I love vanilla. I know that sounds like faint praise but without vanilla, many foods wouldn’t taste that great. People like to say,
“ooh, that’s so vanilla” meaning it’s plain or ordinary. That is not true of very good vanilla. Since I am a pastry chef, I am surrounded by vast quantities of chocolate…and vanilla. At school, many times, we use vanilla paste. This is vanilla beans ground up in a paste with some sugar syrup. Vanilla enhances the flavors of everything around it. Why do we put vanilla in a chocolate cake? We want the chocolate to be more chocolaty. Today, Margie and I visited Johnny Rockets for a burger and a vanilla shake. Now, I don’t know if they use real vanilla or not at Johnny Rockets but the shake had one of the best balances of vanilla flavor I had ever tasted. Sure it could have been that Margie and I had a fun lunch and a fine time, but I still think the Johnny Rockets vanilla shake is one of the best in the city.
We have tasted many of the shakes in our city. I love the R.J. Grunts shake. I love the Potbelly shake. I love them all but I think the best one is at Johnny Rockets. You tell me where your best shake is. Have a safe and vanilla Fourth of July. Happy birthday U.S.A.!