Ice cream has come a long way since I was a kid. I remember going to Thrifty's when scoops were fifteen cents. Yes, I'm that old! And the flavors from which you could choose were basic: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, mint chip, and bubblegum. There may have been a few more flavors - butter pecan comes to mind - but not too many. Combinations were had by getting more than one scoop with whatever flavors you wanted to combine. And the ice cream tower teetered precariously on your cone while you ran your tongue from one flavor to the next. Gone are those days.
Ice cream flavors now are dictated by what's in season and bound only by the creativity of the ice cream maker. Think stawberry-pink peppercorn, wild fennel, roasted barley, and olive oil chocolate sea salt. As far as my boys are concerned, the funkier the flavor, the better. Once I picked up ice cream scoops while the boys were napping in the car. Dylan looked at what I had chosen for him and, with disappointment oozing from his eyes, lamented, "Mommy, I like the creative flavors better." I had gotten him burnt caramel.
Perennial favorites...and definitely our top two picks in the Central California area...
If you're in the East Bay, don't miss Ici in the Elmwood District. Click to read I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream...for Ici. That's a strawberry-pink peppercorn and candied blood orange in the photo.
Or, if you're in Santa Cruz, checking out Penny Ice Creamery is a must. They now have two locations. Click to read Penny Ice Creamery LOVE. That was the pluot sorbet I had the last time we were there.
So, for an upcoming road trip, I've scoped out four new-to-us ice cream stops. I am not ashamed to say: I picked some stops along the way simply because they had an interesting ice cream shoppe. I think I need a bumper sticker: I brake for cheese and ice cream!
What are your road trip-foodie traditions?!?