Friday, August 28, 2009

Ice Cream Heaven

I must admit to a passion for very good ice cream. When I was young my mother made ice cream at home using tins of sweetened condensed milk that I eagerly dipped a teaspoon into when I could get away with it. She had no special machine, but after an hour or so in the freezer, the tray would be brought out again, the icy mixture beaten in the Kenwood mixer, and then placed back into the freezer. The soft-serve ice cream in a cone with the “99 flake” from the summer ice cream van was a novelty, but the taste didn’t compare to my mother’s.

In the US my favourite ice cream is Ben & Jerry’s with wonderful wacky flavours such as “Chunky Monkey”, “Cherry Garcia”, and “New York Super Fudge Chunk”. Hilo Homemade in Hawaii was another favourite with flavours adapted to local taste: ginger and green tea among them! Here in Malta there’s clearly Italian influence at work; although the supermarkets are full of commercial brands of ice cream, locally made ice cream can also be found in the holiday resort areas. Here where I live – which could be either Qawra, Bugibba, or St Paul’s Bay depending on your interpretation of local maps – a narrow side street hides the best ice cream parlour I’ve found: “sotto Zero”, a gelateria making their own artisan gelato fresh daily on the premises, in full view of happy customers.

Sotto Zero is about twenty minutes’ walk from my flat, going at a slow pace. I can only get there when my energy levels are up and I’m feeling better than usual. One evening, a couple of weeks ago, I set out and had to give up half way there – my legs just wouldn’t carry me, and, disappointed, I had to admit that forging ahead was not in my best interest. The evenings I do make it, and can enjoy the delicious hazelnut and chocolate “Baci” gelato, I enjoy a double treat: the ice cream, and the pleasure of knowing I was well enough to make it there.

Hmmm, not sure about the blue smurf, but their vanilla is made with eggs and real vanilla bean - delicious!


Commercial Ice Machine said...

Nice post.........

Khadija iqbal said...

Nice blog...since i love Gelato n so this blog!!