Thursday, January 10, 2019

Ice Cream and Sherlock Holmes

One of my fascinations in the movie Holmes and Watson is a momentary flash during a dream Sherlock Holmes has, where he and his new love Millie operate an ice cream stand together.

Yes, Sherlock Holmes dreams of ice cream.

His dream ice cream shack is called "Sherlock Cones Ice Cream," and in its brief moment on the screen, I have only been able to identify three of its six advertised flavors, even after seeing the movie six times. The three I have are:

"The Game Is Afruit"

"The Six Neapolitans"

"The Sign of the Four Flavours"

And I have a vague recollection of something based on The Hound of the Baskervilles, but that may elude me until the DVD and its ability to pause come around.

Sherlock Holmes and ice cream, though, is not as odd a combo as one might think. Good ice cream is a chemistry of sorts . . . in fact, in the 1890s, Agnes Marshall, England's "queen of ices" thought liquid nitrogen might be used to make ice cream, long before Dippin' Dots, "the Ice Cream of The Future," was invented by a Southern Illinois University grad using a similar process.

The cone part of "Sherlock Cones," is, of course, another sign that Holmes and Watson is an alternate history Sherlock, as the ice cream cone wasn't popularized until a decade or so after Sherlock's dream on our Earth, at the St. Louis World's Fair. (Funny how many ice cream innovations occur not so far from here. Soft-serve started in Kankakee, and Dairy Queen in Joliet.) Of course, since Sherlock Holmes winds up in A-mehr-ica at the end of Holmes and Watson, his post-Moriarty activities and all that midwestern ice cream business could have been intertwined.

This, of course, is excellent fanfic fodder for the American adventures of Sherlock and Millie, but trying to tie Sherlock of the Doyle Canon to ice cream is a real reach. Sherlock of the Doyle Canon seems to be all about the cheese as his dairy product of choice, and even non-iced cream is nowhere to be seen.

Still, something about that chilly, tongue-coating, flavor-rich delight seems like it should have a kinship with Sherlock Holmes, like his "spirit animal of food" or something.  But as with so much about that master of detectives there are wilds here to explore.

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