Ten Ice Cream Flavors That Changed The World
Not really, of course, but a student visiting the store as part of a Boston University anthropology course asked for a list of ten flavors I like, which I would offer to customers. This prompted a bit of thought and is still incomplete.
1. Burnt Caramel.
This was an accident but signature flavor that is hard for others to copy. Corby Kummer wrote a long article about it for The Atlantic.
This is our version of a classic Italian gelato flavor. It has never been as popular as I think it should be.
3. Khulfee and Kenyan Khulfee
Two different South Asian flavors. Khulfee was one of our first such flavors and Kenyan Khulfee is a variation prompted by the enthusiasm of an MIT student from Kenya. This is the ice cream his mother made for him and not anything Kenyans would recognize. It is Cardamom, Saffron and chopped almonds and pistachios. I love the story and the taste is great.
4. Coffee Ice Cream Sandwich
One day we were talking about the fact that Italians enjoy redundancy in their food, particularly the idea of serving or eating a starch with another starch. So you might see potatoes on pizza. We decided to make ice cream with ice cream in it and we wanted visual and textural contrast as well as different tastes. Every American remembers the cheap taste of ice cream sandwiches from grade school. There are really two textures: cheap vanilla ice cream and slightly soggy “cookies.” We froze the sandwiches and then chopped them before adding them to coffee ice cream so you can notice the vanilla ice cream.
5. Black Bottom Pie
I was reading a cookbook by Jeremiah Tower, the first chef at Chez Panisse in California. His tastes are truly eclectic and he included a pie recipe from Alabama and Mississippi. I realized that we already had the ingredients in-house and we could simply take a pie with a ginger snap crust and a chocolate-rum filling and make a Cocoa Rum ice cream with ginger snap cookies. Marvelous.
6. Italian Egg Nog
During our first year of operations a famous chef gave us a recipe for this flavor. It has vanilla beans, lemon zest, orange zest, Grand Marnier, Amaretto and Anisette. That’s enough.
7. Blueberry Lemon
New England has a small number of foods associated with it. Everyone expects a local ice cream company to make Blueberry ice cream. But I think Blueberry is pretty dull. We so emphasized the “lemon” flavor that is usually paired with fruits that we ended up with this.
8. Salty Saffron
I brought samples of Saffron ice cream to a famous restaurant and the chef suggested adding some Salt to it. I never found out whether this was “a lucky guess” or “shot in the dark” or something she had eaten elsewhere. It is very good. We have added salt to a number of flavors despite the concern with how much salt people consume on a daily basis.
9. Barismo Espresso
Coffee ice cream is the fourth most popular flavor in New England. It is the number one flavor in Rhode Island. And this is the best coffee ice cream we have ever made using a lot of espresso from Arlington’s Barismo Coffee.
10. French Vanilla. This ice cream, as does most French ice cream, contains an egg custard. It makes a very rich ice cream which I love. It is perfect with almost any fruit. And it was one of the first flavors we made that I felt went way beyond what Steve’s and Toscanini’s had been doing.