“Hadley Grass” Asparagus and Almond Ice Cream, Flayvors of Cook Farm, Hadley, MA

And ye, once again, a young writer’s thoughts turn to green again in this damning time of heat and vegetalia. Eagerly seeking a new way to eat the omnipresent blasted vegetables my doctor tells me are “good for me,” I set aside my conspiracy theories and turn to the wonders of modern day technology, whose edibles perform a brilliant show of Batesian mimicry by presenting themselves in the form of ice cream, namely, the Hadley Grass ice cream, flavored with asparagus and almonds at Flayvor’s, an ice cream shop run out of Cook Farm in Hadley, MA.
Cook Farm has the added geniality of seeming as though it’s off the beaten path but existing no more than a mile from the center of Hadley and Route 9. Unlike most off convivial roadside pleasures, though, this is more entertaining than the world’s largest ball of yarn and less depressing than a year-round Santa’s Village.
Those of you who know me well will no doubt find it amusing to conjure up the image of me cruising blindly down the road, each turn getting more bucolic, whizzing past a slowly moving tractor on the road, epithets and curses gnarled up in my head, stopped at the eleventh hour from leaving my lips as I remember that this was an intentional diversion off my regular beaten path to work. My anxiety mounting as I wonder if I’m actually getting to where I want to go or whether I’m going to wind up on the ground, my knees broken by pitchfork wielding youth in overalls with freckled smirks, the waning drawls of Dierks Bentley my last sentient thoughts. The realization that I am, of course, overreacting and that, if only for a moment, I am privy to beauty in such an unlikely place, minutes from the shopping malls and campus. And ice cream. Delicious, delicious ice cream.
It is not often that I have a moment to myself to savor and meander as I please, so when I came across this, I was more than happy to sit in the sun and eat my ice cream, watching the cows who provided the milk for it low and whisk flies off their tails. Cook’s Farm is a sylvan oasis in a bustling, busy town, a fraction of what the world may have been like some 100 years back, had they been abundant with ice cream, though, and just as modest. You’ll see no neon signs or advertisements here, their only self-endorsement the amenities of their indoor air conditioning.
The Hadley Grass is aptly named. Swirls of shredded asparagus gently dot the surface of each bite and render the entire confection green. It is generously crammed with sliced raw almonds whose flavor has gradually seeped through the ice cream, making it taste of almond milk and the everpresent asparagus. The flavor is not as uric as I expected it to be, rather, it is summery and verdant and mixes well with the nutty base flavor. Like last night’s wasabi Kit Kat, it takes an ordinarily uncommon ingredient in dessert and combines it so that it retains a modicum of its first form yet becomes something entirely unique in a different setting.
This is a popular ice cream, one I would get again as well as recommend to others. Apparently my advice is not necessary, as I was informed by the server that the cup I received was one of the last in that day’s batch. Flayvors, despite being burdened with a somewhat awkward name, is a lovely place with ice creams and settings as pastoral as the world around it. Stop by if you need a break from the world and the half-assed suckage of Jenji Kohan’s attempt to keep Weeds edgy. Man, season 7 is up to no good. No good can come of chinstraps and ten second’s worth of lighthearted lesbian prison motifs.

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