Tag Archives: ice cream

If we had an ice cream maker….

…we would definitely make this Thai Tea Ice Cream – it sounds amazing!

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Finer Things Club: Berthillon

31, rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Île
Paris, 75004

You know ice cream is good if you crave it even in 40 degree, rainy weather (hmmm, just like Chicago right now). Despite the gross grey drizzle we made a pilgrimage to Berthillon on Île Saint-Louis, fine purveyors of delicious house-made ice creams. Along with L’As du Fallafel, Berthillon is another one of our Paris must-dos – beware though – many places on the same road on the Île advertise that they carry Berthilllon ice cream, but only one is the ORIGINAL Berthillon. As a respite from the cold we opted to go into the small but elegant Berthillon tea room to sample some ice cream (in the Summer there is a walkup counter).

The little tea room serves all of Berthillon’s myriad ice cream flavors – which rotate in and out on a daily basis. The flavor selection at Berthillion is massive – and includes all of the classics, like hazelnut or vanilla, as well as particularly fresh and potent fruit sorbets, there are even a few more unusual flavors like Earl Grey Tea, Turron and Ginger (full list of ice creams and sorbets here – both PDFs). We are partial to the chocolate ice cream and raspberry sorbet flavors, however you can’t go too wrong. Also – as a bonus – they serve Mariage Frères tea – another one of our all-time favorites! While the Eaters opted for a decadent dish of chocolate ice cream covered in chantilly and chocolate sauce along with an almond tuile, our friends went for the salted caramel ice cream. For an accompaniment we got a small pot of Thé à l’Opéra, one of our favorite Mariage Frères varieties, a green tea and red berry blend. For the more adventurous there are also more elaborate sundaes (but those will cost you a lot more). It doesn’t matter the weather – you know you want ice cream!

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Argentine Ice Cream in Chicago?

I was inspired to write this post by a photo I stumbled upon on Flickr, by Katherine of Chicago (seen below). This intriguing photo showcases a shuttered Argentine Ice Cream store on the North Side of Chicago, named the Penguin.penguinsignApparently Argentina is quite known for its delicious ice cream, which has a style of its own. Ice cream arrived in Argentina with the many Italian immigrants, and is a direct descendent of the famous Italian gelato. Today in Buenos Aires, the streets are apparently filled with Heladerias, and dulce de leche is a popular flavor. I was eager to try some in Chicago, but The Penguin is no more. Apparently, this helado has even found its way to London. Short of going to Buenos Aires, do you know of anywhere in Chicago to try it? If I only had an ice cream maker I could make some myself.


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A Quick Bite: Horchata Ice Cream

M and I are big fans of horchata, both the Spanish variety made from nuts and the Mexican version made from rice. The Chocolate Shoppe’s horchata ice cream is a riff on the Mexican version and is delicious on a hot sunny day. We approached the new flavor with some initial skepticism, but ended up really pleased – it had a pleasantly sweet rice milk base with a hint of cinnamon. For other internationally-inclined ice cream eaters, Chocolate Shoppe also offers a delightfully-rich Zanzibar chocolate flavor. We also like how they don’t take themselves to seriously – check out their nutritional information – for example.

Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Cup by Afagen

If you can’t read the fine print: “Nutritional Information: Don’t even ask. This is the best ice cream made in Wisconsin, and it tastes so good because it has gobs of rich Wisconsin cream, tons of real ingredients for boat-loads of luscious flavors. That means it’s not low-fat, low-calorie or low-anything, and that’s why everyone loves it. You want nutrition, eat carrots.”

Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream
468 State St
Madison, WI

There are also stores in Illinois: Locations

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Cuba: Heladería Coppelia

coppelia In many countries the water and gas industries are nationalized. But how about the ice cream industry? Well, that’s the case of Coppelia, the official ice cream of Cuba. After the revolution, ice cream could not be imported, so Cuba created a homegrown alternative. Every town in Cuba has a Heladería Coppelia, but the centerpiece of the Coppelia empire is located in Havana. The Havana Coppelia building is a mid-century marvel, made of colored glass in steel, and designed by Mario Girona 1966. The whole complex takes up nearly an entire block in the Vedado district of Havana and seats over 700. The Girona building rose to some fame after it appeared in Tomás Gutiérez Alea’s 1994 film Fresa y chocolate (Strawberries and Chocolate).coppelia-line

What is interesting is that there are in fact 2 lines at the Havana Coppelia, one for tourists who are paying dollars, and one for locals paying in pesos. Needless to say the tourist line tends to move faster. When Coppelia first opened it boasted more flavors than Baskin Robbins at the time, though a selection 2 or 3 flavors a day is the standard nowadays. The logo of Coppelia stores are ballerina legs, as seen above, surely a reference to the ballet Coppelia.

helado[Flickr CC photo credits: top – arghon , middle –veo veo, bottom- esti]


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