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.