Do I dare to eat a peach melba?

There was a bit of chat on twitter this morning about ice cream, sparked off by Jeffrey Matulef finding this fun Guardian piece about vinegar and celery ice cream being sold in Italy. I don’t see the sense in messing around, straight-up vanilla ftw.

It made me think of a favourite anecdote involving ice cream, which I heard from a guy who collected literary anecdotes. I’ve never seen it in a book or had it confirmed, so there’s no guarantee of veracity. But it’s too good to be fake.

T.S. Eliot was a big fan of ice cream. In the later part of his life, we’re talking the 1950s here, Eliot was a real grandee. You could almost say he was prematurely canonised. Anyway one day he was in an ice cream parlour, having an ice cream, when an American tourist noticed him.

“Hey! Aren’t you T.S. Eliot?”

Eliot confirmed that this was the case.

“Hell, if I was a great poet, I wouldn’t be sitting there eating ice cream!”

Eliot replied:

“You, sir, are not a great poet.”



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