July is National Ice Cream Month and it got me thinking: Where can I get a good scoop of ice cream in these parts?
I don’t know about you, but I feel like it’s slim pickings here when it comes to ice cream. I’m talking about a good, old-fashioned scoop of ice cream — not froyo, not Dippin’ Dots.
Several ice cream chains have shops in town, like Baskin-Robbins, Coldstone Creamery or Ghirardelli, but their ice cream is always so predictable and “safe.”
The gourmet ice cream trend is sweeping the country. San Francisco is a veritable mecca for fancy ice cream. Shops like Humphry Slocombe and Bi-Rite serve up scoops of unusual flavors like prosciutto or salted caramel.
So when will the Monterey Peninsula get in on the action?
Santa Cruz seems to be a few steps ahead of us. With flavors like wild fennel, burnt cinnamon and black tea peach, The Penny Ice Creamery in downtown Santa Cruz creates flavors that might sound a little unusual, but are mighty tasty.
Mission Hill Creamery, also in Santa Cruz, sticks to flavors that are more traditional, but no less gourmet. They’ve recently shuttered their retail shop, but their wholesale operation continues.
You can pick up their ice cream at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s restaurant. I recommend the Turkish coffee ice cream — delicious!
Many local restaurants — like Montrio Bistro or Mundaka — feature fancy ice creams such as candied bacon, green peppercorn or saffron on their dessert menus.
But what about a standalone shop for gourmet ice cream? We’re long overdue for one in these parts, no?