Too Much of a Good Thing

2010/05/08 06:46:46
Babe Paley said, "You can't be too thin and too rich."
Maybe ice cream can be too rich.

Last weekend I visited the vaunted Penn State University Creamery for the first time.  It was the richest ice cream I've ever had; very low over-run (solid, heavy, almost no air in it) and very high butterfat.  I had the Peachy Paterno.  It was good but the heaviness and the butterfat taste was a bit overwhelming of the vanilla and peach flavors. 

Pennsylvania, especially the Philly area, is big on super-premium ice cream.  Bassett's, a local favorite, operates an ice cream counter in the Reading Terminal Market in Center City Philadelphia (and also sells packaged ice cream to a limited number of shops and "dipping parlors").  Penn State's ice cream is even heavier and richer than Bassett's.  I notice with Bassett's I tend to go for stronger flavors (peanut butter swirl and butterscotch vanilla) which can stand up to the richness of the ice cream. 

The best balance of richness and flavors I've found is Handel's, a franchise outfit with each store making its own ice cream, largely using ingredients (local milk, cream and fruits).  Not quite as rich, not quite as heavy and the flavors, especially fresh fruit flavors really come through.  For example, in my neighborhood, they only sell peach ice cream when the guy can get fresh peaches.  A real treat.

Filet Mignon
Re:Too Much of a Good Thing 2010/05/15 14:05:44
I'm a Handel's fan as well. There's a store 11 miles west of me, and I'm thankful for the drive, as it tends to discourage me from abusing their product.
Re:Too Much of a Good Thing 2010/05/16 13:22:53
The creamiest & richest ice cream I ever had was in Stratford on Avon in England.  It was from an ice cream wagon in a park beside the Avon River.  All of the milk products in England were so rich & creamy.  We had a breakfast buffet at our hotel in London.  What they called "milk" was like half & half in the USA.  The "cream" was so thick that you had to spoon it out of the pitcher. 

We saw very few really overweight adults, but all of the babies & toddlers were chubby.
Re:Too Much of a Good Thing 2010/05/16 14:27:57

I was there in Stratford on Avon! I know what you mean.
Re:Too Much of a Good Thing 2010/06/06 15:52:50
Enginecapt:  Handel's is a little too close to me for comfort (at the end of my block).  Longacre's in Balto, PA is a pretty good distance from me to avoid temptation (and not too far out of the way coming back from a minor league baseball game in Reading).

Super-rich and super-dense ice cream apparently is not good for everything.  Somebody from Vernors (which should be a Roadfood soft drink, if there were such a thing) told me that a "Boston Cooler" (Vernors Ginger Ale with a scoop of ice cream) is best made with the regular-quality supermarket ice cream and not the super premium ice cream.  There seems to be something to that because here again, the high butterfat, dense ice cream can overwhelm the ginger and other flavors (like the hint of cayenne pepper).
Filet Mignon
Re:Too Much of a Good Thing 2010/06/06 16:03:48
Damn you. Now I want some Handel's banana cream pie ice cream.