Bijani Mizell, Editorial Assistant
I consider myself an adventurous eater. Stewed rabbit? I’m game. Duck egg pastry? Been there, done that (and yes, there was an actual duck egg inside). But sometimes, I just want a yummy scoop of plain vanilla ice cream. Unfortunately, my tastebuds get the better of me and demand something more … complex. Enter Vanilla Honey Lavender ice cream from Fairfax Scoop, a closet-sized, extremely popular ice cream shop right outside San Francisco using all local, organic ingredients. Like a fine wine, each aromatic flavor complements the others; the top notes of vanilla and honey balance the subtle hints of lavender (they even throw in real lavender buds). It’s creamy, mouthwatering, and delicious—and don’t forget the homemade waffle cone!
Photo courtesy of Seymore Sinn
Shyla Batliwalla, Editorial Coordinator
I like ice cream, but I am obsessed with gelato. I feel so Italiana when I nibble on a scoop (or three) of gelato as I fantasize about the streets of Florence and a lover named Frederico. Fortunately, Ciao Bella, America’s Gelato, has a stand just a few blocks from my office. While all of their flavors are sumptuous and indulgent, my absolute favorite is Dulce de Leche. It brings a new meaning to the word caramel. Crunches of toffee, bites of praline, and a dash of salt make my mouth water and lips scream, “Mama Mia!” I urge you to try Ciao Bella’s Dulce de Leche, but don’t blame me if you become addicted and consider moving to Rome.
Vicki Santillano, Staff Writer
Considering three of my prior jobs involved scooping ice cream, I consider myself somewhat of an ice cream connoisseur. So when I tell you that Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked is the cream of the crop, know that you’re getting the opinion of an industry veteran. Half Baked is a delectable combination of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, which in and of itself is a bit of a rarity. But it doesn’t end there, my friends. Included in this mash up are brownie chunks and chocolate chip cookie dough bits. It’s the perfect flavor for someone like me—i.e., someone crippled by indecision whenever she peruses a menu. Like all the best things in life—burritos, sandwiches, noodle bowls—Half Baked is all my favorite things blended into one entity for the convenience and delight of my taste buds. It just doesn’t get better than this … well, unless Ben and Jerry somehow incorporated a peanut butter swirl into the mix. (Oh man, I think I just blew my own mind.)
Rebecca Brown, Editor-in-Chief
I’m an equal opportunity eater when it comes to ice cream, but Haagen Dazs’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream has a crack-like addictive effect on me. The flavors are delicious (you can taste the twenty-four grams of fat per serving in every creamy bite), but I think my addiction stems more from the textures. The silky-smooth, rich chocolate ice cream is a perfect contrast to the grittiness of the real peanut butter chunks. And while there are enough peanut butter chunks to satisfy, they’re still elusive enough to keep you eating, searching for that perfect bite that contains a peanut butter jackpot. It’s an ice cream masterpiece.
Natalie Josef, Managing Editor
Rain or shine, day or night, summer or winter—there is always a line outside of the Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco, where you can find the ambrosia of ice creams, Salted Caramel. Coming in at #35 on 7X7 magazine’s Top 100 Things You Must Try Before You Die in San Francisco, the ice cream is simple and delicious, the only ingredients being organic sugar, cream, salt, organic milk, and organic eggs. There is a sign in front of the ice cream explaining that due to such a high sugar content, the ice cream doesn’t even fully freeze—now that is sweet. Hands down the best ice cream I have ever had.
Photo courtesy of Dishola
Allison Ford, Staff Writer
It’s hard for an ice-cream lover to pick just one favorite, but I am forever partial to Ben & Jerry’s Crème Brûlée. I’m not usually a fan of ice cream-ified desserts, but this one might actually be better than the real thing. The sweet custard ice cream tastes lighter and airier than real crème brûlée, and it has swirly ribbons of crunchy caramelized sugar, which everyone knows is the best part. The taste is amazing, but the texture, punctuated by the sugary crunch, puts it over the top. The best part is that it melts nicely at room temperature, so the moment it leaves the freezer, it’s soft enough to eat. No pastry torch required.