Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I scream for peanut butter sundaes.

As former denizens of New England, Miles and I were both thoroughly indoctrinated into the church of Friendly's at a very young age.

You think I exaggerate, but I do not. Ice cream is something of a religion in New England; the abundance of dairy farms combines with the fervent embrace of a short summer season to create a frenzy for frozen, creamy goodness. The region is chock full of local, artisanal creameries. I remember, for example, my brother's deep and abiding passion for the banana split at Kimball's in Westford, Massachusetts. And there are two local ice cream places within walking distance of my aunt's condo in Bristol, Rhode Island.

All this local goodness, and Miles and I wind up at Friendly's. I know, I know.

Friendly's, for those of you who've never had the luck to visit it, is a hamburger and ice cream chain with outlets found mainly in the Northeast - but who, in the last ten years or so, have begun to sell their ice cream in grocery stores around the country.

For me, Friendly's was always, primarily, a place for dessert. My dad would take us there as a Sunday afternoon treat, or I'd go with fellow community theatre cast members after a late-night dress rehearsal or to celebrate an opening night. It was a treat, a special occasion kind of place, and it was there that my love of peanut butter sundaes was born.

Friendly's, you see, has this Reese's Pieces sundae that I remember as pretty much the best thing ever. The peanut butter sauce is a warm, salty counterpoint for the rich hot fudge (Friendly's has real fudge sauce, not syrup) and the cold vanilla ice cream. All of these things remain awesome, but I'm actually kind of over the Reese's Pieces themselves. When eaten at room temperature, they are as delicious as ever, in that peanut-butter-plus-chemical-emulsifiers kind of way. But dotted in a sundae, they are frozen, rock hard, and practically tasteless.

Not that this stopped me from enjoying my sundae to the utmost; I just ate around them. I am, after all, an expert in the field.


TKTC said...

Drooling at my desk. This was the single best part of going to visit mom's extended family in Springfield, MA. Started with clown cones and graduated to the peanut butter sundae. Audible stomach grumbling.

Jen said...

I don't like peanut butter. Yeah, I know. But I'll take a sunday any day, yum!

Kasha said...

Warm peanut butter sauce! This sounds amazing. I sort of envy your life.

Meg Blocker said...

@TKTC: It's amazing to me how many people positively crave this peanut butter sauce. I might have to try recreating it at home.

@Jen: More for me! Actually, in all seriousness, I've noticed that most people raised outside of the States are not big peanut butter lovers. You grew up in Venezuela, I think? Interesting...

@Kasha: This stuff is like crack. They have a pretty good version at Toft's in Ohio, too. Yum. (And, thank you!)

Michelle said...

I missed this post due to the business of the start of school :( BUT OMG I love Friendly's! So many good childhood memories from there.

Jeremy said...

I am thinking of leaving work and going to Kimballs. Not good.

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