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Today: Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the ice cream that never melts.
We have two ice cream references today, appropriate for a book about a sweets factory. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is undoubtedly one of Roald Dahl's most popular books, and it's hard to read when you're have a snack attack. Lickable wallpaper! Everlasting gumballs!
On the frozen dessert front, there are two fantastical ice cream innovations in the book. The first is made by a rival candy factory -- Fickelgruber's never-melting ice cream is part of the reason that Willy Wonka makes the decision to fire his staff and hire the Oompa-Loompas to run his operations:
'You see, Charlie,' he said, 'not so very long ago there used to be thousands of people working in Mr Willy Wonka's factory. Then one day, all of a sudden, Mr Wonka had to ask every single one of them to leave, to go home, never to come back.'
'But why?' asked Charlie.
'Because of spies.'
'Yes. All the other chocolate makers, you see, had begun to grow jealous of the wonderful sweets that Mr Wonka was making, and they started sending in spies to steal his secret recipes. The spies took jobs in the Wonka factory, pretending that they were ordinary workers, and while they were there, each one of them found out exactly how a certain special thing was made.'
'And did they go back to their own factories and tell?' asked Charlie.
'They must have,' answered Grandpa Joe, 'because soon after that, Fickelgruber's factory started making an ice cream that would never melt, even in the hottest sun. Then Mr Prodnose's factory came out with a chewing-gum that never lost its flavour however much you chewed it. And then Mr Slugworth's factory began making sugar balloons that you could blow up to huge sizes before you popped them with a pin and gobbled them up. And so on, and so on. And Mr
Willy Wonka tore his beard and shouted, "This is terrible! I shall be ruined! There are spies everywhere! I shall have to close the factory!"'
The second occurs in Willy Wonka's factory, during the tour for the Golden Ticket winners. Walking along a corridor, they see door after door of labeled with new candy prototypes, including...
HOT ICE CREAMS FOR COLD DAYS, it said on the next door.
'Extremely useful in the winter,' said Mr Wonka, rushing on. 'Hot ice cream warms you up no end in freezing weather. I also make hot ice cubes for putting in hot drinks. Hot ice cubes make hot drinks hotter.'
Can you even imagine hot ice cream? I can't, but I still want a bowl of it.