Vantage point

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Local Flavour

Since Penn State is the provider of my daily pita bread and 'I can't believe it's not butter', it is only fair to write something about the University's oldest and most influential institution - Joe Paterno. But I don't know enough about American football to write about him, so I'll just leave the wikipedia link on, and write about the second most influential institution - The University Creamery.

When I first got here, I found it funny that even in a college town as serious about partying as this one (my advisor says Penn State is now a football school with a drinking problem, it's a drinking school with a football problem), the most famous place to visit is an ice cream shop. But one lick of the Bittersweet Mint and I saw the light.

The Creamery produces simply the best ice cream in the world. It is the largest university creamery in the world, and even Ben & Jerry took a course from here. What makes the Creamery remarkable beyond the ice cream, is its total Puneri attitude. Service is slow, the layout, even in the new premisis, is badly planned. This leads to huge queues. And even though a single portion is so huge that even yours truly at his hungriest can finish only half of it, no mixing of flavours is allowed. In fact a sign which could belong to any Puneri restaurant informs the customer that the Creamery will not mix flavours under any circumstance.

If you still insist on mixed flavours, you better have been elected to the highest office in the land.

The queues outside the creamery are crazy, especially on home game days, when the 100,000-plus capacity Beaver Stadium shows as much interest in having ice cream as watching football. In fact the Creamery moved to its new location, simply so it could be closer to the stadium. Which works out fine for me, because it also makes it closer to the Business Building. Several hueristics have enabled me to identify the perfect queue-free time to visit the Creamery.

Hey maybe I should have written about their flavour Peachy Paterno, then I could have covered both institutions in one post.