Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Feature: Food I'd Like to Eat, Ice Cream Edition

I thought it might be fun to introduce a new feature for Fridays, just because I have so much to say about food I can't limit myself to talking about just the stuff I can physically eat.  There is lots of junk out there that I'd love to get my chops around, but it just ain't gonna happen.

For example, this ice cream:
 (image clipped from Baskin Robbins Japan site)

Tea and scone flavored, only available in Japan--of course. Now, if I may make one careful observation, here in the UK the ice cream market seems incredibly risk averse. How long did it take for lowly cookies & cream to be a mainstream flavor? The Ben & Jerry's that is available here is just the most basic of their lineup in the USA, like less than what you'd find in a gas station, and every other brand sticks to such traditional flavors. Well, I'm going to make a stand right here, right now...Tea and scones are a traditional English flavor, and I demand they be translated into ice cream for these territories. Nowish!
Now my homeland the US of A is no slouch when it comes to the cold dairy, either. I like to keep up on the newest releases by reading On Second Scoop--it goes to show you how much more ice cream there is in the US than there is in the UK that the blog is based around ice cream, and shows no sign of slowing down after many years.

I've missed out on a some great flavors since living in the UK, stuff like B&J's Late Night Snack and Red Velvet Cake, and Dairy Queen's Golden Oreo something-or-other and Birthday Cake.  This is the current promoted flavor that I'm pining for...

(image lifted from Ben & Jerry's USA site)
"Mascarpone Ice Cream with Fudge Covered Cannoli Pastry Shell Chunks & Mascarpone Swirl"
I'm frowning so hard right now, it'll probably be long gone by the time I visit again. 

I've also missed Peppermint ice cream for the last three addition to missing my family of course...yes.

Now, all this being said, you can find some pretty interesting ice cream in the UK, it just won't be on grocery store shelves. Like any big city, London has some pretty cool ice cream spots. I've been lucky enough to visit Camden's nitro ice cream hit machine* Chin Chin Labs when they had a white chocolate sorbet, and that was incredible. They also do extremely weird flavors regularly, but they tend to trend more on weirdness than the pure indulgence of 'weird' American and Japanese flavors. For instance, the two flavors this week are something to do with scotch and something sour with rhubarb. I'd love to try either, but it's the kind of flavor you try experience more than a tasty treat. However, that white chocolate sorbet I had was pretty awesome and I'd gladly get a pint of that if it were for sale.

Another place I've gone to a lot since moving to the UK is Scoop, a small gelato chain dotted throughout Central London. Even though the flavors are pretty simple, the quality is just tops. I really like the dark chocolate sorbet, it's basically black and incredibly dense with chocolate.

There is also the place that did breast milk ice cream, Icecreamists, but I've never eaten there and to be honest they seem really gimmicky and...stupid. I could be wrong, but I just don't gel the bad boy ice cream schtick. No matter how many skulls and rockabilly haircuts you attach to it, it is still a refreshing summertime treat adored by young and old. For all I know they have awesome product, but the approach is all wrong for me so I'm not tempted...also, their website doesn't seem to list any flavors, just lots of quotes.

Well, that's the first edition of Foods I'd Like to Eat. As you can tell the weather has just started warming up a skosh and already I'm thinking about ice cream.

*note: good name for a monster truck


  1. Great review. I'm also frustrated by the UK's lack of ice cream flavours. It depresses me seeing all the amazing B&J's or Haagen Daz varieties brought out in the US, whilst the latest most exciting flavour we get here is...caramel core. I'm not sure whether it's that us Brits are just boring in our tastes, or the companies here are too scared to take a chance.

    1. Yeah, I wonder what it is! Seems to me that people are interested in having more variety, at the very least. As long as vanilla was still available, you'd think everyone would be happy to give something like Cannoli a try. I bet it is fear in companies, because the UK is an unproven market when it comes to 'weird' flavors, maybe?