Sweets are my biggest weakness. I’m sure that’s apparent, given that I created a section just to talk about it! Cookies remain my One True Love, but cupcakes are a close follower. Cake is also acceptable, as are other pastries. But when the weather gets warm, my thoughts turn to ice cream.
I was grocery shopping a few weeks ago when something caught my eye: a white container with a brown stripe and a pink label. It was a full end-cap display of ice cream, the little white pints neatly lined up, their brightly-coloured labels facing straight forward.
I was intrigued because I had never heard of Nice Cream, and I became more intrigued when I continued to read the labels. I expected vanilla, chocolate, maybe strawberry, but instead found Earl Grey, carrot cake, lavender vanilla, and pistachio. It’s basically impossible for me to resist anything tea-flavoured that isn’t tea, so into the shopping basket it went!
When I reached the register and the ice cream was blipped across the scanner, I almost had a mild heart attack. It was very expensive–I hadn’t seen a price on the shelf, but I had a general idea of how much I thought ice cream ought to be. This was nearly $10 per pint! x_x (Ouch!) At that moment I almost decided to have it put back, but I took it home anyway and hoped it was really that good.
Thankfully, it was. It wasn’t the most perfect ice cream I’ve ever tried, but it was definitely different than typical Edy’s or Ben & Jerry’s. Nice Cream prides themselves on organic, local ingredients. I appreciate the use of real cream, real eggs, and no preservatives–you can absolutely taste the difference! However, it doesn’t have a very long shelf life due to the lack of preservatives, so it needs to be eaten fairly promptly.
I picked out pistachio honey for my husband. He’s very laid back and generally likes anything, but I know he particularly likes pistachio. The pistachio flavour was very real, and there were pieces of pistachios studded in the pale green ice cream. The honey sweetness paired well with the nuts. He liked it so much he didn’t scold me for paying so much for ice cream. (Although, honestly, he never scolds me regardless of what silly thing I’ve done.)
Earl Grey was the obvious choice for my ice cream~ The shortbread cookie pieces were so delicious that I’m thinking I might have to take a trip to Swim Cafe and buy some to eat non-frozen-and-ice-creamy. (But perhaps that is part of the charm?) My only qualm was that the bergamot flavour was very heavy–adding a very intense layer of “orange” above the taste of the tea. A little bit less orange would have been slightly more to my taste. I think if I tried it again, I’d go for carrot cake!
There’s always something extra-exciting to me about finding something new that is region-specific. The fact that this ice cream can’t be purchased in stores across the country, because it’s made in one place in small batches, provides a different level of quality and creativity. It makes me wonder what delicious ice cream companies are in other regions that I can’t get here! Or, in fact, what other undiscovered-to-me dessert companies might be right under my nose~