Book review: “The Ice Cream Theory”

Posted by Turkey Hill Team on October 26th, 2009

BOOK - Ice cream theoryThere have been lots of books written about ice cream, from the history of the treat to how to make the world’s best homemade ice cream. But The Ice Cream Theory, written by the witty Steff Deschenes, is the first that we know of that compares everyone’s favorite treat to personality traits, relationships and life experiences. Altogether, it creates one very delicious literary sundae.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a great book. So great, that we asked the author for three signed copies to give away to three comments chosen at random from this entry. Good luck!

Steff has an admitted lifelong infatuation with ice cream (“Sometimes my love for ice cream even scares me.”) and pours her heart and soul into this book. Each chapter focuses on a different ice cream flavor, from strawberry and cookie dough, to pistachio and rum raisin. Within each chapter, Steff discusses her feelings about the flavor itself and how certain people or experiences from her life personify that particular variety. (Her reflections in Chapter 13 – Banana Split – are especially poignant.)

After reading The Ice Cream Theory, we asked Steff a few questions about her life and love of ice cream.

ICE CREAM JOURNAL: Congrats on your first book! I’ll bet the “research” for The Ice Cream Theory was kind of fun.

STEFF DESCHENES: To be honest, ice cream in my world is a way of life. So, initially, there was no research – it came naturally.  But eventually it got around that I was writing a book about ice cream and suddenly I was being asked to go on ice cream outings by people who wanted to try and impress me or introduce me to a flavor or place they thought I didn’t know about.  It happens even MORE now that the book is out.  So, yeah, the entire adventure in ice cream eating has been a blast to this point!  Although, I do have to work out a lot more than I used to!

ICJ: What’s one flavor of ice cream you don’t want to run into in a dark alley?

SD: Anything super chocolaty, because in my head, super chocolaty ice cream is portrayed by a big brown dragon that breathes hot fudge sauce. And, if I ran into this in an alley he’d be like “Eat me!” and I’d be like, “Okay!”  Because, really, how can you say no to a giant dragon made of chocolate ice cream in a dark alley?

ICJ: Yeah, I think you pretty much have to do what the dragon says at that point. Is it possible for people to personify more than one ice cream flavor? Have you ever met a Neapolitan or would that make them sort of schizophrenic?

SD: I don’t think that people can embody more than one flavor.  That is too schizophrenic!  I think that people can start off as one flavor and over time as we get older and our personalities and preferences shift, the people around us change, too.  Thus, how we see and interact with them alters, right?  So, the ice cream we originally associated them with doesn’t apply anymore.

ICJ: When you eat certain flavors of ice cream, does it make you think of certain people?

SD: Absolutely!  For example, I just discovered this lavender-rosewater gelato and everybody thinks it tastes like perfume, but for some strange reason it reminds me of ex-boyfriends.  You know, like first dates and hand holding?  Pistachio ice cream reminds my mom and I of her dad (my grandfather).  He passed away a couple years ago, so in the summer when we really miss him we get pistachio ice cream and watch baseball, and in a really bizarre way it’s like a little piece of him is with us.  Being able to compare ice cream flavors to people is a really cool way to resurrect or recreate certain feelings and memories associated with a person, time, or place.

ICJ: It’s time for the Lightning Round. What’s the most over rated ice cream flavor of all time?

SD: Coffee.  YUK.

ICJ: Most under rated ice cream flavor of all time?

SD: Lime sherbert!!!

ICJ: If you could eat only one flavor for the rest of your life, it would be…

SD: Chocolate soft serve.

ICJ: Sprinkles or no sprinkles?

SD: 90% of the time – NO sprinkles; 10% of the time – rainbow sprinkles (though we call them “jimmies” where I’m from!).

ICJ: Cup or cone?

SD: Sugar cone!  Has to be a sugar cone.

ICJ: What kind of ice cream is in your freezer right now?

SD: Ready for this?  I have . . . chocolate goats milk ice cream, dairy-free coconut milk “ice cream,” dairy-free pomegranate chocolate-chip “ice cream,”  key lime pie gelato, dark chocolate gelato, strawberry cheesecake ice cream, pumpkin pie ice cream, and cookie dough ice cream. Can never have too many flavors, right?!

ICJ: Wow! That’s a lot of ice cream. What’s the best way to get rid of an ice cream headache?

SD: Just!  Keep!  Eating!

ICJ:  Good job. You clearly know your ice cream.

SD: I think it’s all thanks to my wonderful parents who raised me to believe that ice cream really is its own legitimate food group, like fruits and vegetables!  Hah!  In all seriousness, they taught me that ice cream is good for the soul.  Because, really, how can you not feel uplifted when you’ve got a scoop of your favorite flavor in front of you?

ICJ: Thanks for agreeing to chat with us! What’s next on the horizon for Steff Deschenes, “the author?”

SD: I’d made several comments in the book about writing “The Burrito Theory,” and people seem genuinely bummed out when I tell them it’s just a joke.  So maybe I need to reconsider that?  People like burrito fillings? Salsa and pinto beans and shredded cheese?  Hmmm . . . I might actually vary away from a food topic and write about my adventures as a promotional beer model.  For now, I happily blog throughout the week on my website (  I write something called “Maybe It’s Me” Mondays, which are usually tangential musings on thoughts I’m having; and “Fact is Better” Fridays which are the real life conversations that happen in my world that are usually so outlandish people always think I’m making it up!

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54 Responses to “Book review: “The Ice Cream Theory””

  1. Judi says:

    Wow! this is a book for me, for sure! I was going to ask if we could win a copy. Turns out great minds do think alike.

  2. Carol Yemola says:

    It seems like I have a very similar ice cream taste to the author. I love chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone that has the inside covered with chocolate! YUM!!

  3. Ruth Fourney says:

    I would have thought doing the research on this would be enjoyable. Especially the tasting. Good lluck on your book. Wouls love a copy

  4. Susan Kline says:

    This sounds like a really good book! Can there be too much chocolate? A super-dark chocolate with (dark) chocolate chunks is my idea of bliss. My Mom was a vanilla person, my Dad is dark chocolate all the way, one brother is vanilla and one doesn’t really care, and I got the chocolate gene. I’m convinced that all that dark chocolate is why my Dad is hale and hearty at nearly 87!

  5. Maryann Striff says:

    I know we’re on the same page,a book about ice cream, it doesn’t get better than that! Ice cream is a big part of my life,last night was Nutty Moose Tracks, and a scoop of Chocolate Chip Mint. WOW!!!

  6. J Mike says:

    Since I prefer different flavors during different seasons does this mean I have a split personality? Some of the author’s flavors — goat’s milk and “dairy-free” ince cream — are too unique for me.

  7. Robin Ames says:

    I’m definitely on the same wavelength as the author because my love for ice cream sometimes alarms me, too! But I figure if loving ice cream to the point of being labeled a “nut job” is my worst vice, then I’m really not a bad person!!

  8. Sarah says:

    Wow, Steff must have a really big freezer!
    Her book sounds like it will be a hoot to read and I’m going to check out her blog spot. How come you never asked her if she’s tried Turkey Hill?

  9. christie says:

    My family loves ice cream. We have a freezer that is devoted to just ice cream and I think the flavors do tell a lot about the person.

  10. Heather says:

    As a Librarian, this really is up my alley – Ice cream AND Books!! What a yummy read!!!

  11. Lauren says:

    Sounds like a really interesting book! And my parents also know the importance of a favorite ice cream flavor – they almost always have mint chocolate chip ice cream waiting for me in the freezer when I visit home!

  12. Emilia Napoleon says:

    Ok. I probably have very little chance of winning this one because my favorite is coffee….with or without almonds, fudge swirl, etc. However, I have never met an ice cream that I would reject which probably makes me…..fat. Sounds like a great book. Good luck.

  13. brenda says:

    Hi Turkey Hills fans, I know that is a very good book to read. Does it have nay turkey hills ice cream recipes?

  14. IceCreamFiend says:

    Sounds like a fun read on an interesting topic!

  15. Bruce Kauffman says:

    This is a fun topic for some sociological discussions, and would be fun to read while enjoying a dish.

  16. Turkey Hill Team says:

    We’re glad you’re all excited about the book. I guess it slipped out mind to ask her if Steff had ever tried Turkey Hill ice cream. As for ice cream recipes (Turkey Hill or otherwise), there are no recipes in this particular book but that doesn’t mean it’s any less tasty.

  17. Jacqueline Seewald says:

    As a writer myself, it’s always nice to see other authors and their books supported.

  18. Jim in SOMD says:

    not your best work

  19. Ken says:

    I love your ice cream!

  20. Paul Fiumara says:

    Ice cream is always a great topic for discussion regardless of the weather. It seems that everyone has a favorite flavor and fond memories of that special ice cream parlor. Ice cream everyday is my motto.

    Paul Fiumara

  21. Sharon says:

    It looks like a fun book! With the World Series being between the Phillies and the Yankees, I’m sure you will need to produce a lot of your special ice creams. It may be hard to get Graham Slam around here.

  22. Lynn says:

    Sounds like a fun read ~ I’d love to win it! Yesterday after my husband and oldest son came back from hunting and were enjoying their TH Yankees Pinstripe I had a brainstorm. Why doesn’t Turkey Hill make camouflage ice cream? Maybe a mixture of chocolate, maple walnut and something else to give it that “camo” look. I’m sure it would very popular this time of year. Just a thought!

  23. Linda Leffler says:

    You should see all the flavors in my freezer, sorry no coffee, but I love that too. There really aren’t any flavors that I don’t like, as long as it is Turkey Hill ice cream I am happy. Linda

  24. Ellen says:

    “The Ice Cream Theory” sounds like a very interesting read. Sure would like to win a copy. Maybe I could find out more about why I like some of the flavors I do.

  25. Russell G says:

    Looks like a great book. Would love to have a copy.

  26. Kyle Tamminen says:

    I read through the entire thing in one night. A lot of laughs were had and a lot of great memories were invoked.

    I’ve only known Steff for a few years, but I can say without hesitation that the narrative is very true to the kind of person she is……a great one!

    My highest recommendation.

  27. gianna says:

    Sounds like a very interesting book…and a great imagination…I can taste that delicious chocolate dragon!

  28. Kim says:

    Sounds like a very interesting book! I think it’s a great idea. would love to win the book!

  29. Kate says:

    Great book idea and sounds like a great read.

  30. Janet Smith says:

    I thought I was bad:having 4 kinds of ice cream at a time for just 1 person!
    Sounds like a good book.

  31. Jen says:

    That must be a big freezer to hold all those ice cream flavors!

  32. Christine McKnight says:

    I must look around and see if I can find that pumpkin pie ice cream that Steff mentioned!

  33. Ann says:

    I love the idea of an ice cream book, of course I would have to read it while eating ice cream! I also like the idea of camouflage ice cream, along with a bright orange one, so they could eat it while hunting! I love waiting to see what type of TH ice cream my store will be carrying each month.

  34. Pat says:

    Sounds like a great book!

  35. Marion says:

    Anything ice cream related is all right by me, and I love to read!! If I win it, I won’t have to add it to my Christmas list!

  36. Andilu says:

    sounds cool!

  37. Joseph says:

    i like eating ice cream, not reading about it!!!

  38. Bob Kessler Jr says:

    This book gives a different slant on ice cream. It sounds like the author has been exposed to enough people that certain traits emerge depending on their favorite ice cream flavor. I certainly would read this book while enjoying my favorite Turkey Hill flavor.

  39. Norma says:

    There aren’t many ice cream flavors that I could pass up, though chocolate with anything in it is still my all time favorite. Maple walnut is up there, too, but it is hard to find accept at ice cream parlors, so I always choose it when I see it.

  40. Stefanie Schmidt says:

    What an amazing book, I would love to win! I would love to read the pages of this book with a big bowl of Turkey Hill, the perfect combination.

  41. Carol Triano says:

    Mmm, I would love to curl up with this book while eating a bowl of banana split or apple dumpling. What a creative idea of hers and what a wonderful gift for us ice cream loving folks……

  42. Susan K Lapp says:

    This is Great to get as a Under the X-Mas Tree Stocking Stuffer Gift For My Kids I Think I will But It And See if They Carry it At Barnes & Noble Book Store & If The Do Not Have it, I will ask them to order it! 🙂 Thanks for the Great Book!; Turkey Hill! 🙂 Susan XOXO…..<3

  43. Lorraine says:

    What a great book. Yes, ice cream is a “comfort food.” Enjoyed by all ages.

  44. Cathy says:

    Sounds like an interesting book!!

  45. Robbin Netz says:

    Thanks turkey Hill for this opportunity. I think the world is so technology focused that we often fail to read, and/or encourage others to read. i would encourage the winners to definitely take the time to read the book, then share it with someone else. Books are like ice cream, they come in many “flavors”, can be enjoyed daily, give us opportunities to build on current friendships, and start new ones,
    and can give us the gift of sharing.

  46. Lois says:

    Sounds like an interesting book to me. I do believe different flavors fit different people’s attitudes. My favorite is anything with nuts or peanut butter. Does that make me NUTTY? as everyone says I am/

  47. lee carr says:

    I cannot believe that I am agreeing with the author but I too would say that the Most under rated ice cream flavor of all time is Lime sherbert!!!
    let me know when turkey hill will offer it.

  48. Pat says:

    We had the limited edition Baked Apple Dumpling Ice Cream for dessert tonight. Was really good. Can’t wait to read the book, to find out what my personality says should be my favorite ice cream.

  49. Elise says:

    I would love to read this book-it soudns like a fun read! I also love the part that Steff wrote about the chocolate dragon,as I love to read science fiction and fantasy. It would be hard to say no to a dragon, especially a chocolate one!

  50. Becky R says:

    Sounds fascinating!

  51. Steff Deschenes says:

    Hey guys!

    Steff here, author of the book, and I just wanted to say thanks for all the comments on this! It was a blast writing it and I’m really greatful to Turkey Hill for posting a review on their site! Also – Turkey Hill’s Baked Apple Dumpling Ice Cream is one of my all-time favorites! It just wasn’t in my freezer when they had asked me the questions (because I might’ve eaten all of it already – yikes!).

    Happy thoughts and ice cream,

  52. BETTY says:

    i would love this book

  53. Jeanne says:

    Boy it sure would be interesting to see why friends of ours like different flavors of ice cream-especialy those who are members of the ice screamers club of which we are members. I hope
    I win this one.

  54. JOANNE says:


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