Jamoca Almond Fudge, Baskin-Robbins – Childhood Lessons in Linguistics

Jamoca Almond Fudge Baskin Robbins

When we were little, our Dad insisted on “integrating” his children seamlessly into American society. Never mind that my sisters and I were born in the U.S.

Among efforts like naming our dog “Buffy” so that we would learn to pronounce the “f” sound which is non-existent in Korean, reminding us that “Americans” think kimchi is weird, and making us read books like John T. Molloy’s Dress for Success in 2nd grade (not an exaggeration), we had a never-ending home curriculum of “American” linguistics. Dad would frequently use popular sayings and idioms to engrain them into tiny toddler heads.

Because a three year old stating that she would “never look a gift horse in the mouth” is totally American.

Dad would tell us that we could only go out for Baskin-Robbins ice cream “once in a blue moon.” As with all the rest, we didn’t care about the origin or the meaning of the idiom, just nodded our little heads, equating blue moons with the special occasion of getting, what was at the time, “luxury” ice cream. It never occurred to us, of course, to question blue moons happening about once a week for the Delicious family.

I have almost never heard anyone use the phrase since then.

Until tonight.

There is an actual blue moon tonight, when a full moon appears a second time in the same month. The phenomenon only occurs every two to three years. And for a blue moon to occur on New Year’s Eve? That hasn’t happened in 20 years. What a very special way to close out the decade!

May every day of your life be an occasion to go out for ice cream.

p.s. We used to always get Jamoca Almond Fudge. I guess it never occurred to our parents that we were in elementary school, consuming caffeine. This probably explains my extraordinarily Napoleonic stature, innate addiction to caffeine, and extreme hyperactivity as an adult. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

p.p.s It’s like this blog post was meant to be: Barack Obama used to work at Baskin-Robbins.

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  • http://gastronomyblog.com Gastronomer

    Jamoca Almond Fudge was my family’s flavor of choice as well. The Vietnamese are coffee fiends! And I guess the Koreans are too.

    Happy New Year, Sarah!

  • http://flamingomusings.blogspot.com RJ Flamingo

    My mom thought nothing of sending little second grade me with a thermos of hot coffee (a little coffee with sugar and a lot of milk) for my lunch. I’m first generation American, too – parents from Eastern Europe. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/thebookpolice Kyle

    THE best combination at Baskin-Robbins–aka “31 Flavors” (that might be a Midwest way of referring to the chain, I dunno)–is a sugar cone double scoop of Nutty Coconut on the bottom and Daquiri Ice on the top.

    Amazing. Hands-down the best.

  • http://www.juliaipsa.com julia

    I never knew the definition of blue moon from that expression. Thanks!

    I think there’s something about the Korean palate and coffee ice cream. It’s as though it’s built into our DNA.

  • http://www.MyLastBite.com MyLastBite

    When my sister and I first moved here from Okinawa, I remember my grandpa treating us to Thrifty Ice Cream (now Rite-Aid).

    10 CENT cones… Chocolate Malted Krunch. So “American”…. and still awesome!

  • http://dianatakesabite.blogspot.com Diana

    We were a mint chocolate chip family. Unless we were getting frozen yogurt and then I’d get chocolate with gummy bears, which was completely absurd because the cold yogurt always froze the bears making them impossible to eat. I never learned my lesson – I still ordered it every single time.

    Happy New Year!

  • http://www.thedeliciouslife.com Sarah J. Gim

    Gastronomer, Julia : Why is that?! Is coffee considered a luxury?! Korean people LOVE coffee flavored candy, cakes…everything is mocha this or espresso that! I totally remember being mad that while other kids had normal candy like Life savers, my Mom would let us have Coffee Nips.

    RJ Flamingo: Could you even IMAGINE what kind of Child Services officials would be on your doorstep these days if they found out you let your child drink something with coffee in it? Isn’t it so weird how “parenting” — or perhaps just the perception of parenting — has changed?

    Kyle: I actually hadn’t gone back to Baskin Robbins until yesterday, in honor of “my Dad’s blue moon,” and so since I had never gone in my adult I-make-my-own-choices years, I never knew anything other than Jamoca Almond Fudge! I do remember getting Bubble Gum Ice Cream every once in a while only because I thought it was more bang for the buck: eat ice cream AND walk away with a mouth full of gum!

    Clearly my Dad did a good job of teaching us money and business, too.

    MyLastBite: Do you remember how much it cost back then, too? When we were buying the Jamoca Almond Fudge from Baskin Robbins last night, we marveled at how a SINGLE scoop was $2.50. I remember it being something like $0.55 when I was in elementary school. And for some reason, I recall my college roommate telling me that Thrifty ice cream was like $0.10 a scoop! Could you imagine?!

    Diana: I see now how this whole gummy bear thing works out for you. LOL. And did you get yogurt from Golden Spoon?!

  • Kevin H

    Wow, I had no idea the Coffee flavored ice cream was universal. This explains my mom. I wonder how this came to be?

  • http://www.vintagemixer.blogspot.com/ VintageMixer

    I grew up on that stuff too. Haven’t had it in year but now I’m craving a taste. Thanks for the reminder :)

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