As we inch towards spring, a marvelous event occurs every year, bringing a holy creation back from the dead. It rises from the cave that it has been buried in, killed by people who claimed they loved it and needed it. With its yearly return, angels sing its praises. This story may sound familiar to many of you. And as it once was, it shall be again.
That’s right. I’m talking about the motherfuckin’ Shamrock Shake. It’s back. Why, what did you think I was talking about?
Now, I won’t delve too deeply into its mythos, but if you can believe it, this green monster has been around since 1970. It’s 11 years older than me, which makes it kind of an ancient fast food creation at this point. Its first incarnation was kind of an abomination, flavored with lemon-lime sherbet and vanilla syrup. That sounds like a terrible combination for a milkshake. Its mascot, I shit you not, was an innocently racist caricature named Uncle O’Grimacey. Haha. Hahahahahahahaha! Casual racism is my favorite. Oh, McDonald’s, you silly assclowns.
In 1973, McDonald’s decided to get rid of the vomit flavoring and just went with a boring old vanilla milkshake that was dyed green. But anybody could mix green garbage into a milkshake so they decided to change shit up for good.
So finally in 1983, McDonald’s gave the Shamrock Shake a culinary makeover: They added mint flavoring. And thus awoke the chosen iteration of the Shamrock Shake. Well, they added more than just mint flavoring; at this point, there’s now 54 ingredients.
These are the ingredients, compiled by this very informative article by Huffington Post:
Milk, Sugar, Cream, Nonfat Milk Solids, Corn Syrup Solids, Mono- and Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Dextrose, Sodium Citrate, Artificial Vanilla Flavor, Sodium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Disodium Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, More Water, More Sugar, Natural Flavor (Plant Source), Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Yellow 5, Blue 1— ARE YOU STILL WITH US? — More Cream, More Nonfat Milk, More Corn Syrup, More Sugar, More High Fructose Corn Syrup, Contains Less Than 1%: Mono-And Diglycerides, More Carrageenan, Polysorbate 80, Beta Carotene (Color), Natural (Dairy and Plant Sources) and Artificial Flavor, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E) to Protect Flavor, Whipping Propellant (Nitrous Oxide), Cherries, More Water, More Corn Syrup, More High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Natural (Plant Source) and Artificial Flavors, More Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Red 40, Sulfur Dioxide as Preservative (Contains Sulfites).
Whatever. Fuck it. I love it anyway. One year I had 12 of them. I’m lactose intolerant too. So basically when the Shamrock Shake comes back out, my life turns into one really, really, long fart.
The main complaint that some of my friends have about the holy green shake is that they say, “Dannis, it tastes like toothpaste.” But is that true?
To find out, I decided to try a scientific taste test. I took three very common toothpastes, Crest, Colgate, and Tom’s of Maine, and decided to mix them with Breyers® Original Natural Vanilla ice cream. I know, I could have chosen a cheaper and shittier ice cream, but you guys know I only roll in the lap of luxury.
A side story: When I was little and my dad brushed my and my sister’s teeth, he used to make us swallow the toothpaste foam after we were done because he thought it was good for us. That explains a lot about me. My sister turned out just fine, though. As you can see, I’m still eating toothpaste.
Crest® Regular Paste (left): It’s actually called “Regular Paste,” first of all. It’s a light blue color, which is not shamrock green. Funny, I’ve never seen blue mint leaves before. It has a wintergreen-like flavor that immediately disqualifies it as being anywhere near a Shamrock Shake, which has a gentle, sweet, and generic, mint flavor that is absolutely divine. Crest’s out.
Colgate® Great Regular Flavor: The tube does indeed say “Great Regular Flavor.” I’m looking at it now and I can’t believe that either. Mixed with the mild vanilla flavor of the ice cream, the mint flavor is still absurdly strong and medicinal. It tastes terrible and has a very grainy texture, though we aren’t counting texture in this taste test today. Bye, Colgate. Your toothpaste tastes like ass. And Shamrock Shakes are not flavored with ass. I even checked the ingredient list to make sure.
Tom’s of Maine Whole Care® Peppermint: As a toothpaste, my friends swear by this stuff. I’d never had it before, so naturally the best way to enjoy it for the first time is mixed into ice cream. It has the most natural flavor of all three of them; the peppermint flavor is real and is very similar to a Starlight Mint. You know, those red and white mint wheels that old people eat all day to eliminate their old people smell (which doesn’t work). Is it like a Shamrock Shake? No — because a Shamrock Shake is unashamed of being artificially augmented, just like your mother.
So my conclusion?
Those of you who insist Shamrock Shakes taste like toothpaste, well, you’re all wrong. Dead wrong. As Jay-Z says in the classic song So Appalled by Kanye West, “All ya’ll can suck my balls through my drawers.” Also, don’t mix ice cream with toothpaste.
Shamrock Shakes for life, bitches.
(Oh, and Happy Mardi Gras, everyone.)