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Bacon Ice Cream and Intertemporal Choice

INSERT DESCRIPTIONPhoto: lilivanili and shawnzam

Yesterday I suggested that tastes may not be stable. And then last night, I had the chance to confront the data directly; my local restaurant was serving bacon ice cream.

Bacon: Delicious! Ice cream: My favorite! The combination of bacon and ice cream: a direct threat to my views of economics.

You see, every bite was awful. It wasn’t even really good bacon; it was cheap bacon bits scattered through the ice cream. But somehow, even though each mouthful was terrible, I couldn’t stop eating it.

It’s hard to match these repeatedly bad choices with our usual models of rational choice. You could say that my choices reveal a preference for bacon ice cream, but then that makes the theory of consumer choice a tautology.

My dinner colleague Tom Miles managed just one mouthful to satisfy his curiosity before reverting to his martini to wash away the bad taste. Yes, he’s a true Chicago economist, satisfying the usual axioms. (Tom did suggest that a side of chocolate ice cream with fried eggs might have yielded enough complementary flavors to make bacon ice cream work.)

Want to try this at home? Try this recipe. But my advice: Don’t.

I think red-beet ice cream sounds better.