I have always been an icecream enthusiast but while pregnant the urge to splurge on a drippy cone or tub of frozen goodness has been even harder to resist. For one thing it helps keep you cool, which as I understand it becomes more and more of an issue, and because babies need a lot of calcium you can say things to yourself like "my baby's bones are ossifying so it really, really needs me to eat this Big Choc Bikkie Magnum". This situation makes me happy at least partly because my life up to now has been disappointingly bereft of opportunities to use the word "ossifying" and "ossification".
However, not all icecream is created equal.
For one thing, soft serve is off the menu because it poses a risk because if the machine that dispenses it is not cleaned properly there's a chance of it becoming contaminated with Listeria* and you definitely don't want that as an optional topping. Early on in my pregnancy my brain rebelled against this piece of food safety info and prompted me to have a dream about a soft serve cone that was approximately the size of Dai Henwood. Which even given his diminutive status, is still quite big for an icecream.
But things like Magnums and Trumpets and good old fashioned, scooped from a tub ice cream is A-OK. And this is where my own fussiness comes into things. I know that other people love it, but I just cannot be bothered with chocolate chip icecream.
Orange chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip - neither of them are appealing to me and let me explain why.
The entire point of chocolate, as far as I'm concerned, is the texture of it as it melts in your mouth. That sweet, creamy, smoothness that coats your tongue and makes you make "mmmmm" noises. Without that quality chocolate would a) be a lot less likely to leave streaky brown marks in your cleavage when small bits of it miss your mouth and b) be a lot less enjoyable. For me, choc chip icecream is the latter.
The coldness of the icecream means that getting a chocolate chip to melt satisfyingly on your tongue actually becomes a bit too much like hard work. As the icecream melts smoothly away you're left with hard lumps of chocolate that you either have to suck and work at until they melt or chew like bacon bits. Frankly, icecream is a treat and I don't want to have to go out of my way to get enjoyment out of it.
Other forms of chocolate in icecream I am all in favour of. Chocolately syrupy swirl. Stracciatella. Lumps of chocolate brownie. All of these work for me, but chocolate chips? No sir, I don't think so.
I'm aware that not everyone feels this way. The Silver Fox for instance does sometimes suggest orange choc chip as the flavour of choice and I always veto it so I would like to know if my anti-choc chip prejudice is a completely bizarre one. Does anyone else feel this way about the otherwise innocuous chip of chocolate?
*I like to sing the word "Listeria" as if it is the lyric to a Def Leppard song.