July 16 is National Ice Cream Day, and as far as we’re concerned, every day is National Book-Reading Day. To help you effectively combine these two life-giving pleasures, we’re serving up some recommendations for books and ice cream flavors that pair well together. (If you figure out how to eat ice cream and hold a book at the same time, let us know.)
Ben & Jerry’s Bob Marley’s One Love™ and A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
The famous Vermont ice cream kings created this flavor as a tribute to the late, great reggae star Bob Marley. It’s got a banana ice cream base with caramel and graham cracker swirls and fudge peace signs. This ice cream is to die for, so it’s a perfect pairing with A Brief History of Seven Killings, the Man Booker Prize-winning novel from Jamaican writer Marlon James. The centerpiece of this sprawling, music-infused book is the 1976 attempted assassination of none other than Bob Marley.
Halo Top Creamery Vanilla Bean and The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens
Folks around the office are raving about the low-calorie-but-heavenly-tasting ice cream from Halo Top Creamery. This young company was founded by Justin Woolverton, a former lawyer. You know who else was a former lawyer? The modernist poet Wallace Stevens. You know which modernist poet wrote a poem called “The Emperor of Ice-Cream”? That’s right. It’s Wallace Stevens. So naturally we’re pairing Halo Top Vanilla Bean ice cream with The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens.
Blue Bell Creameries Rocky Road and Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
Blue Bell® is a Texas ice cream maker. Julia Heaberlin is a Texas author. The name Blue Bell was inspired by a wildflower common in Texas, the Bluebell (Eustoma grandiflorum). The name of Heaberlin’s novel was inspired by a wildflower common in Texas, the Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta). Rocky Road is made with dark chocolate, and Black-Eyed Susans is a dark psychological thriller. With this ice cream and this novel, once you get started, you won’t want to stop.
Nestlé® Drumstick® and The Tin Drum by Günter Grass
An individually-wrapped ice cream cone with chocolate coating and peanuts. That’s the brilliant idea I.C. Parker had in 1928. His wife said the shape reminded her of a fried chicken leg, so he called it a Drumstick. Naming an ice cream treat after a piece of fried chicken is pretty weird when you think about it. So don’t think about it. Just eat it. And what goes best with a Drumstick®? A drum, of course. The Tin Drum, by Günter Grass. This 1959 novel concerns a three-year-old German boy who decides to stop growing, which is also pretty weird when you think about it.
Häagen-Dazs® Dulce de Leche and White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Häagen-Dazs® is an ice cream company with a fake Danish-sounding name, founded in the Bronx by Jewish immigrants from Poland (one of them born in the UK). Dulce de Leche, one of their more popular flavors, is based on a popular Latin American confection. That’s a lot of cultures mixed up in every bite, making it the perfect companion for White Teeth, Zadie Smith’s dazzling novel about two wartime friends—one Bangladeshi and one British—and their families living in modern-day London.
What ice cream would go well with the book you’re currently reading?