30 Scoops in 30 Days: Rite Aid (Day 9)
Aside from Sun Chips and soda, Rite Aid's most noteworthy gastronomic feature (read: its only noteworthy gastronomic feature) is its ice cream bar. In specific, the Chocolate Malted Krunch (alternate spelling: Chocolate Malted Crunch), a flavor found nowhere else on earth, as far as we know.
It was Thrifty or Payless when we were wee bairns, and the "hideous square scoops," as we fondly called them, cost less than $1. A few corporate mergers later, the name has changed and the prices have risen, but the best thing about the drugstore has not.
We can't vouch for Rite Aid's other ice cream flavors, standard supermarket derivatives that are perfectly acceptable but average. (The best of them is Medieval Madness, which is neither as maddening nor as exciting as its name suggests, but does blend ribbons of chocolate and vanilla into a nice balance.) We can, however, definitively say that when we come to Rite Aid, especially on a hot summer day, we make a beeline for one flavor: Chocolate Malted Krunch.
Almost always, we are dark chocolate fanatics. We don't generally suffer the indignities of milk chocolate, especially the mass-produced kind -- except with Rite Aid's Chocolate Malted Krunch. It has the perfect creamy, milky, slightly tart flavor, as though someone dumped packets of Swiss Miss cocoa mix and malt powder into the ice cream base. It's flecked with soft shavings of dark chocolate that melt on your tongue and a wealth of crisp, round pebbles that explode under your teeth like malted mini-bombs.
You're standing at a grimy drugstore counter. You've waited at least 5 minutes for a clerk to notice you. You fork over $1.69 and end up staring at a strangely uniform, cylindrical scoop. Yet what you hold in your hand is perfect, a harmonious marvel of texture, flavor and affordability: the humble, mass-produced American ice cream cone, at its finest.
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