Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Ice Cream and Mortadella Diet

All right, the title is just an attention grabber. Nobody is going to lose weight by eating ice cream and mortadella on a regular basis. But somebody who has lost twenty pounds in less than three months certainly deserves to treat himself to ice cream and mortadella if he wants to, don't you think? Well, that's just what I did yesterday.

I saw my doctor yesterday morning for a periodic blood test, a flu shot, and a weigh-in. I weighed exactly twenty pounds less than at my prior visit in August (I started dieting on September 22). Weeks ago I promised myself ice cream as a post-weigh-in treat. I'd only had one real dessert since I started my diet, at Tanoreen a few weeks ago. I had a specific craving for Almond Joy ice cream from Emack & Bolio's, a place that I may have discovered after I wrote my ode to ice cream. I'd only been to Emack & Bolio's, a Boston chain that has three Manhattan outlets, once before and I fell in love with their Almond Joy flavor. The ice cream itself is creamy enough without being unctuous, and very fresh and clean tasting. Almond Joy is coconut ice cream with almonds and chocolate flakes. Much to my disappointment, the branch on Houston and West Broadway wasn't serving Almond Joy yesterday. They rotate their flavors. Still, to deprive me of the flavor I'd been craving on the day of my weigh-in was rather cruel, don't you think? I had to come up with some alternates (I was going for two scoops this time). I perused the list and went with white pistachio and caramel moose prints. The white pistachio was wonderful: intensely pistachio-flavored without any of that extract overkill, if you know what I mean. The caramel moose prints, on the other hand, was disappointing for its cloying sweetness; it's described as caramel ice cream with a caramel swirl and chocolate peanut butter cups mixed in. Based on the Almond Joy and the white pistachio, though, I think E&B may be second only to Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for Manhattan ice cream in the non-gelato division.

For dinner I made myself a mortadella sandwich. I'd been eating so much lean turkey breast during my diet that I wanted to celebrate with a cold cut where the fat flaunts itself. Mortadella is one of the world's great cold cuts, one of the culinary jewels of Bologna, and it's unfortunate that it was the inspiration for that abominable thing called baloney. In addition to the splotches of angelic white fat, this mortadella had proscuitto, pistachios and black peppercorns mixed in. I bought it at my favorite Park Slope food shop, D'Vine Taste, which is run by a charming, cosmopolitan, and culinarily erudite Lebanese Christian family. I made a sandwich on a baguette with some Delouis Fils green peppercorn Dijon mustard. I also treated myself to a little piece of baguette with some James Keiller & Sons Dundee orange marmalade, a jar of which had been lying neglected in my fridge since I started the diet. I love orange marmalade (it's my topping of choice on waffles), and Keiller's, which claims to be the original marmalade (commercially marketed since 1797), is perhaps the best (though you really must try St. Dalfour's kumquat preserves if you like marmalade).

That was celebration day. My diet's not over, though. My new goal, modest and easily attainable, is another five pounds by my birthday on March 8th. My original goal was fifteen pounds by Christmas, and I've already lost twenty, two weeks early. My secret new goal is another ten pounds by my birthday.

6 Comments:

Blogger Jennifer's Creative Non Fiction said...

Hi, I am a writing major at Kean University. I am writing a food review on Indian restaurants in the metro area. I have been to Tamarind 22, I do not know if you have been there.
As part of my assignment, I need food bloggers opinions. I have noticed your blog on Indian cuisine. I was very fascinated by your candid attitude. If you would not mind in answering my questions:

1) When dining at an Indian restaurant, what do you look for?


2) What has surprised you the most when eating/dining at Indian restaurants?

3) Why is Indian food one of your favorite cuisines?

4)What would you recommend to someone who has never tasted Indian food?

my blog address:
http://jennifercreativenonfiction.
blogspot.com/

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Vovvi said...

If I told you what led to my reading your blog and wondering whether you knew where to acquire some Tiger Tiger ice cream in Chicago, you'd probably not be the least bit surprised.

Recently I was presented with the opportunity to try an alcoholic beverage that seemed quite popular amongst the mostly Asian crowd at a housewarming/holiday get-together held by a coworker. The sake had been impressive, so why not sample the 5-grain woo lung they were offering? I had never had sake before, and doubted that anyone else in my near future would be partaking of 5-grain anything. The two non-Asians next to me were also experiencing it for the first time, but they wrongly threw back the tiny glass of it like a shot, and a nanosecond later looked like they were going to explode. Thankfully I slowly sipped mine; after getting over the initial vaporization, you taste the five-grain-goodness and wonder what is this all about? So I googled "5 grain wu liang" -- my attempt at spelling it turned out to be a success -- and your blog was the first hit, and what a lovely surprise. A blog that is easy to navigate (how DO you create those links to archived posts?), devoid of horrible grammatical errors, and chock full of content that is neither pretentious nor self-effacing. I read about Wu Liang Ye and checked for your most recent post, which was this one until a moment ago. And the rest is history.

So, can you help me with my quest for Tiger Tiger ice cream? I will be in the Windy City next month, so street vendors are out of the question, but any parlour you suggest will surely be worth the cab fare. I'm not opposed to pecan praline or Mounds flavours, in case you do not recall seeing orange ice cream with a black liquorice ripple. Thanks in advance for any tips, and for unexpectedly brightening my day with your wit and eloquence.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Peter Cherches said...

Vovvi, your best bet would be to go to chowhound.com and post your query on the Chicago board. I'm sure you'll get your answer there.

Thanks for the kind words.

2:13 PM  
Blogger MissGinsu said...

Huh... I'd never heard of E&B and now I find that there's an E&B on West Houston. Bet I've walked past it a dozen times without noticing.

Funny how we're blind to our environments when other things occupy the mind.

I'm now excited to give the place a whirl. Thanks for the tip!

10:35 AM  
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