SOMERVILLE, Mass. When Dave Forsh sold his innovative ice-cream shop in this near suburb of Boston two years ago, long-time customers who’d become addicted to his creative flavors and mixes were distraught. “I just didn’t get it,” said Darov Kukov, a professor of Slavic languages, at the time. “Why would someone take millions of dollars and give up the privilege of serving me six nights a week?”
And indeed, patrons worst fears came true as Unifoods, Inc., a multinational conglomerate, took Dave’s recipes, made with fresh local ingredients, and turned them into bland, homogenized products suited for mass consumption. “Our job is to increase shareholder value,” says Inez Fox-Pierce, a company spokeswoman, “not worry about the late-night munchies of some pothead graduate student.”
So when Forsh’s non-compete agreement expired last week, he returned to the gourmet ice cream scene armed with new concoctions that skirted, but just barely, the terms of his deal under which he had sold certain flavors outright and agreed not to impair the goodwill that Unifoods had paid him so handsomely for.
“I know what people on a budget are looking for,” Forsh says as he offers a customer a sample of his Lobster-Peppermint Swirl on a slim wooden stick. “People will pay premium prices for ice cream that’s a meal, not just dessert. Hey–just dessert, that’s a play on words, right?”
So the new line of the creative genius who taught students, professors and slackers to mix candy and other sweets into their ice cream is more of a smorgasbord, incorporating protein, starch and fiber into a treat you can eat on the street. “I’m in the middle of writing my thesis, I don’t have time to cook pasta at night,” says Amy Downes-Miles, who is enrolled in a multi-disciplinary master’s degree program in Egyptology and Electrology. “I like the Tortoni-Cannelloni.”
For the many young people in the neighborhood who are into body-modification and self-mutilation, Forsh is thinking of going even further. “Try some of this,” he says as he pounds some steel and zinc wood screws into a scoop of carob and rum raisin. “I call it Knotty Pine Rec Room–kinda crunchy.”