Monday, March 17, 2008

Dairy Crème

Nestled in the lush Green Mountains of Vermont is a treasure trove for soft ice cream lovers: the Dairy Crème. The name of this fine frozen custard establishment alludes to the creemee [pronounced “CREAMY”]—the most popular entrée served by the Dairy Crème. The word creemee denotes soft-serve ice cream in Vermont’s vernacular, and creemees come in a veritable rainbow of flavors. The Dairy Crème offers the option of twisting two flavors of creemee together, often in whimsical pairings. Indeed, the Dairy Crème is at the vanguard of the new food alchemy movement with unexpected hybrids like orange creamsicle-pistachio and coffee-blue raspberry.

Perhaps to evoke the amorphous physical composition of the creemee, the Dairy Crème’s marketing division elected to display all three spelling permutations of “creemee”—the common “creemee” as well as the more unusual variants “cremee” and “creeme” [evidently pronounced “CREAM”]—in the window menus.

Although the Dairy Crème frequently bustles with local clientele, its iconoclastic web design team daringly featured a lonely, desolate photograph as the centerpiece of its website [see image above, or visit]. The Hopperesque image depicts the eatery as deserted, vacant, and bereft of any human presence save for the two cars barely visible in the far left side of the frame. Strangely, the parking spaces out front are empty, but the dramatic white lines diagonally lead the viewer’s eye from the lower right corner to a central confluence of primary colors: the blue trash can, yellow rope, and blood-red paint at the counter. Though the colors dazzle visually, they only draw attention to the overarching emptiness of the scene. The washed-out sky conveys a sense of foreboding—perhaps expressing the Dairy Crème’s disillusionment with American capitalism and consumerism.

The Dairy Crème, representing the ice cream branch of Deconstruction, questions the efficacy of language with maverick grammatical usage on its website. The homepage reads, “Whenever a gift is necessary, get a Cash Card to everyone's favorite creemee stand! The anticipation will grow all winter and they'll be thanking you all over again next April!!” This proclamation leaves ambiguous exactly whose anticipation will grow all winter—the giver’s or the receiver’s. Furthermore, will the anticipation grow with regard to purchasing or using the aforementioned Cash Card? Thus, the inscrutable Dairy Crème once again goes above and beyond the average ice cream parlor, this time by presenting the customer with a deconstructionist puzzle worthy of Derrida himself.

1 comment:

Karen said...

OMG--i've been there--can't wait for spring!!!