Of all the kitchen resolutions I set for myself this past January, eating a top-notch banana split proved the most challenging. I had envisioned the banana split experience happening organically during the Summer, but the opportunity never seemed to present itself. After Labor Day passed, a dark realization set in. The reason I’ve never had a banana split may be in large part due to the fact that banana splits don’t really appeal to me. Full disclosure, ice cream doesn’t appeal to me all that much either. I like the idea of ice cream much more than the actual product itself. One Summer when I was little my Aunt Pam came to visit with my cousins from Florida. After dinner one evening we all went out for ice cream. When it was my turn to order I politely declined. Aunt Pam was alarmed and asked my Mom if I was ill. What child would pass up an ice cream sundae? I just wasn’t tempted. Bag of Doritos? Yes, please. Scoop of Chocolate Chip? No, thank you.
This may not come as a surprise, but despite my hesitation to actually partake in a banana split, I have spent significant time studying the virtues of the classic American dessert. A good split straddles the perfect balance of taste, texture and temperature. Ice cream must be cold and flavors should include some combination of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate. Sauce (fudge, caramel or butterscotch) should be hot. Whipped cream should be fresh; canned is considered inferior. There should be an element of crunch and salt – nuts can play a dual role here. There should be a fruit topping (pineapple or strawberry are highly regarded favorites). Jimmies and/or sprinkles are encouraged, but not mandatory. The banana itself should be ripe (but not too ripe) and split lengthwise. A cherry on top is essential. Should be served in a boat.
Friends, you know me well enough by now – I’d set a goal for myself and had to see it through. I wasn’t about to shirk my self-imposed ice cream-based dessert responsibilities. I was down to the wire, but lucky for me, this December has been very warm and the day after Christmas seemed as reasonable a time as any to stand outside a local dairy farm eating a sundae. The menu at Peaceful Meadows Ice Cream was expansive – ice cream soda, root beer float, frappe, sherbert freeze and there is was, banana split.
And then I saw it. Lickity Split.
“Lickity Split? What do you think that involves?” I asked Michael.
“Not sure,” he replied, “but I have a feeling we’re going to find out.”
It was completely fortuitous. There were five days left in the year and I needed a banana split, lickity split. As it turns out, as defined by Peaceful Meadows, a Lickity Split is “smaller than the Banana Split but with everything else”. I was sold.
The girl at the counter asked pleasantly, “Would you like chocolate and strawberry ice cream?”
“Would you like chocolate fudge and strawberry fruit topping?”
Lastly, “Would you like a cup or a boat?”
“Boat, please,” I replied knowingly.
The Lickity Split was delicious, thoroughly enjoyable and far exceeded my expectations. Each component was on-point based on my research. Michael praised the freshly whipped cream and I love a Maraschino cherry (guilty pleasure).
If you find yourself south of Boston, maybe heading to the Cape next Summer, stop by Peaceful Meadows Ice Cream in Whitman, MA. The good news is, they’re open year round, so if you’re craving a Brownie Boat in January, they’ve got you covered.