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
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
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/
You guys, can you believe #icecreamthurs only has a few more weeks to go? We’ve managed to pretend it isn’t winter for so long! Summer is just around the corner, and what better way to prepare than to indulge in some incredible sorbet from That Gelato Place? The range of flavours here is always impressive, but I was particularly excited to discover their more exotic Mojito flavour on this visit. I paired it with Mango (approx $6.50 for two scoops, can’t remember exactly, sorry!) and away we went. The Mojito flavour is the perfect combination of sweet sorbet and mint – it is refreshment in a cup, minus the alcohol, of course. I could definitely see myself sitting on the balcony with a tub of this in summer. The Mango was equally delicious – rich, sweet and creamy, the ripe fruit was conjured in my head as I took each mouthful. Together, these tropical flavours transported me to a balmy beach somewhere. Sigh. The serve was massive too – scooped up high and in a really large cup, it took me ages to eat the whole thing. That Gelato Place never lets me down!
That Gelato Place, Shop 10, Cooleman Court, Weston ACT http://www.coolemancourt.com.au/stores/that-gelato-place/
I consider myself fairly adventurous when it comes to food, so I made a point of trying to sample the extensive range of unusual icecream flavours in Chile. There are a lot, and the first one I came across was in a delightful heladeria in Bellas Artes, right outside the metro station. Have you heard of lucuma? It’s a Peruvian fruit known as ‘the Gold of the Incas’ (or so Google tells me) – its natural sweetness is perfect for anything sweet, including gelato. This gelato was actually Lucuma Meringue flavour, so was sweeter again, but I got my first impression of a new flavour – quite the adventure. It took me a while to realise why this flavour was familiar – I was expecting citrus, which was definitely there, but I also got a hint of something else, which after reading about it afterwards, I realised was maple. The combination with the meringue was sweet and fresh all at once. I was also really impressed by the texture, which was beautifully creamy and not icy at all (I thought it might be a sorbet given the fruit profile, but the website classifies it as a ‘light’ gelato). Highly recommended!
Gelateria Mo, Monjitas 484, Santiago, Chile, http://www.heladosmo.cl/#_=_
As you may be aware, I’ve just returned from an epic holiday in South America where, it turns out, icecream is HUGELY popular. So, be prepared for a whole new continent of #icecreamthurs adventures! Emporio la Rosa is consistently rated the best icecream in Santiago, and upon discovering a hotel 2 minutes away from it, I promptly booked. My first visit validated this decision in a big way – I fell completely in love. Once I mastered the ordering system (pay at the counter, then move to the icecream fridge to choose your flavour/s), I picked a cup with fruits of the forest and orange and ginger sorbets. In Chile, icecream in a cup also comes with a cone on top, but I didn’t figure that out until visit #2. Anyway, needless to say, the sorbets were heavenly. The fruits of the forest flavour had a really rich, deep flavour that sung of blackberries, raspberries and blueberries – it even had berry seeds inside. The flavour really got my mouth watering, and was backed up strongly by the well-balanced orange and ginger sorbet. This flavour was beautifully refreshing – the ginger cut much of the sweetness and the orange left a lovely citrus tang on my tongue, long after I’d finished. Yum, yum, yum. More to come!
Emporio la Rosa, José Victorino Lastarria 71, Barrio Lastarria, Santiago, Chile http://www.emporiolarosa.com/
You guys know how much I love a good fruit sorbet – anything fruity and I am totally there. After a catch up dinner at Golden Drum, we decided to go for a sneaky post-dinner-Frugii-run (that’s totally a thing). Presented with the usually amazing range of flavours, I predictably went for the fruity option – in this case, raspberry sorbet. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I still consider Frugii to be some of the best value icecream in town – the portions are huge and the flavour quality is unparalleled – this visit was no exception. My large cup of raspberry sorbet was a complete delight, with each mouthful evoking the experience of biting into fresh raspberries, although without being quite as messy. The intensity of the raspberry flavour was striking, and I love the texture of the sorbets here. You know it’s a sorbet, but there’s still a creaminess that stops it from being too icy, like some kind of perfect creamy-to-icy-ratio that only they know how to achieve. As always the store was busy, but with spillover seats out in the foyer it’s reasonably easy to snag a seat and enjoy your treat!
Frugii Dessert Laboratory, 30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT, http://www.frugii.com/
PappaRich isn’t the first place I would think of as an icecream store – roti, curries, even mango lassi, yes, but icecream? Well, the stall in the food court at the Macquarie Centre sells just that (please correct me if I’ve got this wrong and it’s old branding on the stall!), and I happened to stop by after a very successful shopping stint. Whilst there were exciting flavours – including black sesame and durian, the latter of which I have yet to try – I kept my lactose-intolerant tummy happy with a dairy-free raspberry sorbet ($4.80 for a single scoop). The serve was a reasonable size and definitely enough of a sugar-hit to reenergise me for the afternoon. The sorbet had a somewhat icy texture, and was punctuated by the little raspberry seeds that some places seem to think are necessary to prove raspberry authenticity. Personally, I could do without the seeds, and I found the flavour intense but not as compelling as, say, Scroll, which has a top-notch raspberry flavour. I’d place this as middle-of-the-range, and would be curious to see if their icecream flavours are a notch better. Note that payment is by cash only and the staff are friendly and helpful.
Papparich, food court, Macquarie Centre, Macquarie Park NSW, http://www.papparich.net.au/