Thursday, May 29, 2008
4 pints of frozen goodness
Some friends were down in Columbus recently and brought back ice creams from Jeni's Ice Cream shop. More accurately, my friends went to Columbus specifically to go to Jeni's and bring back a cooler filled with pints of ice cream and dry ice. I was fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a few of those pints.
I've made a few ice creams in my day, and am rather particular about flavor and texture. I'm rarely impressed. But tonight I just dipped my spoon into four different pints and all were beautiful examples of how good it can be.
I started with the lime cardamom yoghurt sorbet. A ton of flavor- sweet lime up front, balanced by the tang of yoghurt and the cardamom like a silver lining, tying it all together. I had to stop myself. Most impressive was the fact that it had a smooth texture straight out of the freezer- a balance that can be precarious with yoghurt as a base.
Next was the cherry lambic, their featured flavor of the month. The cherry flavor was a bit sweeter than I had hoped (I think they may be using Boiron fruit puree, but I can't be certain) but there was a nice lingering sourness, which I attribute to the lambic. It had a great intensity to it- a little bite had a lot of flavor. Again, the texture was spot on- no iciness at all. It was almost fluffy, which again makes me think that they're using Boiron as a base because it tends to take on more air than other fruit puree flavors while it's spinning.
The butterscotch & coconib ice cream was arguably my second favorite- rich & smooth studded with crunchy bits of nib. This, scooped into a cocoanib nougatine cone, would be fantastic.
I was really excited to see that they had a salty caramel and it is just that- verging right on the edge of savory. Good balances of sweet and salty are so satisfying. I'm curious to know what kind of salt they used. I'm afraid it might be iodized, but I can't say for sure. It's definitely a salty salt. This ice cream would be fantastic on with a dense, dark chocolate cake.
Jeni's is the second place in Columbus that I know of that is worth the 2+ hour drive just to eat. It's also the home of Zen Cha, one of the best tea shops I've seen in the midwest.