John Harrison has a job everybody wants. This fourth-generation ice cream lover is the official taste tester for Edy’s ice cream. “It was destiny, I guess,” Harrison says. “This line of work got into me.” His family has been in the ice cream business—making, developing, or tasting ice cream—since 1880, all the way back to Harrison’s great-grandfather. Harrison alone has been tasting and developing ice cream flavors for more than 30 years. The most famous flavor he’s developed: Cookies and Cream. Harrison is traveling the country now to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Cookies and Cream.
What is a typical day for a professional ice cream taster? Early every morning, Harrison taste-tests 20 different flavors. He uses a gold-plated spoon because “that’s the only material that doesn’t leave an aftertaste.” When tasting the ice cream, Harrison makes sure it is appetizing to look at, that the flavors are a perfect balance between cream and sugar, and that the texture is “smooth and creamy.” To make sure Harrison is able to detect the delicious and the not-so delicious flavors in this multi-billion-dollar frozen dessert industry, Edy’s has insured his taste buds for one million dollars. “We care a lot about quality,” Harrison says.
To meet this taste-testing legend, visit the Kroger at 1365 E. 86thSt. today from 3 to 5 p.m., or the Meijer at 5235 E. Southport Rd. on Saturday, May 26 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.