea) takes third. In Syria, and many warm climates, mastic resin is added to ice cream to make is resistant to melting. Once, I purchased the best Natural Breyers ice cream and the cheapest store brand ice cream (full of artificial everything). I scooped out some from each and placed them in bowls side by side. Within literally minutes, the Breyers was a bowl of cream. The other, the next morning still looked like a scoop of ice cream. I have never purchased the store brand again.


What I’m hearing then is that every vanilla is not equal. You are a product of your ingredients. A rich vanilla ice cream served from a “glacier” (ice cream vendor) in France is loaded with only the best ingredients one might imagine. While in the Philippines, vendors sell “Dirty Ice Cream” from unregulated facilities. 


Just yesterday, I was interviewed by a local college student who needed to interview an entrepreneur for his finance class.  He asked me what the biggest challenge to being successful was for someone his age who is just about to enter the work force. I told him that the biggest challenge was “The Definition of Success.” 


Our students are taught to laud and desire to be the next Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, or Bill Gates, when they should be looking at Mother Teresa as a measure of where they should find success. I know that’s a stretch, but why seek the 1 in 100 million successes of Musk, Bezos, or Gates with near certain failure when success just needs to be redefined? He followed up with a question on what my definition of success was. I said, “Being able to lay my head on my pillow at night (exhausted) knowing I did all I could do and knowing that I did it with integrity and honesty. Then, falling asleep in seconds with no need to toss or turn through the night in worry.” Success has no price tag on it, nor can it be reached through shortcuts. It’s hard work that, for some might, have a huge payday, but for others, just complete satisfaction. 


Success for some is vanilla. For others, it’s Rum Raisin. If you like Rum Raisin, ignore the haters. You know what you like so fill your “Sub-Zero” with it. This one’s for you Roger!

Article contributed by:
Jeff Pinyot, ECO Parking Technologies
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