Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How Can We Define "Crunchies"?

This is one of my first posts as a food critic, but I promise that every foodie should read this.


Last summer, we met our buddy Joe in a bar and he was wearing a Marino's T-shirt. My wife, a Midwesterner, had no idea what product the shirt was advertising, and we had to explain that Marino's is only the best commercial Italian ice company in the world.*

*Luigi's sucks, hence the nickname "Loogies."

Naturally, once we began discussing Marino's, we reflexively described the key ingredient in the Italian ices: crunchies. The mere mention of the crispy, syrupy bottom layer of the ices made me salivate. "Crunchies are ahh-mazing," I told Kerry through a thick layer of drool. My friends were equally complimentary of crunchies, if not quite as disgusting about it.

Each of us detailed a strategy for maximizing crunchies:
Me: "Flip the Italian ice as soon as possible to catch the crunchies before they melt."
Joe: "No, allow some of the ice to melt, then mix the crunchies with that melty part to take advatage of all the syrup."
Girl Joe Was Hitting On: "Crunchies are sooooo good..." (Okay, so hers wasn't really a strategy.)

We even discovered that someone has created a Facebook page honoring the miraculous crunchies.

After this way-too-lengthy discussion* ended, Kerry seemed to understand the concept of crunchies. She's even had a Marino's or 12 since then.

*Which made it the same as any other barroom discussion, ever.

As a transplanted New Yorker, Kerry has also become familiar with another East Coast purveyor of frozen deliciousness. I'm talking about Carvel.

For her birthday last month, I bought Kerry a Carvel ice cream cake that would melt the heart of any wife:

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My insensitivity as a husband notwithstanding, a group of my friends was discussing Fudgie the Whale after consuming it. "The crunchies were so good," I said. Unsurprisingly, everyone agreed.

Kerry started laughing and told me that I couldn't refer to the miniature chocolate pellets in the Carvel cake as "crunchies." After all, we had already spent far too long establishing crunchies as a different concept.

However, many of our friends agreed that, like the Marino's crunchies, the Carvel crunchies could also properly be called "crunchies." Our buddy Dan even said that, to this day, his mom orders him a separate dish of extra crunchies to pour on his Carvel birthday cake each year. (In possibly related news, Dan is 29 years old.)

Anyways, right before the Fourth of July, we passed Carvel and saw this on the window:

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Kerry snapped the photo while also poking fun at our dumb New York obsession with crunchies.

So back to the title of this post: How can we define "crunchies"? The answer to that question is indeed a crucial one, because the term crunchies is still identified by Microsoft Word and Blogger as a spelling error. In addition, the usually-reliable Urban Dictionary provides a wildly unrelated definition.

So let's come up with a killer definition of crunchies, and the progeny of Noah Webster can thank us at a later date. Here it goes:


Crunchies -- the delectable, perfectly-textured, ball-shaped morsels crucial to the composition of Marino's Italian ices and Carvel ice cream cakes

I'll let you guys come up with your own ways to use crunchies in various sentences. During the summertime -- especially on the East Coast -- the sky seems to be the limit.


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