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Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Rancatore

Feynman-Flavored Ice Cream a Unique Treat

By Amandeep Loomba

Staff Writer

As if a free play about one of the most revered people to ever graduate from MIT wasn’t enough, after the performance of QED in 10-250, the audience was treated to a panel discussion and free samples of a new flavor of Toscanini’s ice cream, created in Feynman’s honor.

Though the highlight of the panel was easily the brief bit of bongo drumming and Professor Marvin Minsky’s memories of Feynman’s unique perspectives on the PC/Mac debate, nothing quite beats free ice cream.

QED, along with all of the other works still being published and produced in Feynman’s memory, proves that Feynman himself is more than just a flavor of the month. Nevertheless, Gus Rancatore, the founder of Toscanini’s Ice Cream, sought to honor Feynman with a unique ice cream based on a story from Feynman’s life.

Briefly, the story goes like this: Feynman is at a tea party at Princeton University. He’s checking out the ladies when he’s asked, “Would you like cream or lemon in your tea?” When he replies, “Both,” the hostess says, “Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman!” And the title of a best-selling book is born.

The new ice cream flavor itself is a blend of tea, cream, and lemon flavors. Like Feynman, it is entirely unique, and not entirely pleasant at first. The lemon is subtly tart, and quite unexpected in such a mix against the rich flat base of tea flavor. The taster’s tongue will have difficulty deciding whether it is experiencing a true ice cream or some sort of frosty Italian ice-like concoction.

The overall taste is far from saccharine, though. The variety of tastes present is subtle, and tends to linger for a bit, especially on your lips. It is not a flavor you will soon forget.

The flavor is as yet unnamed, but I humbly offer a few suggestions:

- QEDelicious

- Tanu Tuva Treat

- Tech Treacle

- QEC (Quantum Electro-Crematics)

Who was it that said, “All the flavors of ice cream that can be invented have been invented?” Whoever it was, Feynman would have thought he was a complete bonehead, as the statement flies in direct opposition to Feynman’s view of the world, in which discovery and understanding are the never-ending pursuits in the course of a lifetime. The latest innovation in ice cream may not perfectly embody Richard Feynman, but the quest to find a flavor that does is certainly in the right spirit.