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Here's Why Grape Ice Cream Isn't a Thing

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The world is full of grape-flavored beverages, popsicles, jellies, and even medicines, but for some mysterious reason, grape-flavored ice cream is harder to find. In a recent interview with Thrillist, Ben Cohen, co-founder of ice cream company Ben & Jerry's, helped to shed some light on the reason behind the dearth. 

Contrary to all the popular (and slightly absurd) conspiracy theories floating around, Cohen’s rationale is purely logistical. Grapes have a high water content, so when you try to use the fruit as a base for ice cream, chunks of that water therein tend to freeze. Chefs whipping up small batches of homemade grape ice cream can avoid this problem by pureeing the fruit, but it’s much harder to manufacture large volumes of ice cream when it’s flecked with bits of ice.

Of course, other fruits, like cherries, are also mostly water—and Cherry Garcia is one of Ben & Jerry’s most popular flavors. In short, it’s possible to make fruit ice cream on a larger scale, but the demand has to be there to make the hassle worthwhile (and for that matter, profitable). And as Cohen explained, most people don’t even think to associate grapes with ice cream—so if Ben & Jerry’s made a grape-flavored dessert, it's likely that nobody would buy it. Since cherry and vanilla are such popular flavors, it pays for the company to make Cherry Garcia.

These complications haven’t stopped others from attempting to make and sell their own grape-flavored ice cream. Candy manufacturer Airheads reportedly gave it a whirl, and long ago Ben & Jerry’s attempted a grape ice cream, as well as a “Sugar Plum” ice cream that tasted kind of like grapes. (Neither flavor took off.) In the end, it simply takes a lot of work to make a good grape ice cream—and as long as the public isn’t clamoring to eat it, food giants aren’t clamoring to provide it.

[h/t Thrillist]

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toyohara, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0 (cropped)
Meet Japan's Original (Not-so-Fresh) Form of Sushi, 'Funazushi'
toyohara, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0 (cropped)
toyohara, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0 (cropped)

When it comes to sushi, fresh is usually best. Most of the sushi we eat in America is haya-nare, which involves raw seafood and vinegared rice. But in Japan, there's an older form of sushi—said to be the original form—called funazushi. It's made from fermented carp sourced from one particular place, Lake Biwa, and takes about three years to produce from start to finish. The salt it's cured with keeps the bad bacteria at bay, and the result is said to taste like a fish version of prosciutto. Great Big Story recently caught up with Mariko Kitamura, the 18th generation to run her family’s shop in Takashima City, where she's one of the very few people left producing funazushi. You can learn more about the process behind the delicacy, and about Kitamura, in the video below.

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Bibo Barmaid
Bibo Barmaid Is Like a Keurig for Cocktails—and You Can Buy It Now
Bibo Barmaid
Bibo Barmaid

To make great-tasting cocktails at home, you could take a bartending class, or you could just buy a fancy gadget that does all the work for you. Imbibers interested in the hands-off approach should check out Bibo Barmaid, a cocktail maker that works like a Keurig machine for booze.

According to Supercall, all you need to turn the Bibo Barmaid system into your personal mixologist is a pouch of liquor and a pouch of cocktail flavoring. Bibo's liquor options include vodka, whiskey, rum, and agave spirit (think tequila), which can be paired with flavors like cucumber melon, rum punch, appletini, margarita, tangerine paloma, and mai tai.

After choosing your liquor and flavor packets, insert them into the machine, press the button, and watch as it dilutes the mixture and pours a perfect single portion of your favorite drink into your glass—no muddlers or bar spoons required.

Making cocktails at home usually means investing in a lot of equipment and ingredients, which isn't always worth it if you're preparing a drink for just yourself or you and a friend. With Bibo, whipping up a cocktail isn't much harder than pouring yourself a glass of wine.

Bibo Barmaid is now available on Amazon for $240, and cocktail mixes are available on Bibo's website starting at $35 for 18 pouches. The company is working on rolling out its liquor pouches in liquor stores and other alcohol retailers across the U.S.

[h/t Supercall]

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