08 1 / 2012
This week I’m at Penn State for their famous Ice Cream Short Course, which has been running for 120 years. The moment I cracked open my enormous class binder and textbook, I could tell what a challenge this will be for me, a person with little mathematical ability. There are a lot of numbers involved in ice cream, and a lot of mysterious Greek characters. And diagrams of dairy machinery. And pie charts. Tomorrow we start the day with Mix Calculations, which frankly scares the poop out of me, but if I study hard I’m confident I can master whatever formulae the professors lob at us. I’ll have to if I’m going to take my ice cream to the next level.
I’m in good company as an ice cream hobbyist. Of the 134 other students in the course, quite a few are lifelong ice cream enthusiasts who’re taking the course in hopes of embarking on a second (or third) career in ice cream. There are nurses, teachers, graphic designers, even a few other tattooed kids with thick black frames (my people!). There’s a guy who used to breed exotic cats–and I mean leopards, not Persians. There are also farmers (cow and goat), and representatives from various major ice cream brands, and plenty of “ice cream wannabes” dreaming of their own scoop shops.
Tomorrow we vote on our class name, which is sure to contain a pun on “Whey” or “Ash”. (Bet you didn’t know there was ash in milk! Well, there is.) Tomorrow’s also the day we learn about ice cream novelties, which I’ve been particularly excited about! I’m already tired, but I can’t wait.