It’s no coincidence that my favourite photograph of myself is of me eating an ice cream… I love it.
I’m thankful for the accessibility of Ben and Jerry’s when I’m feeling a bit blue. Did I eat a few scoops of Häagen Dazs ice cream when I had the house to myself last night? Yes, yes I did. But that isn’t the ice cream I’m talking about in this post.
I’m talking about those small shops that you hover outside of, surveying the incredible variety of flavours available to you – the rainbow of gelato displayed in an overwhelmingly, intimidatingly long bar. I’m talking about the fantastic, punchy flavours you can find, the really weird ones, and the moment of panic when you’re asked which flavours you would like and you can’t choose between them because they’re all just so good. The real gastronomically incredible ice cream.
I can’t remember when my love of ice cream started – it’s just always been there.
When I was younger the highlight of family trips to drizzly Wales was the Glaslyn Ice Cream Parlour in Beddgelert (if you’re ever in Snowdonia it’s not to be missed!). The Parlour quickly jumped to the top of the list of best ice cream places I’d been compiling at the time, and I think to this day still displays the largest number of ice cream flavours I’ve ever seen. It was magical – and a welcome treat after a day of walking in the mountains.
In Rome last year I excelled myself with three cones of gelato in one day, certain that I was eating the best artisan ice cream I would ever be able to find.
Rome has some of the best gelaterias in the world, and I knew it then – the ice cream is creamier, the flavours are stronger and the gelaterias are bustling with people.
Midway through my stay in Rome I decided that I would only buy an ice cream if it was a flavour I’d never tasted before, in the expectation that this mantra would drastically curb my gelato consumption rates. It didn’t work. Instead I discovered so many incredible flavours. Among my favourites was a sharp, juicy green apple flavour paired with a creamy, warming cinnamon flavour.
The Frigidarium Gelateria, conveniently situated next to (in my opinion) the best Pizzeria in Rome on the Via del Governo Vecchio, was my favourite. Their banana gelato was the creamiest ever, and their house flavour – “Frigidarium”, an unexplained flavour that is a butterscotch-y, caramel-y, cinnamon-y take on cookies and cream – was phenomenal.
Needless to say that for a long time I have been excited about wacky, inventive and delicious ice cream flavours. The way that ice cream, as a pretty basic foodstuff, has the ability to present to you strong, weird and wonderful flavours is pretty incredible.
In the best gelaterias you only need one spoonful to taste a strong flavour.
If one spoonful then all you need, then surely bringing the experience to customers can’t be too difficult?
I am at a wedding next weekend, so next week’s post is a Part 2 of this one.
It will be about learning to make ice cream and bringing ice cream onto a restaurant menu.
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