It’s just my lot in life that my favorite ice cream is a very (like, micro-level) local affair. You can buy it at DC-area Balducci’s, the Whole Foods in Old Town, Alexandria, and exactly three farmer’s markets. That’s it. Is it madness, to stand in snow-tipped fields to buy a some more containers of frost? Perhaps. I like to think it is the very best kind of madness.
Here’s a thing that makes me sad. Desserts “à la mode” — “in the fashion”. Sure, I’ll eat ’em. I’ll gobble those vanilla-topped slices of pie with the best of ’em. But when ice cream’s a trend, it can go out of fashion. Who wants to live in a world where ice cream can become unfashionable? I certainly do not. Ice cream, that little engine that could, has such star potential, but is almost always relegated to afterthought. A garnish. Like parsley. Ice cream is the parsley of the dessert world. (N.B., I
have been known know people who have polished off entire Ben & Jerry’s pints in one sitting after a pasta dinner!!!!, but I think we can all agree that this “everything but the kitchen sink” attitude to ice-cream making risks confusing the issue. The point of B&J’s, I humbly submit, is not the luscious, rich glossiness of their chocolate ice cream, but the dark fudge chunks, white fudge chunks, pecan, walnuts, and chocolate-covered almost stirred in. Name that flavor!)
Sinplicity is all about the ice cream, not the stir-ins. It’s all about restoring honor to ice cream.
Do I go too far?
It’s not just chocolate; it’s Belgian chocolate truffle with Kahlua. I don’t care about the pedigree (though have I mentioned they pasteurize their own dairy products? It’s true.) — I care about the fact that it tastes like a chocolate truffle, intense and dark with that bitter slick of coffee tang that all good chocolate carries in its back pocket. (The GOOD chocolate, amiright, Ina? Oh, let’s just pause for a minute and reflect on how great Ina is.)
The Madagascar vanilla bean ice cream, friends, is just beyond. It will forever banish the idea that vanilla is a neutral or even, gasp!, bland flavor that can be plopped atop any dessert willy-nilly. Vanilla has character. It has a warm, spicy/floral depth. You gotta think about its flavor profile, kids. I will also tell you that chocolate and vanilla go together like, well, chocolateandvanilla, but if you’ve ever thought this pairing seemed a little arbitrary, you need to swirl these two in a bowl, taste, and finally comprehend.
I cannot wait until Sinplicity begins shipping its ice cream. Their website has a hopeful “Coming Soon” sign dangling across the “Shop Now” corner, and I just hope “soon” isn’t a metaphor for “Ha, suckers, like we would trust FedEx with our in-house pasteurized premium artisan ice cream!” DC-based friends, try a scoop of their classic or seasonal offerings (listed here in PDF) immediately. Here’s hoping my stockpile doesn’t melt on the plane ride back to Iowa.
Ps. If you are far from this area and want to make your own from-scratch and comparably-luscious ice cream, I have some pretty good ideas on where you might look first.