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Friday, October 4, 2019

Did I Betray The Peanut Buster Parfait?

This is how Dairy Queen described a Peanut Buster Parfait (PBP) on their website: "Our Peanut Buster® Parfait Royal Treat® has loads of peanuts, mounds of creamy, smooth DQ® vanilla soft serve and tons of rich hot fudge layered high for one tempting treat."

In a recent dispatch, this is how I described a PBP: "All decent people know that a Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait consists of DQ's signature thick, creamy vanilla custard soft serve, topped with rich, decadent fudge and peanuts, a middle layer of more fudge and peanuts, and a bottom layer of yet more velvety fudge and crunchy peanuts."

Which description is better?  The DQ description has wonderful superlatives such as "loads," "mounds," and "tons."  However, my concern is that, for someone who doesn't know what a PBP is, the DQ description might not get across the layered, three-tiered structure of the parfait.  The DQ description, at the end, does say "layered high," but how would one understand there is a bottom, middle, and top layer??

Yet, looking at my description, I'm not sure if I'm being completely clear, either.  Yes, I do describe bottom, middle and top layers of fudge and peanuts, but would someone definitely understand that the creamy soft serve comes between these layers??  Perhaps some readers would make this connection, but would all readers? 

Does this version work better:

"A Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait comes in a parfait cup, with a bottom layer of rich, decadent fudge and peanuts, followed by a layer of DQ's signature thick, creamy vanilla custard soft serve, followed by a middle layer of more fudge and peanuts, followed by a top layer of more soft serve, followed by a final top layer of yet more velvety fudge and crunchy peanuts."

Would any human being definitely understand a PBP after reading this description?  Would it be possible to misunderstand?  How about if a table was used instead, like this:

Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait Structure
Direction
Layer
Component
Top
Layer 5
Rich, decadent fudge and peanuts

Layer 4
Creamy soft serve
Layer 3
Rich, decadent fudge and peanuts
Layer 2
Creamy soft serve
Bottom
Layer 1
Rich, decadent fudge and peanuts

If this chart were used, would every human being have to, by necessity, understand what a PBP is?  One problem is the top layers of soft serve and fudge.  Because of the way the soft serve flows out of the dispenser, tapering up into a final ball and twirl of cream, the top layer of fudge drips down to the base, creating the appearance that there is actually another layer between the top of the cup, and the ball of soft serve that protrudes upwards to the heavens.  

A quick sketch below shows this.  You see, because of the soft serve at the top, it appears there's an additional layer, but it's actually all a part of layers 4 and 5.





















Therefore, the question becomes, is it possible, through words only, to convey what a PBP is?

To be continued...