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How To Be A Good Ice Cream Citizen

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Feb 26, 2018

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player, Stitcher, or Apple Podcasts. (And please subscribe!)

One lazy weekend afternoon, Mythili and her husband Krishna (top) were wandering downtown Palo Alto after a big lunch. Mythili wanted dessert, but Krishna was too full to eat more.

She spotted an ice cream shop and went in to sample the flavors, but the flavors weren't great. So she left without buying anything.

Krishna was mortified:

“The intent of Mythili was to go and eat ice cream there…then morally I thought she should be [buying] something.”

But Mythili argues that she did nothing wrong:

"I always have the intent to buy [when I sample food]. But if I don’t like it, I’m not going to buy," Mythili says. "It’s just somehow in that store setting, it makes it harder to walk away. That’s where [Krishna and I] have different perspectives."

This week on The Sporkful, Dan and Cooks Illustrated food science expert Dan Souza (below) try to help Mythili and Krishna unravel the ethics, economics, and etiquette of free ice cream samples.


“I think I can provide a really unique perspective [on this debate]," Dan Souza notes. "I actually went to Ice Cream College.”

Listen in to the full episode for that discussion.

Plus, Dan Souza tells us what you can tell about the quality of an ice cream by how quickly it melts. And he reveals the artisanal ice cream industry's biggest secret.

And later in the episode, two listeners (below) who work in a ship yard and run a French fry stand together call in to debate the definition of a condiment.


Today's sponsors:

Interstitial music in this episode from Black Label Music:

- "Happy Rider" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt

- "Beep Boop" by Dylan Myers

- "Simple Song" by Chris Bierden

- "Horn In The City" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt

- "Stony Brook" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt

Photos: Courtesy of Dan Souza, Leland G., and Mythili D.

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