Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely?
“Are you ready Susan. I thought we could try that new ice cream parlour that has opened on the high street. Its part of the “Glace Pure” chain, they are not cheap, but have a good reputation making their own ice cream with the best products and they have 32 flavours.”
Susan was an ice cream fan. It was midsummer and temperatures were shooting up, each day warmer than the last. On Sunday afternoon James and Susan enjoyed a special treat. In the Winter months Susan might bake a cake, but in Summer they would make a excursion to somewhere special.
“32 flavours, that is fantastic, so let’s go” and Susan and James were on their way to the ice cream of the year. The parlour looked quite inviting: a red sun blind over the door with gold lettering showing that they were entering the Glace Pure establishment. The restaurant was half full, so there was plenty of room. Susan cast a glance over the occupied tables and found the ice cream sundaes looked very presentable, almost a poem in ice.
“Oh look James, those ice creams are really inviting.”
A waiter approached them, wearing a red apron with the golden words Glace Pure woven into the fabric.
“May I help you Sir and Madam. You would like to try some of our wonderful mouth watering ice cream? Please follow me, here is a free table.”
Again they were confronted with the red and gold designs of the table linen showing that they were now customers of the Glace Pure. The waiter brought them a menu booklet. There were too many flavours to be included on a card.
“I will return in a few minutes to take your order.”
“Oh James, even the waiter speaks with a French accent.”
James said nothing, but he did recognise the waiter as being a former employee of the Italian pizzeria, the restaurant that was the predecessor of Glace Pure in the same place. Then he remembered that the same waiter then spoke with an Italian accent, but he did not want to spoil Susan’s ice cream afternoon.
Both Susan and James were a little confused with the menu booklet. It was wonderful to have 32 flavours to choose from, but which one?
The waiter approached the table.
“What would you like to order?”
Susan decided to stay basic. She had never been disapppointed with a chocolate ice cream.
“You would like chocolate flavour? Dark chocolate, bitter chocolate, double cream, single cream, semi-frozen? We also, of course, have white chocolate with a hint of peppermint.”
Susan somehow lost the thread. “Just a normal chocolate ice cream please.”
“I am sorry madam, but Glace Pure has no normal chocolate ice cream, we are proud to possess the golden icicle for our ice cream varieties. I would perhaps recommend a mixture of dark and white chocolate.”
Susan was a little overwhelmed but decided to accept the waiter’s suggestion.
“You would like some fruit with the ice cream. We would recommend wild strawberries as today’s special attraction, or perhaps our special kiwi purée.”
“No, it is OK, just the ice cream will do nicely.”
“But our strawberries are hand picked.”
Susan did have a allergic reaction to strawberries, but decided she wanted to keep that to herself. She also disliked kiwi fruit.
“No just the ice cream will be fine.”
The waiter looked very disappointed, but then he had another suggestion.
“You would like some cream with your ice cream.”
“Oh yes, that would be lovely.”
“Whipped cream, single cream, double creamed cream, Gruyere cream, chantilly cream?”
“Whipped cream please.”
“Would you like it to be garnished with pistache, chopped walnuts, ground hazelnuts or crushed orange and lemon zest or perhaps a dash of vanilla pod?”
“No just a mixed chocolate ice cream with whipped cream would be fine.”
“I could perhaps also recommend a dash of cognac with the ice cream, which I could flame for you.”
“No thankyou.” Susan had never had a flamed ice cream and did not want to admit that she did not know what it was.
The waiter looked rather disappointed as his dream of showing all his ice cream choices had dwindled to a bowl of chocolate ice cream. James had been listening to the conversation and studying the menu booklet in the meanwhile.
“And what can I offer you, Sir? Something perhaps a little stronger to tease the taste buds.”
James had been waiting an hour to order, being patient with the third degree that Susan had been subject to.
“I think I will just have a coffee.”
“You do not want to try our wonderful ice cream flavours. I am sure you would find something to your taste. Perhaps an expresso ice cream, an ice coffee, glace à ristretto, we have a wide choice of coffee ice cream.”
“No thankyou, I would just like to drink a cup of coffee.”
Did James see a small tear in the waiter’s eye. A glance of reproach and disappointment.
“Then I will just bring madam her choice.”
The waiter disappeared to the serving counter.
“Complicated customers Fred?”
“Looks like it. Any chocolate ice cream left?”
“No problem, the supermarket had a special offer for chocolate so we bought enough to last for some time.”