The conundrum of originality

I like vanilla ice cream.

For the longest time, it was my favorite flavor of ice cream. Its flavor was subtle, yet tasty and as an adult, it tastes delicious with balsamic vinegar. Then one day, I was introduced the magic that is pistachio ice cream.

Lemme tell you something about pistachio ice cream. That stuff is GODLY. The way that the flavors meld together creates a symphony of flavors that tantalize the taste buds in all the right ways. The way it melts in your mouth, leaving only the wee bits of crushed pistachio is both richly satisfying and intellectually fulfilling.

But I digress.

Both vanilla and pistachio are fantastic flavors of ice cream, but they fall into two very distinct definitions of the same word: original.


Vanilla is “The Original” ice cream flavor–the flavor which, when you think of ice cream, is the first to come to mind. However, it’s also a safe, moderately boring choice. Sure, it can be spiced up (balsamic vinegar), and it can be used as a building block for more exotic parings; but as a standalone flavor, vanilla is less exciting than a business meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska. Yeah.

Then we have pistachio. Pistachio is an original idea. It’s fresher and newer and a substantially more unique flavor. Although fewer people may like the flavor, those who do know that it’s that flavor that matters.

I won’t go so far as to say that one flavor is better than another is. Again, vanilla is a pleasant flavor. But in our lives, like in our culinary palates, we need a healthy dose of new. The second definition of original is the buzzword of the decade, and we have to be ready to show that we can be both original and original, if you get my drift.

Now go. Go buy ice cream.



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