I do not like ice cream.
Well, that is not quite true. I am not fond of ice cream. With the exception of one flavor: Baskin-Robbins Cherries Jubilee is as good as life gets.
I have been eating the Bing cherry-bejeweled ice cream since the late 1960s when it was called Burgundy Cherry. I suspect that focus groups were then unaware of the classy moniker "Burgundy," at least when associated with things French.
Back then Burgundy was a jug wine made by Ernest and Julio. Thus, the switch to the festive Cherries Jubilee. A name to invoke linen napkins, silver eating utensils, and high octane flames.
Whatever B&R called it, I was hooked. Whenever I returned to Oregon from my travels abroad, I would always grab a double scoop. When I settled in Salem, I simply bought a 3-gallon container now and then to have my habit close at hand in my basement freezer.
I knew I had become a junkie when the young man at the ice cream store pulled out my purchase and asked: "Would you like a spoon with that?"
Or, at the same store, when my brother, while driving through Salem, walked through the door and was greeted by the clerk with: "Two scoops Cherries Jubilee. Flat-bottom cone. Right?" There was no way I could deny making regular stops.
When I left for Mexico six years ago, I knew ice cream would be a thing of the past. Some people love the ice cream down here. Not me. It is far too sweet. And there is no Cherries Jubilee.
Or, so I thought. Last winter two acquaintances from San Miguel de Allende were staying in Villa Obregon during January. They told me one thing we have here, that they do not have in the highlands, is a Thrifty ice cream store. I had seen the sign before, but I thought it was a hardware store.
I went inside with them thinking I would sit out this round of snacks. Then I saw it. The name was different (simply Black Cherry), but it looked like Cherries Jubilee. Better yet, it almost tasted like Cherries Jubilee.
A bit sweeter. Less creamy. But it was all there. Cherry-flavored ice cream chock full of Bing cherry chunks.
Black Cherry is now my occasional treat. No 3-gallon containers to take home. After all, my tiny freezer compartment would not be up to that task.
But once a month or so, I wandered in to talk with my pusher. Fortunately, my visits are not frequent enough that he knows my order. When that happens, I may need to switch to a different treat. Or, at least, to the Thrifty store in Barra.
After all, a guy has a reputation to uphold.