Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America

Amy Ettinger
A journalist channels her ice-cream obsession, scouring the United States for the best artisanal brands and delving into the surprising history of ice cream and frozen treats in America.   For Amy Ettinger, ice cream is not just a delicious snack but a circumstance and a time of year—frozen forever in memory. As the youngest child and only girl, ice cream embodied unstructured summers, freedom from the tyranny of her classmates, and a comforting escape from her chaotic, demanding family.   Now as an adult and journalist, her love of ice cream has led to a fascinating journey to understand ice cream’s evolution and enduring power, complete with insight into the surprising history behind America’s early obsession with ice cream and her experience in an immersive ice-cream boot camp to learn from the masters. From a visit to the one place in the United States that makes real frozen custard in a mammoth machine known as the Iron Lung, to the vicious competition among small ice-cream makers and the turf wars among ice-cream trucks, to extreme flavors like foie gras and oyster, Ettinger encounters larger-than-life characters and uncovers what’s really behind America’s favorite frozen treats.   Sweet Spot is a fun and spirited exploration of a treat Americans can’t get enough of—one that transports us back to our childhoods and will have you walking to the nearest shop for a cone.


Reviewed: 2018-07-30

I love books where people talk about a passion or talk passionately about work. For Amy Ettinger her passion is ice cream and it shows in this amazing book. This is one of those books that I feel into and finished within a day. There was so much to love about this book and also, sadly, heartache. I learned for instance that most ice cream stores in America use a commercial base rather than make their ice cream totally from scratch. This means that your favourite ice cream store is probably only creating great flavours. And in her gelato chapter I began to understand something that has been puzzling me as I've gathered and read cookbooks for gelato. Gelato means anything frozen in Italian, there's no standard for milk solid facts or eggs or anything. So that explained why in one book I had recipes for an egg custard base and in others an eggless base. My favourite chapter though was over soda fountains. I will never look at an old movie where the teens are sipping out of a glass with two straws. I even went so far as to grab a piece of paper to write down the books Ettinger referenced in the soda fountain section. 

This is a good, fun (sometimes heart - breaking) book about everything frozen. I recommend it to anyone who loves food, or wants to learn more about a food that is our national comfort food.

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