post from DownWithTyranny!
on 17 July 2012 09:00:24 PM. © DownWithTyranny!
DNAinfo.com caption: Il Laboratorio del Gelato has more than 200 flavors of gelato, with 48 on display at any given time.
[A]s ice-cream and gelato flavors [are] becoming more adventurous, confused customers often ask for multiple samples before they invest in a scoop of icey relief. But for stores and patrons, the time it takes to dole out samples can mean a longer wait for service.by Ken
Susan Pecot, who was vacationing in New York from California, made the most of the two-test limit at at Il Laboratorio del Gelato, knocking back the Blackberry Port after a sample before settling on an even more outlandish flavor.
"I never would have ordered the pink pepper with tarragon" without the help of a sample, she said, of the $4 small serving she bought.
-- from Serena Solomon's DNAinfo.com report today
It could be that my perpspective on this is hopelessly skewed by the fact that the day I contemplated spending $4 for a scoop of gelato would be the day hell freezes over with the stuff. But apparently the free sampling has created a bottleneck in the city's chic gelato and ice-cream dispensaries, where people waiting endlessly in line behind customers engaged in sky's-the-limit free sampling are routinely having to be Medevac-ed to the already-overcrowded emergency ice-cream deprivation units of our major medical centers.
As Serena Solomon points out in her DNAinfo.com report today, "Lower East Side Ice Cream Stores Crack Down on Sample Hogs
," even the two-free-sample-per-comer limit being imposed by a growing number of Lower East Side purveyors of "icey relief" isn't a panacea.
"If a group of eight people come in, that is still 16 samples," said Jon Snyder, the founder of Il Laboratorio del Gelato on Ludlow and East Houston streets, who has a strict two-sample rule for customers.
"If any of my staff break it, I flip out," added Snyder, whose store has over 200 flavors of gelato and sorbet, ranging from avocado to tangy lemon basil.
"I want to be fair to everyone," he said. "I don't want someone to say, 'Well, I had more than two samples the other day.'"
Even Snyder acknowledges that today's "icey relief" customers face challenges unknown to the customers his grandparents served in their "Carnival ice-cream store" (you don't suppose that could be Carvel
, do you?), where the roster of flavors consisted of vanilla and chocolate.
At Chinatown Ice Cream Factory on Bayard Street, which "also has a two-test limit to keep lines moving," 21-year-old store assistant Yu Chung, acknowledges that "ice cream is a little bit of a commitment." He "scoops out such peculiar flavors as black sesame and red bean," and notes, "Some people are really shocked by some of the flavors," said Yu Chung.
I dare say. And I suppose it's just my habitual crotchetiness that leads me to suspect that this explosion of ice-cream and gelato flavors has much less to do with flavors than with people desperate to plug a boredom gap in their lives -- for which purpose $4 per minuscule serving may seem an affordable price, especially to people who can, you know, afford it.
But not blindly, of course. Just think of visiting Californian Susan Pecot and how, admittedly within the controversial two-sample limit, she found her way to pink-pepper-with-tarragon gelato after head-to-head sampling against the blackberry port. This is a story that has the sort of happy ending from which I think we can all draw inspiration and hope.
Again, though, my perspective is different -- though perhaps not as stark as that of Jon Snyder's vanilla-and-chocolate grandparents. My life experience, after all, includes not just the old Howard Johnson's with its much-ballyhooed however-many flavors and then the era of Baskin-Robbins. Certainly the B-R list, with both its regulars and short-term specials, frequently contained flavors that clearly deserved, even demanded
to be sampled. Only I accomplished it by buying a single-scoop cone. It wasn't a lifetime commitment, after all. It was a damned scoop of ice cream!
Like I said, this mode of thinking may be obsolete in the era of $4 scoop and flavors like blackberry port and pink peppercorn with tarragon -- although, again, within the two-sample system, customer Pecot was presumably anticipating committing to one or the other of these frozen treats.
Or maybe not. At Stogo, on East 10th Street and Second Avenue, where owner Junie Ishimori allows unlimited sampling of the 48 vegan flavors made with soy, coconut or hemp ("We want people to be happy with what they get"), customer Julie Schneider, a student from Long Island,
said customers should be policing their own taste-testing limits by employing a simple practice.
"You should try two, and if you can't make a decision," she said, "then go with something normal."
Il Laboratorio de Gelato's Jon Snyder points out to Serena Solomon that apart from wine-buyers, ice-cream customers are the only prospective purchasers he knows of who expect as a matter of right free samples -- and I have to say that I'm not aware of wine merchants generally offering the same, with customers contemplating spending significantly more even than the frozen-treats crowd.
I guess those ice-cream customers need to feel they're getting something
by way of "consideration," something for free. Just imagine if the poor dears were forced to choose between vanilla and chocolate.
Read The Full Article: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2012/07/only-two-free-samples-before-buying.h
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