Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Temptation Tuesday - Frozen Fancy

‘I can resist everything except temptation’ to quote Oscar Wilde. In my case it should read ‘I can resist everything expect temptation and chocolate ice cream’. I don’t know why it should be that I can pass on any other flavour of ice cream except that one. You can keep your ‘Cherry Garcia’ and your ‘Chunky Monkey’. I resolutely turn from ‘Pralines and Cream’. For some reason I just want a few scoops of unadulterated old fashioned chocolate ice cream.
I know it isn’t fashionable. I know it isn’t trendy. Why should some Michelin starred chef serve chocolate ice cream when he could serve something exotic and clever like ‘Rosewater and Orange blossom’ or even ‘Nitro-Scrambled Egg and Bacon’ (I kid you not!)? I mean chocolate ice cream is just chocolate ice cream, isn’t it?

But it isn’t! Wherever you go there is always something subtly different about this frozen wonder. Some are milk and some are dark (I don’t count white chocolate as proper chocolate ice cream). Some of it with little pieces of chocolate dotted through it and although I don’t usually condone adding extra flavours, if you combine it with orange it becomes the wonder that is Green & Black’s ‘Chocolate Orange’ ice cream. Yum!

And then of course there is the joy of ordering gelato in Italy, a country that KNOWS its ice cream. A cup of gelato di cioccolato whilst wandering round San Gimignano last April with the girls is emblazoned on my memory. The sun setting light to the Tuscan stone as my mouth is awash with a creamy bitter sweet icy treat.

Or there was the April before wandering round Paris, it was the first truly sunny day of the year and everyone was wreathed in smiles. As was I, admittedly a little bit of a sticky smile. I was indulging in the joy that is Berthillon’s glace au chocolat. The Berthillon’s shop is on Ile Saint-Louis, and although others sell the ice cream, Parisians like to make the trip to the island to buy it from the shop. So we sat legs dangling on the banks of the Siene discussing our next shopping stop (I was with the girls again) and where we were going to head for drinks later.

It isn’t as though I haven’t tried any other flavours, I have. In fact a particularly wonderful dessert of poached Williams pears with a red wine ice cream figures high on my list of gastronomic experiences. It is just that for me there is no other flavour that excites me, tantalises me and comforts me like a few scoops of chocolate ice cream. And if it is homemade and served on a naked Hugh Jackman with a strawberry garnish… ahem where was I?

So if you ever see me in a restaurant looking through the dessert menu, it is only for show. Because as soon as I’m asked what I want I’ll always say the same thing,
“Do you have any chocolate ice cream?”

What is your favourite ice cream flavour? What great memories does it bring back for you?

As Biddy waits to hear back from Richmond on her Modern Heat she can be found tasting her way round the restaurants in Pimlico, London. She recommends Kazan as having a particularly fine chocolate ice cream served with a strawberry but so far no Hugh Jackman, naked or otherwise.


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  2. At an Italian for dinner last month, I had chocolate hazelnut gelato.

    It tasted like fudgsicle. MMMMMM.

  3. Ooh, Biddy. I *knew* there were reasons I like you so much. (Ice cream is one of my utterly favourite things. But - oddly, for someone who loves chocolate and loves ice cream - I LOATHE chocolate ice cream. Even G&B.)

    Current fave flavour in our house is dulce de leche. And I love, love, LOVE coffee ice cream.

    I also think back to a hot summer in France with bright blue ice cream that tasted of raspberries; of rhubarb ice cream in Cornwall; and lavender ice cream in my part of the world (very delicate flavour).

    But I think also it reminds me of the first time I ever cooked a meal for my DH. The only thing he liked was the pudding... strawberries and very posh vanilla ice cream. (I should add that my cooking wasn't the problem - he didn't like anything with cooked tomatoes, and I'd made lasagne on the assumption that everyone likes it. Oops. Nowadays, his tastes have changed and he loves my lasagne!)

  4. Donna - mmmmm chocolate hazelnut gelato doesn't sound too bad.

    Kate - not like chocolate ice cream?!?!? I suppose I'll let you off. I'm glad you have turned your dh into a lasagne lover :-)

  5. Biddy,

    Good god, how did you manage to get chocolate ice cream, strawberries and a naked Hugh Jackman all into one post!!!

    Girl you're a genius.

    Can I just add that I absolutely loathe Ben and Jerry's ice cream, they have totally destroyed the whole purpose of ice cream. My sons love it, but when I see Chunky Monkey and Fillet of Fish (or whatever the heck it's called) it makes me want to puke... Sorry rant over.

    Back to dreaming about chocolate dipped Hugh Jackman, sorry, strawberries.