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Book Review – The Icecreamists, by Matt O'Connor

Book Review – The Icecreamists, by Matt O'Connor

The Icecreamists
Matt O'Connor
Octopus Publishing, £16.99
ISBN 978-1-84533-706-3

It's ice-cream and you know, it's like, total anarchy, yeah? At first glance Matt O'Connor's book looks like just another unlicensed biography of the Sex Pistols. It's not. It's just a dreadful cover for what is actually a rather interesting collection of recipes.

O'Connor, founder of the Fathers 4 Justice movement, is so hellbent on extreme (pardon, ice-cream) punning and parody that some of his efforts come across as tired and borrowed. When he ripped off, sorry subverted, the Sex Pistols pastiche on the Queen's image to promote his ice-cream cocktail called the Sex Pistol - ‘natural stimulant' ice-cream and a shot of absinthe - the punk band that he and everyone else presumed dead took great exception. But given the sellout antics of frontman Johnny Rotten, presumably O'Connor thought it was fair game.

As the old adage goes, don't judge a book by its cover, but my thoughts on its contents are conflicted. I loved the slick and sexy photography, which highlights myriad novel ways to serve ice-cream without a three-scoop neapolitan bowl in sight. And the recipes themselves are very enticing, even if they each come with an oh-so-hilarious title, some more tenuous than others.

Chocwork Orange is pretty self-explanatory (dark chocolate and orange ice-cream) but Jesus Christ Scooperstar (fior di latte) and Priscilla Queen of the Dessert (white chocolate) would be a mystery without the sub-headings.

Divided into sections on boutique ice-creams, sorbettos, cocktails, ‘icequakes' (milkshakes), sundaes and desserts, and ice lollies, there's a frozen recipe for any occasion. The Savoy Chill (Earl Grey sorbetto) could make for an innovative afternoon tea, while traditional strawberries and cream summer fare could be served as Scarlett Fever (strawberry and balsamic ice cream).

If it's full-on controversy that you crave, look no further than Baby Googoo (nee Baby Gaga until Lady Gaga threatened litigation), though sourcing the primary ingredient of breast milk may be an obstacle.

My problem with The Icecreamists is that almost everything needs to be accompanied with a translation. O'Connor's tongue is so firmly wedged in his cheek that it gets in the way of the content.

Have I had a sense of humour failure? I have now. The first flick through raised a wry smile at some of the witticisms but it became a little tedious on the second and third read-through. But stick with it. Once you learn to tune it out you can focus on the fabulous flavours.

If you like this, you'll love these
Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book Ben R Cohen and Jerry Greenfield
â- The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas and Sweet Accompaniments David Lebovitz

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

E-mail your comments to Janie Manzoori-Stamford here.

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