Growing up, my dad was an ice cream consumer extraordinaire. Every night, winter or summer, he would have ice cream for dessert. I am particularly fascinated by his Neapolitan ice cream. How chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream when packaged together is christened with the name meaning "from Naples Italy" I will never fully understand. As I got older, I loved the dish of spumoni ice cream, with its cherries and pistachios, often served at the end of Italian meals. I still am a fan of American style ice cream with chunky additions of fruits, nuts, and chocolate.
Then there are the memories of summers at my grandmother's in Kansas City. She had a porch that traversed the front of her house and at least once each visit my cousins and I would spend an afternoon hand cranking the old wooden ice cream maker, packed around the edges with ice and rock salt. There is nothing quite as tasty as ice cream you created yourself.
I will say, being pampered with this delicious confection in utero perhaps predisposed my daughter to her princess tendencies.
The lovely French counter girls smiled at my attempts to order in their language, correcting my pronunciation until my 'poire' was to her ear's satisfaction before serving me.
Oh my, it was so delicious. Three primary differences between ice cream and Gelato are that Gelato has a lower milk fat percentage, it has a lower percentage of whipped air, and is served at a higher temperature than ice cream - resulting in a softer, semi-frozen state. If you have never eaten Gelato, Google Gelato and promise you till try some this summer.
Zammuto's is a Rockford IL tradition. Opened by a wonderful Sicilian family in 1925, it is still in operation! The current owners serve a delicious Southern soul food menu AND the Zammuto's original recipe Granitas! Granita is traditionally made from sugar, water and flavoring. The Sicilian Granita has a coarser grain than a smoother, commercial product. (Though not as rough as a Hawaiian shaved ice).
A rule I have for family vacations is that we must eat ice cream at least once a day. As always, we seek out the locally owned establishments with the homemade creamy delicious ice creams we love.
Once a week, we travel north to visit the Dairyhaus in Rockton Illinois. Oh - their ice cream is so decadently good. Yes, this is a meal substitute. Home made on site, even the waffle cones are cooked fresh daily. This is a tiny ice cream parlor, so expect to eat outside on one of the many picnic tables. I love the 'wedding cake' flavor while my daughter always chooses 'blue moon'. Sundaes, banana splits, and root beer floats are all part of this true Americana ice cream experience.
As summer is fast approaching have I triggered you taste buds? How do you like your ice cream?