Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Rant #258: Chipwich Sandwiched
When I heard that Richard LaMotta died recently, I just shrugged my shoulders and went on with my day.
But Richard LaMotta deserved more than just a shrug.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, after I graduated college and was trying to make my mark on the world, everywhere I went in Manhattan had a pushcart on the corner hawking one thing or another--hot dogs, pretzels ... you name it, you could get it on a New York pushcart, and still can, for that matter.
But back then, another concoction to tantalize the hungry was also being offered on the pushcarts. It was called a Chipwich, and it was probably one of the most simple food inventions ever created. Take some ice cream, put it in the middle of two large cookies, sprinkle some chocolate morsels on it and there it was.
It was a bit more involved than that--how do you keep the cookies crisp while frozen?--but that was the Chipwich.
Well, LaMotta was the creator of this concoction, and he just passed away.
I remember in those days, when I was young and fresh and thought that the world was just waiting for me, the Chipwich was a nice respite from the days where I pounded on doors looking for work.
When they were first introduced, they used to give them our for free in Manhattan.
Then, when they caught on, every pushcart worth its salt was selling them.
Over the years, Chipwich passed through a number of hands. LaMotta made a nice bundle off of them, which he deserved.
But today, you can find the progeny of Chipwiches all over the place, but not the original. Its last owner retired the Chipwich a number of years ago. You can read all about its history at http://chipwich.com/chipwich/.
But I can still taste that Chipwich through my fond memories of it during those days when my youth made me so brash and fearless, but still with lots of doubt about my future.
Looking back, more than 30 years later, the ingenuity of the Chipwich, and my own naivete, pretty much went hand in hand.
And in some ways, I miss them both.
Posted by Larry at 3:59 AM