Sweet Seventeenth

No matter how late or how early Easter is each year, my wife’s birthday always falls during Lent. As a result, we plan our Lenten sacrifices to exclude a sweet treat on her special day. This year’s celebration was delayed because she’s had a cold. We went out to dinner tonight and then someplace else to get dessert.

My Facebook and Twitter feeds had several posts about free Italian ice today at all Rita’s Ice locations. Apparently it’s a first day of spring tradition at the Philadelphia-based chain. This year, they have teamed up with another famous Pennsylvania company to create a special flavor that I had to experience for myself. I talked my wife into going to Rita’s on Market Square tonight.

The store was crowded when we arrived. My wife wisely chose the sugar-free tangerine flavor while I took a cup of the new Peeps Ice. I expected it to be very sweet since the real Peeps are not just marshmallows but sugar-coated marshmallows. Unfortunately they added a vanilla flavoring that didn’t work for me. It was as if I suddenly understood all the negative things people have said to me over the years about my love of Marshmallow Peeps.

The ice was sickeningly sweet. I don’t believe it to be an accurate representation of a standard Peep, which I still crave. Maybe they were trying to make it more like the vanilla-crème flavored marshmallows that they sell for Valentine’s Day, which I don’t enjoy.

Rita’s still has plenty of good flavors. Peeps Ice just isn’t one of them. Next Saturday they will give away chocolate-covered Peeps at Rita’s. I had one of those in January and loved it.

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