Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Ice Cream Diaries


I used to be able to down a pint of Ben & Jerry's in one sweet half-hour sitting. Okay, I can still do it, but not with out blinding, calorie remorse and an upset stomach. Now I realize why my mother's pint of Haagen-Dazs's Rum Raisin lasted in the freezer so long.

Even though 26% of Americans prefer Vanilla ice cream as their top flavor, I recently read a few articles about local flavors of ice cream making a splash across the country. With summer heating up, some of them seem to be the perfect accompaniment to a languorous interview with a porch and alcoholic beverage of choice:

Black Licorice, would be perfect for a dark, sultry night after a Twenties party that involved a sluiced glass of absinthe. You can order it online at IceCreamSource.com

Honey Sunflower Vanilla is supposed to be all the rage in the Midwest, but the little selfish bastards don't export the salty, sweet, creamy stuff outside of the breadbasket. Make your own buy mixing Honey Ice Cream with chocolate covered sunflower seeds (Oprah recommends the ones at the Cocoa Room, but I find the ones at Sunflower Foods and Spice to be less expensive). A glass of Tej (Ethiopian, Honey wine) pilfered from one of the "Halal" markets on U Street will help if you can't find any Honey Ice Cream and have to settle for Vanilla. If your area is hard up for an Ethiopian population, the Wine Chateau.com carries inexpensive bottles Tej.

With a scoop of Lavender Ice Cream and a glass of chilled Lillet, I can pretend I'm in Provence, France. Of course, I am prone to pretending I am in Provence after a couple of glasses of Lillet anyway. "Out of a Flower - French Lavender" is available from the Ice Cream Source, but snap it up--it sells out quickly.

Green Chili Ice Cream is popular in Mumbai and Christina's Homemade Ice Cream in Cambridge, Mass is sometimes serves Ancho Chili Ice Cream to adventerous patrons. Interested in trying the "kick" of a little spice added to your cold creamy delight? iGourmet carries a Honey & Hot (Acacia Honey with Hot Pepper) topping perfect for Ice Cream (or cheese, for that matter) or if you still want to experience exotic spice without the heat, they also carry Casina Rossa Saffron and Acacia Honey, too. One might go the route of accompanying your zesty excursion with an ice cold glass of Vodka Peppar, but I think a Pimms Cup with slices of cucumber would be a perfect foil for the heat.

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