July 2, 2017

Review: Sweet Spot - An Ice Cream Binge Across America

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Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America by Amy Ettinger
Grade: D
Release date: July 11, 2017
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration.
Summary: For Amy Ettinger, ice cream is not just a delicious snack but a circumstance and a time of year--frozen forever in memory. As the youngest child and only girl, ice cream embodied unstructured summers, freedom from the tyranny of her classmates, and a comforting escape from her chaotic, demanding family.

Now as an adult and journalist, her love of ice cream has led to a fascinating journey to understand ice cream's evolution and enduring power, complete with insight into the surprising history behind America's early obsession with ice cream and her experience in an immersive ice-cream boot camp to learn from the masters. From a visit to the one place in the United States that makes real frozen custard in a mammoth machine known as the Iron Lung, to the vicious competition among small ice-cream makers and the turf wars among ice-cream trucks, to extreme flavors like foie gras and oyster, Ettinger encounters larger-than-life characters and uncovers what's really behind America's favorite frozen treats.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I actually found myself relatively bored for most of the book. Too much of the information Ettinger presented was dry and unnecessary. I wanted fun ice cream adventures, not bland facts about the science of ice cream. I wanted more ice cream tasting and personal stories about enjoying it - both from Ettinger and the people she encountered. I skimmed most of what I did read, and I didn't even finish the book just because I lost interest.
I also have issues with how the author presented herself. If you're going to write a book about one of America's favorite foods, you need to come across as relatable, not pretentious and like your tastes are so much better than everyone else's.

The Verdict: Pretty blah. I'd pass on this one, if I were you.


Will I be adding this book to my library?: Nope.

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