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01 September 2007 @ 05:41 pm
The Irish do not understand milkshakes.

The first time I was in Ireland (in the UK, in fact, because this problem was endemic to England and Wales as well) I ordered milkshakes several times, and was always presented with this rather nasty concoction that was more like shaken milk than a milkshake. Sometimes it was lumpy. Other times it was bubbly, but not like soda bubbles, but rather, like shaken milk bubbles. It was never cold enough, or chocolatey enough, and it clearly never had any acquaintance with ice cream. After about the third one, I gave up and stopped ordering them. In the two years I've lived in Ireland now, I haven't ordered a milkshake, because I figured it was too risky. But today I was out and I was thirsty and I thought, "Well, hell, I'll give it a try," and went to a Butlers Chocolate Cafe, because they have the best hot chocolate I've had in Ireland, and ordered a milkshake.

I received a--in their defense, sufficiently chocolatey--mildly cold somewhat bitter-flavored drink that was thicker than milk but which clearly had no acquaintance with ice cream. It wasn't *bad*, but it was in no way a milkshake.

Honestly, what's the difficulty here? Milkshakes aren't that hard of a concept. You take ice cream. You take milk. (In an ideal world, you take vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup and milk, rather than chocolate ice cream and milk.) You blend them together and you have a tasty treat.

It can't be that the shakes are being pureed to the point of no longer having any recognizeable ice cream content. They're just not thick or cold enough to have ever *had* any ice cream, not even soft serve ice cream, and this one wasn't *sweet* enough to have ice cream. There is some fundamental disconnect about what a milkshake _is_, and I'm bewildered by it.

*pauses for Wikipedia*

Well, that does in fact explain it. According to the history of milkshakes page, "Several decades ago, milkshakes were made without ice cream1, a practice which is still continued in some parts of the UK, Australia and New England."

1"A milk shake might be milk, shaken up, with or without flavorings-if that's how it was when you were growing up. For most people, it's synonymous with a frappe: mik, syrup, and ice cream." (p.668-669) - How to Cook Evertything. Mark Bittman. Wiley Publishing Inc. 1998 ISBN-13: 978-0-4717-8918-5"


On other topics, kateelliott has a great little essay/query thing about writers and insecurities. Everybody's got 'em. :)

I finished chapter 14 today. Only 1300 or so words of forward motion, but it's done, and page 200 is finally within reach. Sadly, that's not the halfway point in this book, but since I've revised the first part three times now and haven't yet reached page 200, it's this huge haunting milestone there in front of me. But now--because my shoulder's been achy since I got up--I'm going to trundle downstairs and read the rest of FIFTY DEGREES BELOW, which I'm trusting is eventually going to come to some sort of great crescendo, instead of continuing to be this sort of mildly bemusing introspective examination of humanity's place, past, present and future, on the planet.

Then again, that might be the point.

ytd wordcount: 155,600
miles to Minas Tirith: 270
Current Mood: grumpygrumbly
wyvernfriendwyvernfriend on September 1st, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
Eddie Rockets does a milkshake that has ice-cream in but the flavouring is quite artificial. The only time I had a really good milkshake was in a small place that did it's own ice-cream and is now sadly closed.
The Angel of Vengeanceesmerel on September 1st, 2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
next summer you obviously must open a milkshake stand (instead of lemonade) =)
Brian: evil kitty laughlogrusboy on September 2nd, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
I was going to recommend a little restaurant. Serve up proper milkshakes, good hamburgers, chocolate chip cookies, and all that. Then I remembered that all that work would subtract from writing time....
Geek of Weird Shit: vengeancegows on September 1st, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC)
You take ice cream. You take milk. (In an ideal world, you take vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup and milk, rather than chocolate ice cream and milk.) You blend them together and you have a tasty treat.

Have you ever gone in somewhere, given them this description, and asked if they could make you one?

I mean, people do that in bars with drink orders all the time. No reason you shouldn't be able to at least /try/ to do that with a milkshake.
desperancedesperance on September 1st, 2007 05:25 pm (UTC)
Ah now, see, I grew up loving milk in all its forms, and yet I never loved the milkshake; and you may - finally, at this too-late stage in my life! - have put your finger on why, because no, in this country the milkshake has never had any connection with ice cream. The ones I tried - 'way 'way back, when I was a smallish thing - were composed of milk and flavouring and some sort of thickening, and nasty.

These days, alas, ice cream wouldn't do it for me either (I've gone all foodie, and refuse to eat it, mostly), but I can see how it would have made a major difference when I was a kid. 'Til now, this very moment, it had never occurred to me that the US fondness for these vile things was actually an instance of the same word carrying two meanings, so thank you for that. George Bernard Shaw would've been quicker.
kitmizkit on September 1st, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
If commercial British ice cream is of the same general quality as commercial Irish ice cream, I'd go off it too (in fact I have, and thus instead spend €6.69 on Haagen-Dazs or Ben & Jerry's, which is like TEN DOLLARS A PINT FOR GOD'S SAKE). It's terrible.
(no subject) - desperance on September 1st, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mizkit on September 1st, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - desperance on September 1st, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Aberdeenaberdeen on September 1st, 2007 05:25 pm (UTC)
In fact, growing up in New England, there was always a definite difference between a Milk Shake and a Frappe (or, the best of the bunch, a Fribble from Friendly's).

A lot of the time, even in New England, you get the whole ice cream thing, but sometimes you get flavored, whipped, milk.

I tend to forget that, having been away for so long.

And now I'm really craving a Fribble.
Elaine Brennanelaine_brennan on September 1st, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
The milkshake minus ice cream is very much of a Rhode Island thing, where the item that contains both milk and ice cream is known as a cabinet.

(no subject) - tersa on September 1st, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - agrimony on September 1st, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Mary Annepers1stence on September 1st, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC)
If by "FIFTY DEGREES BELOW" you are referencing the Kim Stanley Robinson novel, I recently connected the dots -- of his books a bunch of seemingly disconnected books are actually connected.

Antarctica is the first of the ones I've read, the the 40 Days of Rain trilogy, and then the Red Mars books. The connection between them is not overt, and mostly it's Senator Chase that's the giveaway (he's referenced very briefly in one of the Mars books as a historical figure).
kitmizkit on September 1st, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)
I'm not at all surprised they're connected, and now that you mention it I remember Chase being referenced, I think. Cool.

Anyway, I just finished the book and did get the payoff for the whole bit that I was wondering if it was going anywhere, so that's good.

I loved the North Pole regatta scene.
Brian: Opuslogrusboy on September 1st, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC)
Hrm. Okay, I can understand the whole milkshake thing had it predated the invention of ice cream, but it's stuff like this that incites Americans to mock British cuisine. And let's face it, American cuisine isn't the world's finest. Except for deep fried Twinkies, which are better than anything else on Earth.

{Disclaimer: I've never really had a deep fried Twinkie. I've never wanted to have a deep fried Twinkie. The person who invented deep fried Twinkies clearly hated humanity even more than I do--which is, frankly, quite terrifying.}
omegaromegar on September 1st, 2007 07:59 pm (UTC)
I suspect the deep fried Twinkie was invented after the ndeep fried mars bar.

Which is a food i have longn wanted to try, but considering me levels of unhealthy shall have to wait Till it does not kill me!
(no subject) - agrimony on September 1st, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - logrusboy on September 1st, 2007 11:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - agrimony on September 3rd, 2007 01:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
madmiss on September 1st, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
Gino's on Wintrope st.
No harm trying, as you can tell them if you want syrup or not.
(and Captain america's do Malts... which are quite popular.)
irishkateirishkate on September 3rd, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thay do? I was just told the other day that Captain America's is a good place to go eat. I wouldn't have thought so but what with them having malts as well I shall have to go try...
pgmccpgmcc on September 1st, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC)
If you want a good milkshake, go to Eddie Rockets. They're thick with ice cream,ice cold and delicious.
Sunfeet: Safe Lifedreamstrifer on September 1st, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
mmm. I loves me some Midwest milkshakes.

Damn. now I'm totally craving one.
kitmizkit on September 1st, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, me too. :)
(no subject) - dreamstrifer on September 1st, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
catrinpcatrinp on September 2nd, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC)
" a practice which is still continued in some parts of the UK, Australia and New England."
Can I swear? this is total and utter Bull with respect to Australia.

NEVER have I experienced a milkshake in Australia that does not contain icecream.

Come on over and you can taste a proper milkshake.

(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - catrinp on September 2nd, 2007 03:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
irishkateirishkate on September 2nd, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
hah - milk shakes with ice-cream? that's not a milk shake. It's something else. But I's sure I know where you can get what you are looking for I just need to think about it. And for those who send you to eddie rockets - there isn't one in the city and mizkit would need a car to get to those in cork - but I'll pick you up and ake you sometime..
Janne: Lunchjanne on September 2nd, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
I met the cultural divide on milk shakes coming the other way -- the first time I bought a milkshake in the States I couldn't figure out how to drink it, it was so thick it took immense effort to get it through a straw! Eventually ate it with a spoon and great suspicion, thinking about scary american chemicals or something added to the milk...
irishkateirishkate on September 3rd, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC)
grins - I remember my poor cousin discussing this with me. He said "I sucked and sucked and for ages nothing happened and then eventually it started to come and I go t a mouthful of white stuff" and then he blushed as he thought about that sentance...
Trent the Uncatchableknappenp on September 4th, 2007 12:38 pm (UTC)
Wow. I grew up in Chicago, where milkshakes have ice cream and milk and syrups. Or just flavored ice cream and milk. I'm having problems wrapping my brain around a milkshake without ice cream. Poor, poor Kit. Poor, poor people in Ireland. And, apparently, New England. (Frappes are a different beast here too, as they use some weird thickening powder.)