Those who know me know I’m partial to a G&T, so when I heard icecream genius Mr Frugii was doing a G&T sorbet, I put it on my Canberra foodie ‘must-try’ list. That was more than 12 months ago, and I FINALLY managed to visit when it was on offer! Unlike the usual Frugii fare, this sorbet is more like a jelly version and comes in a tube kind of like an icypole for grown ups. Firstly, let me say, the flavour is excellent. Made with local The Canberra Distillery Gin, the rich juniper flavour leaves you in no doubt this is a G&T. Secondly, the texture is an absolute delight. Because it’s hand-held, it does melt a little quicker than the usual icecream or sorbet, but the slightly jelly-like smoothness keeps the sorbet together to be eaten from the tube. The portion is smaller than a standard flavour serve, but given the alcohol content, maybe that’s a good thing! I also found that by the end it was a little tricky to get out of the tube, but other than that, it exceeded my (high) expectations. Go team Frugii! Champagne sorbet is my next boozy bucket-list flavour goal!
Frugii Dessert Laboratory, 30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT, http://www.frugii.com/
Ok, so technically it’s autumn (bummer), but luckily I have a solution to this tragic summer-ending season. It’s called #icecreamthurs – let’s eat icecream every Thursday until it’s summer again! Back in January I visited Fridays After Five at Aldinga in Adelaide’s south, and fell completely in love with Sunshine Iceblocks, one of the stallholders. Selling iceblocks, gelato and shaved ice (perfect on a 40 degree day), they use only fresh, seasonal, local ingredients, and boy does it show. I ordered a Nectarine and Orange iceblock ($4.50) and opened it up with joy – the pieces of nectarine with the skin still on were clearly visible in the iceblock. Yay! Given the heat I was worried it would melt too quickly, but it actually lasted really well, allowing me to fully enjoy the beautiful flavour. First, nectarine and orange are meant to be together. There’s sweetness, there’s citrus, there’s a bit of tartness from the skin – the overall taste is pretty much perfect, without being sugary or too sweet. Dad tried the dark Belgian chocolate gelato, which was equally delicious (although more melty) in its own way – rich, decadent and not bitter, I basically cannot wait until my next visit to try more (raspberry lemonade is top of the list for next time!).
Sunshine Iceblocks, various locations, SA http://sunshineiceblocks.com.au
Well friends, we’ve done it once again. Another year of #icecreamthurs summer denial comes to an end – bring on the heat! On my first day on Easter Island, I wandered through Hanga Roa, getting my bearings and exploring Tahai for my first sighting of the impressive moai. But it was a long walk, and on the way back I stopped in at Pea’s little icecream stall, hidden around the side of the building. With a fun range of flavours (and locally made), I couldn’t go past the frutos rojos flavour, which literally translates as red fruit. I presumed it was a fruits of the forest type mix, but the flavour didn’t have the heaviness of dark berries, instead being a sweeter, tarter mix of what must have been strawberrry, raspberry and blueberry. The portion was smaller than others I’d have on the island, but the quality was excellent. The icecream was beautifully rich and had such a creamy texture – I could have happily enjoyed this all day. Even better was the view – I grabbed a seat out on the pavillion which overlooks the ocean – life doesn’t really get much better than this! #icecreamthurs will return in autumn 2017.
Pea Restobar, Av. Policarpo Toro, Hanga Roa, Easter Island, Chile, no website
When your friends visit from overseas and your gang catches up, there’s no better way to top the night off than with icecream. After drinks at Suke Suke, we wandered up to Bunda Street for icecream, and made it to Via Dolce just before they closed for the night. I opted for two scoops, picking (surprise surprise) two fruity sorbets, to celebrate the pleasant spring evening. First was the passionfruit sorbet, which had plenty of seeds scattered throughout and had a nice balance of sweetness-to-tartness. I felt that the texture of this sorbet was a little lacking – it was a bit icy and could have been creamier – but the flavour was solid and basically screamed “PASSIONFRUIT!”. My second pick was pomegranate sorbet, which is a new flavour for me. Having fallen in love with the flavour in Turkey, I absolutely loved its sorbet reincarnation, with a beautiful freshness and just the right amount of sorbet-sweetness. Again, the texture let it down a bit, but on the plus side the serve was massive – 2 scoops were a little pricey at $8, but you certainly get plenty for it. I’m always impressed by the range of sorbets here too – plenty of choice for the lactose intolerant!
Via Dolce, 108 Bunda Street, Civic ACT, viadolce.com.au
I’d heard that Caramelo was one of the best places on Easter Island for dessert, so after a pre-dawn wake up to watch the sunrise, I treated myself to afternoon tea back in Hanga Roa. I wasn’t disappointed. With cute wallpaper, signage and menus, Caramelo could easily fit in on the streets of Santiago. I opted for a decadent treat – the Volcan de Chocolate (CLP 3500), which came out quite different to the lava cake I was expecting. For one thing, it was served with a scoop of manjar icecream (yes! #icecreamthurs bonus!) and for another, it was a completely different texture to your usual lava cake. The chocolate cake was surprisingly dense, almost like it had been sculpted into shape, and had a heavy, rich chocolate flavour. The perfectly oozy melted chocolate was a delight, although I did struggle to finish the dish. The icecream was utterly luxurious, buttery and sweet without being sickly – although I think a sharp berry sorbet, perhaps raspberry, would have cut through the chocolate a bit better. Worth at least one visit, especially for sweet tooths!
Caramelo, Atamu Tekena, Hanga Roa, Easter Island, no website
Mikafe is a lovely little spot right by the water in Hanga Roa, the only town on Easter Island (or Rapanui, in the local language). Their icecreams are locally made, and include a range of flavours I’d never heard of before – so, of course, I was totally on to that. I picked the chirimoya alegre, which apparently is a Chilean dessert made with chirimoya fruit (custard apple) and orange juice. The flavour was really refreshing, with the citrus notes evident amid the general fruity sweetness of the chirimoya. I paired it with a scoop of papaya (my new favourite island flavour), which was vibrant and fresh, like biting into ripe fruit. Also, I’m not sure if this picture gives you a sense of how enormous this icecream was, but imagine, if you will, an icecream the size of your head. Literally, the size of your head. There you have it. There was so much iceream in this icecream it took me ages to eat and I was worried I might not be able to hold it, it was so heavy! This is clearly a popular local spot, especially for the kids, and I’d highly recommend it for a refreshment break. Note: you can choose to pay in pesos or US dollars.
Mikafe, Caleta Hanga Roa, Hanga Roa, Easter Island, no website
Whilst I knew exactly where to get icecream in Santiago, it took me a while to realise that there was an heladeria across the road from my hotel in Buenos Aires. But I did realise, and in doing so ended up having one of the best icecreams of my trip. The icecream menu at Chungo is extensive, to the point where I had to ask for the staff’s recommendation to try and whittle the choice down. I finally went for the strawberry and mango (the recommendation) and a pear sorbet, served in a waffle cone. I was delighted to get a choice of toppings, and ended up choosing the candied almonds (why not? I was on holidays). The strawberry and mango sorbet was light and sweet, the mango flavour less prominent than I expected but still noticeable, but the magic flavour was undoubtedly the pear. I can’t describe this any other way – it was like biting into a sweet, ripe pear, except it was icecream. There was nothing artificial, nothing to distract you from the 100% pear-ness of it. I have no idea how they managed to get such an authentic flavour, but it was beautiful and I could have eaten a bucket of it. Luckily I was pretty full from the almonds on top, or else I might have… Definitely worth seeking out if you find yourself in BA.
Chungo, Humboldt 1906, Esquina Costa Rica, Palermo Hollywood, Buenos Aires, Argentina, http://www.chungo.com.ar/