#36 When there’s ice cream left at the bottom of the cone

My friend Allison is obsessed with The Last Taste.

Out at a restaurant, sitting on a deck, over at a friend’s for a potluck, it doesn’t matter. “No meal should end with anything less than the best taste possible,” she’ll say, while devouring the pink and juicy inner-cube of steak she’s saved on her plate during the entire meal. “It’s not worth the risk.”

I admit at first I found it odd, but over time began to admire her strong-willed ability to resist further nibbling. Me, I typically capped off a slice of fancy cheesecake with a bite of a cold, tough dinner roll from an hour ago without even thinking about it.

But not Allison.

No, she doesn’t mask the last bit of Big Mac with the stray ribbons of sauce-smeared lettuce lying in the box. She doesn’t chase the sticky brownie paste in her molars with a glass of watery skim milk. And if we’re dining out in style, she won’t taste-test anyone’s dinner after she finished her own. “There’s no way that’s better than my ravioli,” she’ll say, shrugging. “I want to keep tasting ravioli.”

So keep tasting ravioli she does. Because that’s what Last Tasters do, people. They find a taste they like and they stick with it.

Now, Allison isn’t the only Last Taster out there. Stop for a second and look at yourself, just look at yourself. What are you, lying in bed, sitting at a desk, reading on the couch? And are you nodding along? Sure, there are plenty of you even if you don’t wear buttons or meet in chat rooms. Basically, if you make sure there’s always a perfect crust of toast left for that last smear of egg yolk, you’re one of them.

But don’t worry because it’s a good thing.

Yes, that kind of Eat Planning is something worth respecting and something worth believing in. You come, you chomp, you go home happy, your mouth slowly savoring those final fleeting fumes of that last bite of deliciosity.

Nothing wrong with that.

But sadly, even for those in the biz, it’s not all sunshine and sweetness out there. No, there are some foods that can trip up the best of the Last Tasters. There’s the plain nacho at the bottom of the cheesy salsa tower, the meatless bread at the back of the sandwich, and perhaps most dreaded of all: the hollow cardboard bite at the bottom of the ice cream cone.

Oh I know the ice cream looks innocent at first: a couple ice-steaming scoops sitting pretty atop a sugar-sweet cone. What’s not to love?

And maybe when you start eating everything seems to be smooth sailing. That napkin-clad cone lands in your hand and you start giving it a few light licks, not wanting an overly-aggressive tongue to topple the tower on the sidewalk. Once your scoop settles into the cone’s lippy grooves, you tend to get a bit more pushy. Broad, sweeping swirls do laps and sometimes you even punch in with a big bite or a lip-smearing kiss. Maybe it’s hot and you’re dripping so there’s no time for small talk because you’re just spinning that cone like a corncob.

Sitting on a picnic table by the dorms, watching the sun dip at the cottage, camping in the backyard with the grandkids, you lose your sense of time and just keep licking, licking, licking some more.

It tastes so good so you hit the top of the cone and fly by, passing the point where your ice cream creates a perfectly flat tongue-smeared strawberry-flavored land, bordered on all sides by soggy foam cone. Soon you take your first cone-and-ice-cream bite and relish those new sensations of sweet with bland, smooth with crunch, and cold with warm. Frozen, creamy nirvana makes you woozy and lowers your defenses until you’re almost done and it finally hits you like a hammer: Brother, you’re not going to make it.

Shocked, you stare down at the cone in your hand and notice it’s feeling a bit light. There’s more ice cream in there but not much, and you have a funny feeling those last few bites of cone are going to be hollow and tasteless if you don’t do something about it. So you weigh your two options:

1. The Vacuum. Knowing you’re almost out of time, some people decide to cut their losses form a perfect O with their mouth to speed-suck the remaining creamy plunder from the cone. This way you end up with a solid 100% ice cream finish and ditch the cone in the trash.

2. The Pusher. Here your tongue gets in the game and pushes the ice cream down and down deeper into the cone. You’re not giving up, you’re not sacrificing, you just making sure you end up with a great final taste. The earlier you perform The Pusher, the better for everyone involved.

Now it’s a tough choice, but I recommend you go for The Pusher. Don’t give up because the benefits really are worth it. I mean, it’s a great last taste when you’re holding that tiny little goblet of bubbly, melted ice cream and can just toss it back for a tasty cool and creamery finish. Instead of having empty and brittle cardboard fouling up your mouth, you score a soft and sugary delight.

People of the world, let’s face it: if you ace this move you are a true dairy queen.

AWESOME!

Thank you for 1,000,000 views on our TED Talk!

I’ll be speaking at the University of Waterloo on Friday night. Come by if you’re close! (You don’t gotta go to school there.)

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

60 thoughts on “#36 When there’s ice cream left at the bottom of the cone

  1. Aww man, it’s been a particularly hot day today, and eating the “tiny little goblet of bubbly, melted ice cream” sounds soooo good!

    Damn this blog and it’s delicious posts…

  2. My favorite part of eating a cone is those pre-made drumsticks that have the chunk of chocolate at the end of the cone to prevent drippage of melted ice cream. Now THAT’S a great Last Taste!

  3. This may or may not come as a surprise, I drive everyone CRAZY with the time it takes for me to eat most anything! For me this falls this is like the books I choose not to finish…touches on my avoidance of feeling that goes along with good-bye…and I am savouring that flavoring that’s dripping and filling in the waffle cone drumsticks tip~Oh So VERY Good~ (this is serious! I can hardly write it!), last bite…and as one highly respected and admired young man once told me, what is seen as obsession to one person is passion to another…that crown I’m wearing proud:)

    1. I’m glad you wrote this comment Wendy. This morning, I very nearly gave up and tossed the cone, but now I’m really looking forward to one last taste. :)

      1. It’s like “Spending all your money on candy” ~945
        When you know the emotionally packed hot tear rolling down your cheek is the last one, for now~ #854
        *(Sooo many more in the 800’s…reflective parallels throughout, period.)
        Singing and dancing along to, “Good on hold music”` #396
        “Catching the Ice Cream Truck”~ #392
        “Seeing A Really Happy dog out for a walk”…b/c I’m happily strollin’ along with her, side by side~ #403
        “The last train to Clarksville” (some of you know what I’m talking about) and this…
        http://1000awesomethings.com/2010/09/08/422-hanging-on/comment-page-2/#comments

        1. Yes, Neil really does have a gift for parallels and metaphors doesn’t he!
          I’m a savourer with passion as well………………

    2. OMG another slow eater!! But wait, we don’t say slow, do we? We ‘savour’ our food, amiright? haha :P
      I do everything slowly, talking, sporting, getting ready, reading, drinking, and especially eating. I;m made fun of -__- haha but it’s all in good fun.

  4. I thought I was the only person who saved the best bite for last! this is why I always eat the edge of a cookie first, the middle is the best part!

  5. I have always been and always will be a last taster!
    you gotta save the best for last! :) I completely understand where your friend is coming from!
    and when it comes to ice cream cones, I’m a pusher! From the second I read the title the first thing I thought was – Yeah you have to push it down there! :D

  6. Oh, man. I was a little bit hungry before I read this and now all I can think about is that delicious box of cereal on the shelf behind me. Unfortunately it’s 2:00 am and I’m about to go to bed.

    Must….. resist……

  7. Definitely a pusher! That last bite of just a bit of cone and lots of ice cream is the best! Although, I do sometimes bite the bottom of the cone first and then suck the ice cream through the little hole I just made.

    1. Me too! I’ve been a pusher for as long as I can remember eating ice cream cones. That just always seemed like the best way to do it!

      But that whole biting the bottom of the cone business? That sounds dangerous! If you’ve still got ice cream left up top, it’s become a race against time!

        1. Don’t anybody tell him I told you, but my husband even has sound effects that go along with all this and that you’ve said. Which depending on many things can be most annoying and disgusting at times, but for the most part hilarious! I wonder how he cannot own an unstained shirt…seriously! And when he finds a crumb or droplet of ice-cream on that shirt or in his beard, his eyes light up with joy and he says, “There you are…I knew I’d find you sooner or later”…(chuckles)…”Come to papa now:)” and he eats it…every last microscopic crumb!

      1. I used to bite the bottom of the cone and suck the ice cream out all the time! The key is to eat the ice cream down until it’s flush with the top of the cone first. I had to stop in middle school because the boys at my lunch table used to tease me.

          1. *CRIES INTO FREDDO’S SHOULDER*
            Haha, no I won’t go that far. But really, where have you been for this long Freddo drought??? I know I can speak for most of us in saying that we’ve been missing your insightful and amusing comments. Soooo I’m waiting to hear it!

            1. Hehehe.. :)

              I wish there was a better explanation, but it was basically just an extended period of weird stuff at work (we’d had a bunch of lay-offs / anxiety about losing my job / transition into new roles, etc.) that had me particularly busy and just in a weird state of mind. So, I was still reading the posts, but not really commenting. Once all that work stuff got sorted out (for the best!), I was much more cheerful and excited to join all you fun folks again! :)

              Plus, I needed to get back here for the final push to #1!!

              1. Sigh…. I GUESS I can forgive you… kinda… sorta… maybe… ;D
                What really matters is that YOU’RE HERE! And in for the last haul. If anyone can think of any of the regulars that haven’t been on here lately, by George, get them on here! We need everyone from the Awesome community here supporting each other for the last 20 at least :D

                1. Hi Emmy! My true blue avatar is gone but I swear this is me, Wendy! I’ll be listening to your songs some times to cheer me up when I’m missing everyone. Been some really good times and people here alright.

                  1. Haha awww thank you :D Would you like to actually buy a CD? They’re $20 each, plus postage, so I guess in American dollars that would be abouttttt….. $37. You are in the US right? Anyway, if you don’t feel the need to buy the whole CD that’s fine, or if it’s too expensive or whatever. Just putting the idea out there :)) Ok tata for now!!

                    1. Emmy, I’m Canadian:) And while this is not a good time to buy a CD, I’d consider it down the road a bit; will connect with you on you tube if it’s after #1. Speaking of which, #1 could be to me as that last chapter or bite I actually leave alone or share…..And might not…don’t know yet…

                    2. Haha ok sure I’ll keep one spare if ever you want to purchase it :) And I just checked with the currency converter and in CAD it’s about the same, if a few cents less. I like the thought of still catching up with people from here even after #1!! Does everyone want to fly out to West Australia to hang out at my place, or are we still all meeting at Freddo’s???

    2. Oh yeah, pushing is where it’s at! And biting the tip of the cone off and sucking the ice cream through the little hole makes it fun! Plus, the cone around the hole soaks up ice cream and gets soggy, making a special cone taste! There’s always the preemptive tip bite designed to prevent drips when the ice cream that’s been soaking through to the bottome of the cone (Thank you cone making waitress, that’s some super cone twisting!) begins dripping through the cone tip.

  8. This is why I don’t brush my teeth immediately when I finish a great meal. I don’t want to spoil the memory.

  9. I’m a pusher! I gasped when I read that some people throw away the cone without eating it. That has to be a cardinal sin in some religions. I do plan my meals to finish with my favorite bite. The only time that fails is when I get a piece of peppercorn stuck in my teeth. Five minutes later I’m still savoring my meal then BAM – here comes the pepper burn/icky taste.

  10. Just be careful who you eat with, Last Tasters. Don’t let tragedy befall you, like it happened to someone near and dear to me. You see, this young boy was eating out with his family at a restaurant – a rare treat for them. He wanted to savour his favourite part of his fried chicken meal for the end, and carefully stacked the delicious crispy skin at the side of his plate. Just as he was about to savour his carefully planned Last Bite, he let his guard down for just one second. That’s all it took for his dad to swoop in and eat up those chicken skins that he thought the boy didn’t want. Turning back expectantly to his plate, the boy FOUND IT EMPTY.

    So be careful who you eat wtih, Last Tasters. Just be careful out there.

    1. Wow – that’s an important cautionary tale for all of us. Thanks for raising awareness on this important issue. If you are a Last Taster, be vigilant!

      I think that trick has to go in the “Dad bag of tricks” along with:
      1) “Let me taste that before you to make sure it’s not poisoned.”
      and
      2) “I paid for that meal, I can eat whatever part of it I want!”

  11. I am definitely a Last Taster! I have taken the phrase “Best til last” in a literal sense basically my whole life, so I don’t even have to think- it’s just always the heap of gravy on the juicy tender steak with the softest bit of pumpkin, or the bread bit of toast with the fluffiest part of the egg, or the 1/3 crust, 1/2 filling and 1/6 base last bite of the berry pie, or even the red and pink snakes left last in the lolly packet. I don’t want to have some yucky orange snake taste in my mouth when I finish the packet, and have nothing to shoo that bad taste away! I’m always a very neat eater too- I say, savour food (refer to Wendy’s comment up there ^^^ aha), eat neatly, get every last grain of flavoured rice on your plate, and keep the best taste til last! Last Tasters unite!! :)

  12. Much like trying to get the perfect cereal-to-milk ratio, which we’ve discussed here in the past, my wife is really big into the right balance between ice cream and cone.

    You see, unlike most people, she doesn’t just want to eat that delicious big ball of dripping ice cream on the top. And the idea of eating dry cone makes her shudder. She wants to nibble around the edges of a nicely moistened cone, that has been absorbing that melting ice cream deliciousness.

    So, we’ve done the only logical thing and become an ice cream eating pair (just like a good chicken wing eating pair that shares the mini-drumsticks and the flat-pats). Whenever we share an ice cream cone, I’ll typically start out with it solidly in my grubby hands for a while, eating away at the big ice cream ball. But as we get closer to the cone, she knows it’s game time!

    I’ll pass it over, and she VERY CAREFULLY nibbles all the way around the cone rim, careful to get the perfect mix of ice cream and cone in each bite. Then, once she’s made it all around, it’s back to me to eat the ice cream up top (and use the pushing technique, to make sure there will always be ice cream the whole way down).

    Repeat – I’d say we pass a cone back and forth about 5-6 times to complete this little ritual. Obviously, I’m all in favor of this – more ice cream for me!!

    1. That’s actually really sweet. :) It’s great when a couple’s eating habits totally complement each other like that! Like wing buddies!

  13. Since we’re on the topic of Queen’s and all, just thought I’d reiterate~
    “If there’s a bustle in your hedgegrow…it just a Spring-Clean for the May Queen…….Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to chnge the road you’re on……and it makes me wonder, Neil;)

  14. Always save the best for last! I’m convinced it’s part of the obesity problem in America…or at least the flabby problem in my own belly. If I have a delicious creamy mashed potato mountain at the corner of my plate, you can bet I’m going to shovel down my veggies and fish first so every last savory bite is like a warm hug for my mouth. The problem with this is that I almost always end up stuffing myself beyond all reason because I can’t not eat every last bite of mashed potatoes. It’s the same reason I eat the crust of the poptart before enjoying the gooey center. Life is just better when the last taste is the best.

  15. I saw waterloo, and I was really excited because Waterloo, NY is just a few minutes from me. Then I clicked the link, and saw .ca and I was like, darn, Canada. Canada’s a bit too far… Also, I really want ice cream now!

  16. Truthfully, even a tiny taste of pistachio ice cream makes me happy. I’d choose it as my one and only flavour.

    1. This is all my fault. Thank god you stayed out of this one pistachio. It’s much better that way. My mistake. Who knew there were so many shades of badgy blue? I’d better stay away from chasing the ice-cream truck for a bit to protect innocent bystanders from getting hit :)

  17. absolutely a last taster. . .a life-time of last tasting has helped me build great skills of “even eating”–rationing all my favorite things about a dish to ensure that the last taste is indeed awesome, which also solves the ice cream dilemma :)
    Great post!

  18. I can’t believe that there is actualy a name for people like me. I feel part of something bigger, something new… Last Tasters of the world unite!

  19. i agree…i never stopped to think about it and i honestly felt like i was the only one who did this. i’m very nit-picky about it too and i do this with EVERYTHING i eat–snacks, meals, desserts, drinks–i always try to leave the perfect taste ratio for last so i can keep that taste in my mouth after i’m finished.

  20. Haha just did this today- I had Ritz biscuits and cabanosi and cheese cubes for lunch today and each bite I had a biscuit with one slice of meat and one cube of cheese placed side by side and I put the whole thing in my mouth :D Well now, I got down to my last six buscuits and my friend alerted me to the fact that I would run out of biscuits BEFORE THE MEAT AND CHEESE. I started freaking out but then it was OK because I broke them in half :D Hahaha always have to have that equal taste of everything together every step of the way.

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