Friday, 8 June 2007

The Secret Life of Ice Cream

I’m feeling a touch frazzled after the mayhem of the weekend. It has been so busy and hot and hectic. I scooped my little heart out and even detected the rumblings of a callous on the fleshy part of my palm. It’s that pesky Mexican chocolate ice cream…
Here’s the thing, all of our ice creams have different personalities. You’ve got the white chocolate & chili which is a joy to scoop - all smooth and yielding. The mint choc crisp is similarly accommodating, whilst the raspberry sorbet is an obtuse character that you have to launch into confidently, clearly demonstrating who’s boss, otherwise he’ll start messing with you. But the Mexican…Dios mio! this one requires some serious charming. He’s tough and strong and gives very little away, but if you coax him, letting him know you want only the best from him, he’ll come through for you on a level that is…incendiary.

We did a job for Darphin down in Dorset the other day. It poured with rain all the way there and all the way back, yet somehow, for the duration of our stay at the Summer Lodge Hotel in Evershot, the clouds took to the wings and the sun entered to tear the roof off the house.
We served Triple Chocolate Malted Bliss and Iced Mocha milkshakes, Malteser muffins and Gateau Lawrence - a dark, flourless, super-moist chocolate cake. The ladies from Darphin went wild for the chocolate delivery and had to be escorted down the lawn for a painting lesson by way of a calmant. I was then shown round the hotel by Kevin, the business coordinator. The classic English country hotel. The place was done up to the nines - a promenade of tuilles, puffs, roses and flounce. Everything was decorated, everywhere, and you just want to throw yourself down on one of the giant sofas and submit to the sumptuousness. Particularly as the place was festooned with great trolleys groaning under the weight of some serious bottles of booze.
But back to the city we did go…and on to the Whitecross Street Food fair off Old Street. Hundreds of peckish workers filled the walkways between all the different stalls - pork pies, cakes, frozen yoghurt, chorizo, chilis, jerk chicken. And there we were…right opposite an organic ice cream trailer! I’d never been put so close to the competition. Ok, so we sell cakes and milkshakes and frozen choc-dipped bananas and hot chocolate floats and…well, not just ice cream, but nevertheless, we shared a very similar product (and I tried their chocolate ice cream and found it very good). But it seems that the good folk of EC1 needed the Choc Star treatment on that day and no stand-off needed to occur.