I LOVE July’s tradition of the Big Blast! The Carnival in a Cup, as I call it, this is just what the doctor ordered to stave off the Covid-19 summer slump: Blue Cotton Candy ice cream, Marshmallows, with Pop Rocks sprinkled on top in a waffle cone.
Pop rocks on ice cream are a stroke of pure genius. They’re fun and flavorful, evoking happy childhood memories. I had so much fun introducing my daughter to them. I just loved her eyes wide with surprise when I told her to listen for the crackles. In ice cream, the pop rocks have just enough sparkiness without being overwhelming, perfect for my three-year-old. (I love how Sub Zero fosters her sense of discovery through science!) She decided it was “like little fireworks” in her mouth, and I have to agree. It’s totally reminiscent of those little firework fountains in the street that you gaped at as a kid.
I remember trying the Big Blast last year was the first time I had cotton candy ice cream, and right then I decided it really was like a carnival in a cup. Trying it now, it’s just the same; I can almost smell the freshly popped butter popcorn, see the rainbow of lights turn on as I realize the cue for the fireworks and turn to see the magical display start up behind me. It feels so familiar and brings back some of the happiest summer memories of my childhood. The marshmallows are reminiscent of the chewiness of real cotton candy, the pop rocks enhancing that firework memory. This is an experience. This is exactly what I need knowing we won’t be going to any carnivals this summer.
The rich opaque blue of the ice cream is just as big of a hit with my daughter as similar hues of ice cream were for me as a child. I remember begging my mom to get bright blue ice cream for my birthday. Did anyone else love that stuff? Or was that unique to my growing up experience? Regardless, I never expected an ice cream I’ve never had to be so nostalgic. Now, I know what you’re really wondering. Does it make your mouth blue? You better believe it. Your lips however get just a tinge no one would notice unless they, too, have recently enjoyed this spectacular hit. I wish this was available all summer.
Bottom line: The Cotton Candy is a carnival in a cup. Marshmallows evoke the chew of cotton candy, pop rocks spark and crackle delightfully, the waffle cone is much more than a garnish. This is what happy summer childhood memories are made of.