An ice cream flavor smackdown in Oakland
Like so many of the iconic foods of classic Americana, Rocky Road ice cream — that incomparable combination of chocolate ice cream, marshmallows, and nuts — has a somewhat contentious, twisted origin tale. One thing’s for certain, though, according to the latest episode of the KQED podcast Bay Curious: Rocky Road was definitely invented in Oakland. As the podcast details, the two companies who have the most plausible claims are Dreyer’s, the Nestle-owned mega-corporation, and Fentons Creamery, whose old-fashioned ice cream parlor has long been a Piedmont Avenue staple. Both companies spin Rocky Road origin stories that date back to the late 1920s when the respective owners of each creamery claim to have come up with the flavor’s great innovation — mixing solid ingredients into the base ice cream — as a kind of balm against the woes of the Great Depression. Did a large corporation steal the credit from a local mom-and-pop? Was it almonds or walnuts that proved to be the real game changer? Read or listen to the whole saga here.
A South Bay city says ‘no’ to In-N-Out
Is there any downside to adding another outlet of every Californian’s favorite fast-food burger chain? Apparently, the South Bay city of Campbell decided so, if by the narrowest of margins, the Mercury News reports. The decision seemed mostly driven by the fear that fans of a Double-Double, Animal-Style would wreak havoc on local traffic patterns.
Local produce market closes up shop
Noe Valley corner market Church Produce has closed suddenly under somewhat mysterious circumstances, Hoodline reports. Notices saying that the business had failed to pay $5,500 rent were posted in the windows, indicating that the shop may have been evicted.
A bartender grapples with changing roles in the era of Trump and #MeToo
In the Chronicle, a Bay Area bartender writes about the challenges her profession is facing in these hyper-politicized times, as the old adage goes that bartending should never mix with politics and religion. “I try to give genuine and honest service,” one San Francisco bartender says. “If someone comes into one of my bars to unwind, my job is to create a safe and neutral space, even if it’s just for a few hours.”