Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ice Cream Inspired by The Rite of Spring

photo of absinthe + meringues from

One of the distinct advantages of living in Columbus, Ohio is that it happens to be the home of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, a very successful nationally-renowned company dedicated to making the best ice creams possible using grass-grazed cream and an amazing array of flavoring ingredients.  No matter where you are in Columbus, you may rest assured that there is a Jeni's within a 5-mile radius.  (Luckily for me, there are two within walking distance of my house!)

How fortunate for the Columbus Symphony that Jeni's founder Jeni Britton Bauer, after speaking with our principal tympanist Ben Ramirez, decided to honor the symphony's upcoming performance of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring with a special flavor inspired by the event! 

The flavor is called Absinthe + Meringues, and this is the review of someone who has tasted it:: "Absinthe + Meringue... my first bite triggered Proustian memories of fin de sicle Paris, of flaneurs and a belle epoque. C'est magnifique!! It's just that good...."

An excerpt from Aaron Beck's blog (from Jeni's website) explains more about the fascinating flavor:
"Absinthe + Meringues will send you right back to the debut of The Rite of Spring on May 29, 1913, in Paris. Its foundation is grass-grazed Snowville cream and milk softly scented with absinthe, the once-outlawed libation and anise-based botanical spirit known as the Green Fairy in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Throughout the clean, crisp, and refreshing ice cream are tiny little crisp, sweet, and airy meringues.

The absinthe-laced cream—green like spring foliage and grass—represents the wild side, the artists, the bohemians—enthusiastic imbibers of the Green Fairy at the time. Matcha—finely powdered green tea—gives the ice cream its lovely pale green, spring-like hue, and crisp finish.

The precisely-made meringues represent the traditions of the prim and proper and intolerant-to-change upper class audience of 1913 Paris. The meringues are hand-piped sugared egg whites dried in the oven until they are crispy and cloud-like white, and under the weight of the absinthe ice cream they are crushed and morphed into new forms.

In 1913, The Rite of Spring was a story of life as never told before through music and dance. The work—with envelope-pushing choreography by dancer Vaslav Nijinsky—dealt not with the usual “swans and tutus and elevation,” but “ugly earthbound lurching and stomping.“ The result: fist fights and jeers in the hall, a dent in Stravinsky’s reputation, and the world of traditional music and dance turned on its head.

Absinthe + Meringues won’t likely inspire near riots in the halls and streets, but it definitely will take you back to an exciting era when seismic cultural shifts were afoot."

Jeni's team even created a video heralding the new linited edition flavor:

Absinthe + Meringues from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams on Vimeo.

WOW!   Jeni's Rite of Spring project is a fine example of creativity in the combination of art forms, don't you think?  The Columbus Symphony musicians are eagerly awaiting our first sampling of the about you?  If  you are out of range of Jeni's stores, you can order some on Jeni's website!

Thank you, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, for this incredible display of support for your local arts organizations, specifically the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and BalletMet! 

photo of absinthe + meringues from

Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring will be performed on March 22, 23 and 24 in the Ohio Theatre conducted by our Music Director Jean-Marie Zeitouni:

Masterworks 10:

The Rite of Spring

2012-13 Masterworks Series
The Columbus Symphony and BalletMet perform on the same stage to welcome spring with Igor Stravinsky's earth-shaking, riot-inducing recreation of prehistoric pagan rituals, The Rite of Spring. The work celebrates its 100th anniversary of the premiere in Paris on May 29, 2013. One hundred years later, this masterpiece still thrills and captures our imagination with its revolutionary sounds.
Jean-Marie Zeitouni, conductor
DEBUSSY Prélude à "l'Après-midi d'un faune" (Prelude to "The Afternoon of a Faun")
RAVEL Rapsodie espagnole
STRAVINSKY Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)
Rite of Spring
Venue: Ohio Theatre
Mar. 22, 2013 - 8 pm

Mar. 23, 2013 - 8 pm

Mar. 24, 2013 - 3 pm

Masterworks Series Sponsor:


Tina B. said...

Fabulous. It ain't over 'til the Fat Lady's had some Absinthe + Meringues.

B.S. said...

Hah! That's right, Tina!

Heather Brown said...

I just had some at Jeni's today - very tasty! So glad it's available beyond the performance weekend at the CSO. All the CSO / Absinthe & Meringues posters were still on the walls and in the windows at their Grandview shop!

B.S. said...

Heather, I agree. I liked the flavor too even though I didn't expect to. And just yesterday I walked by the short north Jeni's and the windows were covered with Rite of Spring posters!