Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America By Amy Ettinger

July is National Ice Cream Month!

This week's book review was written by the Book Review Blog's newest reviewer, Diane Christenson. Miss our last book review? Check it out here: Running and Being. Happy reading!

Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America
By Amy Ettinger

Nonfiction | Food | Travel Memoir | Foodie
Audience: General adult

Book Blurb from Goodreads:

A journalist channels her ice-cream obsession, scouring the United States for the best artisanal brands and delving into the surprising history of ice cream and frozen treats in America.

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.

Sweet Spot is a fun and spirited exploration of a treat Americans can't get enough of--one that transports us back to our childhoods and will have you walking to the nearest shop for a cone.


Diane’s Review:
Journalist Amy Ettinger pursues her love of ice cream across America to understand its evolution and enduring power.  From the highly competitive small batch ice cream makers, the turf wars of ice cream truck owners, to extreme flavors, Ettinger uncovers what’s really behind America’s favorite frozen treats (ice cream, custard, gelato, soda fountains, etc.)

This was a combination of foodie exploration memoir and ice cream history.  Each chapter covers a different frozen treat with Amy Ettinger’s travels to the companies known for their expertise.  The writing is not as smooth as a narrative, but flows well enough between chapters not to impact the reading enjoyment.

One element of the book I personally could have missed was reading about some of the trendy experiments with ice cream flavors and inclusions; flavors such as celery or foie gras or flavored mealworm inclusions. I am not a trendy person but others are…

If you like the Foodie/Travel Memoir mixed genre, try these titles: Food Truck Road Trip--A Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes Collected from the Best Street Food Vendors Coast to Coast by Kim Pham, National Geographic’s Great American Eating Experiences: Local Specialties, Favorite Restaurants, Food Festivals, Diners, Roadside Stands, and More, or Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, the funky finds in flavortown by Guy Fieri.