Sweet Observations. Part 3: In Defense of Vanilla

For the love of sweet dairy products could someone please just tell me what is so wrong with vanilla? I don’t think that there was ever a more popular, but also more victimized flavor. I can’t count the number of times vanilla lovers will come into our shop and either end up being bullied into another flavor, or be ruthlessly teased for their lack of originality. As a fellow vanilla lover, I want to come to their defense. I want to yell over their naysaying counterparts, to give their taste validation, to give them their scoop on the house for their bravery in sticking to their guns. You don’t deserve to be heckled simply because you want to get vanilla instead of a chocolate with caramel, nuts, more chocolate, and cherries. *Disclaimer: that is not a flavor we have. Please don’t come into the shop looking for that and then get upset because you were led to believe we did.*

My favorite breed of vanilla haters are those that spend their entire time trying to get their friend to branch out to other tastes and then get plain chocolate themselves. Alright. You’ve lost your right to give your friend a hard time. Call me crazy here but I’m not sure that there is anything that separates plain vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry as being better than the next other than personal preference. But I don’t see the strawberry or chocolate lovers getting teased.

Where did vanilla get this bad rep? Why, when you look up synonyms for “vanilla” do you find words like “plain,” “boring,” and “unexciting?” Why not “timeless,” “classic,” or “loved by all and goes with just about anything?” I mean there’s got to be a reason that it’s the number one selling flavor in the world right? Even with all those other flavors out there, vanilla remains tried and true because of its uncomplicated and delicious sweetness. Vanilla holds such a beautiful nostalgic sentimentality. Sometimes you need an ice cream cone that reminds you of running around the streets barefoot as the streetlights flicker on, or sitting in the front seat of your dads truck with chicken nuggets and soft serve. Some days more than others, you need that trail of melted vanilla dripping down the edge of a cake cone onto your hand so you can wipe it on your bare leg while your mom tells you to get a napkin.

Now I’m not giving my fellow vanilla lovers out there a free pass to never try a new flavor ever again. I think you should always try new things and expand your palate, but if after trying new things vanilla is still your favorite, then by all means vanilla-on! Everyone has different tastes and you should be able to like what you like without fear of judgment. We could use a bit more sweet simplicity in this world.


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