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FOOD REVIEW:  Vanilla, you saucy tramp

New Frosty steals chocolate’s thunder

Casey Laughman
Associated Press

The Gazette
Accent Section, p. 5D

August 8, 2006

[Note: This material is copyright bythe Associated Press and The Gazette, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of The Gazette.]

Vanilla gets a bad rap. It’s boring. It’s bland. It’s only for people who think rye bread is too ‘‘out there.’’

If flavors were women, vanilla would be the one to bring home to mama — safe, sweet. Works in a library. Volunteers at a soup kitchen. Chocolate, on the other hand, is the girl in the back of the bar, throwing down shots and playing pool. You know, the one with the pierced eyebrow and the tattoo on her lower back.

But sometimes, vanilla can surprise you with how wild it can be. Consider the vanilla Frosty from Wendy’s. It was rolled out on a large scale last week, and it is, in a word, awesome.

No, ‘‘ awesome’’ isn’t a strong enough word. Try ‘‘ uberawesome.’’ Because, folks, this thing is good.

It’s not what you would expect — it’s smoother and sweeter than the regular Frosty. But when that first taste hit my tongue on a 95-degree day, it felt like a chorus should be singing in the background.

It’s an explosion of flavor that you wouldn’t expect from what isn’t quite a milkshake and isn’t quite ice cream. It’s got a boldness to it — almost a swagger — that you certainly won’t find in a milkshake. You’ll need a spoon, just like the original, but there’s no grainy texture.

While it seems almost sacrilegious — after all, the original Frosty was developed by Dave Thomas and was doing just fine for 36 years — the vanilla Frosty is an idea whose time has definitely come. The original Frosty is a classic, and deservedly so, but its new companion fits right in.

 I’m hooked. Bad. So while chocolate is passed out drunk on the bathroom floor, I’ll be stopping at Wendy’s to pick up the good girl with a hidden wild side.