I’ve had this post cached since Christine published her write up of Ici, but I’ve just been too busy to edit. So here goes:
I think that I can always eat ice cream, no matter what the weather. The way I look at it is, if the weather’s cool and cloudy, there’s less of a line at the ice cream parlor! After all, I trudged to Berthillon in 30 degree weather on my first day in Paris… but there was still a line going out the door! (I had the salted butter caramel and the marron glace flavors) And a few weeks ago, I caught my coworkers giving me incredulous looks when I returned from a rainy lunch with a Jamba Juice. Luckily, the clouds dried up the weekend of our tasting and our Indian summer began.
I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when I’d arrived, because I’d been looking forward to tasting the fig flavor, which I’d noticed on my first visit. Ici always has chocolate and vanilla, but most of the other flavors are seasonal. Fig was no longer on the menu, but there were ten other flavors, and there’s nothing like ten scoops of ice cream to cheer you up! I surprised myself – my favorite ice cream was the chocolate. If I were just picking out a single scoop, I’d go for something a little more unusual, like the rose or the earl grey, but if I were taking home a quart, I’d choose the chocolate. Under normal circumstances, I would pick rocky road over plain chocolate, but this chocolate was rich, full flavored, smooth and creamy. It was really well balanced – not too sweet, but not too bitter or grainy. It was so good that the rocky road (usually my favorite ice cream flavor) paled in comparison. We suspected, and upon further inquiry confirmed that the chocolate used in each flavor was a different one. I think that if I hadn’t tried each of the flavors available, I probably would have been satisfied with the rocky road.
The concord grape sherbet was also very unique. No one chose it as a favorite, but we were all wowed by the sheer grapy intensity of the flavor and color. It almost tasted artificial. I was reminded of Barney, and Susan commented that it tasted just like grape juice. I think this is exactly the sort of flavor that little kids would like, sort of like bubble gum ice cream or rainbow sherbet. I’m sure if you ate enough of it, your tongue would be dyed purple!
The ice cream sandwiches have gotten a lot of press, so of course, we had to try them. Two were available – one was malted vanilla ice cream with a chocolate cookie, and the other was lime ice cream with a gingersnap. The vanilla and chocolate combo was yummy, but we really loved the lime and gingersnap combo. Instead of using the sherbet, Ici actually used a lime ice cream which also had a faint gingernote that was really highlighted by the lime gingersnap. Somehow, the cookie didn’t get soggy and retained its crispiness.
Sooooo since Ici rotates it’s flavors, I think we should do another tasting soon! Or we could try one of each flavor at Gelateria Naia…