Date: Tue, 21 Mar 1995 08:14:28 -0500

From: Heilan Yvette Grimes HEP2[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: The Elusive New England Thick Shake

David R. Carlson

34 Spaulding St.

Amherst MA 01002

In Eastern Mass a frappe is not runny; a milkshake is. In Western Mass, a

milkshake is thick like a frappe.

I've lived in New England for about twenty-four years and have yet to have a

THICK shake anywhere in the area. I originally come from Ohio where a thick

shake meant that you sucked and sucked on a straw trying to get the stuff up

it. When confronted with my first frappe (they told me it was a thick shake)

I was appalled at how runny it was. Sending it back I gave them directions

and told them to put in three scoops of ice cream (some malt, since I wanted

it malted), a drop or two of milk and then put it on the multimixer briefly.

I was told they did as instructed but it still came back runny, though a

little thicker. I told them, "This isn't thick." Thwy wore it was thickest

they'd ever made and were surprised I would complain. Same think all over New

England. I'll be told they've made it extra extra extra thick, and I'll get

something that isn't even remotely thick. I don't think New Englanders know

what a thick shake is? Maybe it has to do with Puritanism and a lack of

belief in excesses. They really think what they'r giving me is thick. I've

had shakes in Western Mass. (the Berkshires, Lenox, etc.) and been told,

"Here it is, really thick just for you," and been given something thicker

than most N.E. frappes, but not even close to a midwestern thick shake. I try

to tell the frappe people that your cheeks have to be sucked in until they

almost don't exist (think Marlene Dietrich posing, but you don't have to have

your back teeth removed), and you have to be turning red with the effort with

a big vein sticking out your neck and even sometimes running up the side of

your head trying to depressurize the straw enough to bring the contents up

it. That is a thick shake. So, to date, my efforts for a thick shake in New

England have been disappointing (and Yes, I've been to the Holy Cow in

Gloucester, MA, and it wasn't thick enough).--Yvette